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University of Bergen alumni network launched in Uganda

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“If we do not collaborate we shall never grow. Internationalization is extremely important for Universities to collaborate in research and students exchange. The network we are launching today will be in position to attract more partnerships and collaborations for valuable and positive change,” remarked the Vice Rector for International Affairs, Anne Christine Johannessen when launching the University of Bergen Alumni Network in Uganda.

Launched on Monday 7th November 2016, the University of Bergen (UiB) Alumni Network in Uganda provides a platform to Ugandans who have studied at the University of Bergen, Norway to connect and build strong networks, share knowledge and ideas for community transformation and explore approaches aimed at fostering relations between Uganda and Norway.From L-R, the Coordinator of the Mak-UiB Collaboration programme, Prof. Edward Kirumira, the Vice Rector for International Affairs, Anne Christine Johannessen and Prof. Livingstone Luboobi-a former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University.

Speaking to the UiB alumni during a luncheon held at Hotel Africana, Anne Christine Johannessen said that the network will be considered as one of the pillars in building up and strengthening collaboration in research, knowledge sharing, capacity building and community engagement in Uganda, Africa and Norway.

She informed the UiB alumni that the network presents them with an opportunity to mobilize resources and a platform to immensely engage in more collaborations and partnership to help find solutions to the problems/challenges affecting society.

“You are alumni; you are the ambassadors of your societies. You are the ones who can tell about your society. In this drive of finding solutions to African challenges, we expect you to be at the fore front to lead your community in this noble cause. You have whatever it takes, we mentored you; we therefore expect you to mentor others,” she said.

Reflecting on the long term collaboration between University of Bergen and Makerere University, the Coordinator of the Mak-UiB Collaboration programme, Prof. Edward Kirumira said the UiB Alumni network will cement the relationship between University of Bergen Norway and Makerere University-Uganda.“ Through this network, the alumni will be able to demonstrate the fact that the two universities have trained active people. We would like to see alumni giving back to their communities, mobilizing resources for Universities as well as consolidating universities’ benefits,” he said.

According to Prof. Kirumira, the collaboration between Makerere University and the University of Bergen started in 1999. “I would like to say that Makerere University has been the main beneficiary of this support. The collaboration has enabled Makerere University students and staff to go for furthers studies, funded its research and innovations as well as providing equipments to support teaching and learning processes,” he said.some of the Alumni listening to the presentation.

Sharing an inspiration story on Makerere University’s successful journey with University of Bergen, Prof. Livingstone Luboobi-a former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University happily noted that the collaboration that started in form of individual Professors/Scholars undertaking research and teaching in the then Department of Physics at Makerere University has grown over the years into an institutionalized programme within both Universities. Both Universities run institutionalized Mak-UiB Collaboration Offices.  Currently, Prof. Edward Kirumira is the Coordinator of the programme at Makerere University while Prof. Thorklid Tylleskar is the Coordinator at the University of Bergen-Norway.

Prof. Luboobi highlighted that the introduction of the Mak-UiB collaboration after the NUFU program in 1999 opened gates for more partnership and networking opportunities that tremendously led to growth and development at Makerere University.

 “Mak-UiB collaboration unveiled many other partnerships. Two years ago we renewed the agreement and we are growing strong. We are going forward after the NUFU program. This partnership laid the first brick for other partners; I am glad to say that with this example, I was asked by Sweden to set a similar program. Since then Makerere University has taken on several partnerships such as the Rockefeller foundation, MasterCard Foundation programs among others,” said the former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Livingstone Luboobi.

In a presentation on the importance of supporting higher education, Hon. Sam Okuonzi, an alumnus from the University of Bergen said universities should prioritize seeking scholarships and support for higher education. He urged the alumni to gear the network towards elevating the image of higher education in Uganda.

Prof. Thorklid Tylleskar mentioned that the University of Bergen Alumni Network in Uganda will help the alumni to provide solutions for the anticipated future challenges affecting different communities. He highly recommended the long term collaboration between Makerere University and University of Bergen especially in the field of health.The alumni who attended the launch.

“The reason why we engaged in this collaboration is because we share the same interest in particular programs such as health. The collaboration between Makerere University and the University of Bergen particularly in health is not limited to Uganda. We have expanded it to other sub-Saharan African countries,” he said.

Giving the way forward, Dr. Ronald Semyalo highlighted that they focused on creating a global interconnected network that is able to impact development in terms of promoting and maintaining quality higher education in Africa.

Ms. Alex Nakato, a member of the Organising Committee thanked the alumni for all the efforts to make the launch a success. She thanked the University of Bergen, Makerere University and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Uganda for enhancing professional development and networking in different Universities.

Article by:  Mak News Reporters and edited by:  Ritah Namisango

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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