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MCF Scholars at Makerere University receive 199 laptops



It was moment of jubilation on Friday 27th January 2017 when Makerere University MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholars of Academic Year 2016/2017 received laptops. The 199 laptops were handed over to the Cohort Three Scholars by the Chairperson of the MCF Steering Committee, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu at a highly colorful ceremony.

Makerere University entered into a partnership with MasterCard Foundation to offer Scholarships to 1000 academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth in Africa to study at Makerere University from 2013 to 2024. The aim of the project is develop the next generation of African Leaders, who will contribute to the development of the African continent.

MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholars Program provides a comprehensive financial, academic and social support to each and every Scholar. This include; tuition and functional fees, a laptop, books and other learning materials, accommodation, beddings and meals medical insurance, stipend, transport to and from home, psychosocial and mentorship support as well as career education. A laptop therefore is an entitlement to every scholar.


In a speech read by the Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, the Vice Chancellor said that the laptops received will enable Scholars to have easy access to information, improve on their writing and typing skills as well as having more interactions with the MasterCard Foundation.

“I now expect you to be more efficient, have better accessibility to the Internet, and to present timely assignments to your lecturers,” he said.

According to Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu, the laptops offered give the Scholars a comparative advantage towards their academic pursuit especially when they are combined with International Computer Driving License (ICDL) that covers the key concepts of computing and its practical applications. He therefore urged scholars to properly manage and take good care of their laptops. “This is a resource in your hands. Use the laptops in the most effective way during your studies,” he said.

He reminded the Scholars that the laptops remain the property of Makerere University until when the Scholars have satisfactorily completed their study program. “These laptops have therefore been engraved and occasionally you will be required to personally present them to the program office to ascertain that you still own them,” he explained.

He applauded the Development Partners for assisting the Ugandan youth to access quality education; a foundation to stability and prosperity in Uganda and Africa as a continent.  The Vice Chancellor thanked the Program Implementation Team led by Dr. Florence Nakayiwa for the commitment and success thus far.

Speaking to the cheerful audience, the Chairperson of Mak-MCF Steering Committee Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang urged Scholars to use their laptops as gadgets for solving problems.

The Senior PRO, Ritah Namisango seated with some of the MCF Scholars who attended the Award ceremony.

“A computer is a facility that can help you manage your business, do you work and so many other things in a favorable timeframe. I therefore challenge you to make this computer work for you in this era of the 21st century,” he said.

Mr. Enock Muwanguzi, a third year student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering tipped the Scholars on the advantages and disadvantages of computers as well as the proper management of laptops.

In the presentation, Mr. Muwanguzi highlighted that laptops provide access to free and useful information, facilitate research, interactivity and networking.  “Computers play an important role in our lives. However, we must use them properly and effectively,” he said.

Mr. Muwanguzi also cautioned Scholars on thugs who can take advantage of their innocence and steal their laptops. “Moving with these laptops from class to class and at the night is very risky. Take care of your laptops because if you handle them carelessly someone will take them from you,” he said.

Pellusce Kabarokole- a third year student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with Education shared a personal life story that touched many people.

“I never thought of being an important person in the future because I had no hope of continuing with my studies after the death of my father in a fatal accident. However, I am so happy that I have managed to reach this far because MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program has supported me,” she happily testified.

Kabarokole said that she focused on science courses to change the attitude that sciences were meant for boys. “Many girls in my village fear to pursue science courses thinking that they are meant for boys. So I want to prove to them that even girls can do science courses and excel,” she said.

The Senior Public Relations Officer, Makerere University, Ms. Ritah Namisango reiterated the need for the Scholars to use the laptops for the best purpose. “Many students would like to have personal laptops, but they don’t have the required financial resources. You are lucky to have a scholarship with a comprehensive package that includes a laptop. Please use the laptops to excel in academics, research and networking,” she said.

During the occasion, the Vice Chancellor also launched the AlumNet a Scholar’s Magazine that provides a platform to all Scholars to express their views and opinions about the MCF Scholars Program and other topical issues.

The Chairperson of the MCF Steering Committee, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang launched the AlumNet Scholars magazine on behalf of the Vice Chancellor.

The MCF Communication and Web Officer Mr. Bernard Buteera Butare, highlighted that the AlumNet is an Annual Scholars Magazine that focuses on providing vital information on the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program Network at Makerere University and the alumni of the Program after they have completed their studies.

“In this maiden issue of 2016-2017, you will find stories and activities undertaken. In here, you will also find the scholars stories, testimonies in forms of writings and pictorials. So flip through all the pages and you will be treated to a lot of infotainment,” he explained.

The Award Ceremony was graced by important people including: MasterCard Foundation Mentors, Members of the MasterCard Steering Committee, College Principals, Acting Director of Makerere University Gender and Mainstreaming Directorate Ms. Florence Nyachwo, Acting Director of Makerere University Directorate of Legal Affairs Mr. Goddy Muhumuza, Acting Director of Makerere University Internal Audit Mr. Patrick Akonyet and Manager, Makerere University Counseling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga.

Written by: Mak News Reporters


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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise



One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.


(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission



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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution



Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative



By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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