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Director for The Centre For International Affairs, Tottori University Visits Makerere University

  • In General
  • 8 Feb 2017 - 4:58pm
  • By Elias Tuhereze
  • 2,598
L-R Dr Frank Kalema,Prof. Dr ANDO Takayuki, the Director, Centre for International Affairs, Tottori University and Dr Okello Ogwang, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)

Prof. Dr ANDO Takayuki, the Director, Centre for International Affairs, Tottori University, Japan visited Makerere University on 6th February 2017. He was accompanied by Dr Frank Kalema, an alumni of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences but now based in Tottori University.

The purpose of his visit was to acquaint himself with the Overseas Practical Education Program in Uganda that is run every year during the months of August  to September and meet staff who interact with their students. Tottori University has been collaborating with Makerere University since October 2012 with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Under the Overseas Practical Education Program in Uganda, about ten students from Tottori University selected from different disciplines come to Makerere University to broaden their mindsets through life experiences in a developing country,to facilitate students’ specific global competence skills such as cross-cultural communication and also facilitate practical knowledge and skills development in agricultural, engineering, health and social science fields through  taking lectures on the history, the economy, current and future prospects of the Ugandan society. They also visit different companies such as the tea, rice and sugar plantations in the western and eastern region, study the natural ecosystems and also the research centres like the Namulonge Rice Scheme funded by the Japanese government.

During the visit, the Director paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor (who was represented by Dr Okello Ogwang, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs). Dr Okello Ogwang welcomed Prof Ando and informed him that he himself attended the session when students made their presentations on topics they had selected about the different aspects of Uganda society. Some talked about our education system and compared it to the Japanese education system, some talked about the climate and farming systems in the rural areas, big and small scale farming, the challenges of weather and pests, what Ugandan farmers can learn from Japanese farmers, the health system in the country and the medical personnel attending to patients, management of the environment, to mention just a few.

Dr Okello Ogwang was very impressed by the boldness of the students in making the presentations and answering questions put forward to them by the audience. He said that, much as we do not have monetary input into the programme, at least we can afford the cultural component such as language, music and more and make the exchange more enriching.  There is also need to give it visibility in the university and also in the media.

Dr Okello Ogwang also suggested an afternoon for a cultural performance to the university community where a presentation about  Japan to display culture will be made and  a talk on study opportunities in Japan to the students.

Dr Ando informed the Dr Okello Ogwang that, the programme is sponsored by funding from JICA through universities to facilitate the exchange. He expressed his appreciation to the University for sustaining the collaboration and also appreciated Ms Martha Muwanguzi of International Office, Ms Rebecca Mukebezi the coordinator on Makerere side and  our students who spend time with the Japanese students for the tremendous support they have given the programme. The programme is important and students have many stories to tell when they return to Tottori.

In CAES, the Principal noted that most of the staff tend to look at the United States as the choice for research yet there is potential in universities in the East such as in Japan and other Asian countries. Dr Kalema gave an update of the collaboration, that there are three students from Makerere in Tottori. One student had completed his masters and is the first year of his PhD studies, while the remaining two were soon completing the masters programmes.

Professor Bashaasha told the visitors that CAES was still interested in research with Tottori University in the area of medicinal plants. With the current hot weather we are experiencing in the country, he proposed writing a project proposal with National Agricultural Organisation and Tottori University concerning climate change and also research in the cattle corridor from Isingiro to Karamoja.

By Martha Muwanguzi
International Office

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