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Stellenbosch University Strengthens Ties with Makerere University

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A delegation of postgraduate students and their lecturers led by Mr. Nico Elema, Manager Centre for Collaboration in Africa (CCA) at Stellenbosch University visited Makerere University from Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th September 2017. Over the a number of years, fruitful and well established relations has existed between Stellenbosch University and Makerere University with various activates emanating from this relationship.

To further nurture this relationship, young academics that comprised of Masters and PhD students and members of staff planned an outreach to Makerere University to focus on the existing collaboration initiatives between the two institutions, and further enhance the cultural appreciation of the region.

The delegation paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday morning in the Council Room. The delegation was introduced by Ms Martha Muwanguzi, Head of the International Relations Office who gave a brief about collaborations with Stellenbosch University over the years. Mr Nico Elema said, it was the first time to have such a big delegation from Stellenbosch visiting at ago. The selection of the team was aimed at bringing young academics on board so as to take the collaboration further when the senior professors and researchers finally retire from service and for sustainability of the collaboration.

The Dean, School of Liberal and Performing Arts, Professor Patrick Mangheni from CHUSS said his School had benefited from the PANGeA (Partnership of Africa’s Next Generation of Academics) a network where members of staff had done their doctoral studies at the African Doctoral Academy at Stellenbosch University. The Principal College of Business and Management Sciences, Professor Eriya Hisali said their relationship with Stellenbosch was relatively new. The College sends two PhD students every year to Stellenbosch and so far three cohorts have been completed. The College has also received Refresher trainings by way of short courses and they also do joint publications and research with Stellenbosch University.

Dr Julius Kikooma, Dean School of Psychology’s interest was in initiating a relationship with Stellenbosch University staff working on “Stress Disorders”. Dr Ruth Nalumaga said that the University Library had cordial relations with the Graduate School at Stellenbosch University.

The Vice Chancellor said, “We very much value our collaboration although Stellenbosch University always beats us in rankings. Makerere University is working hard to get into the first position and most of the academic staff have had interactions with Stellenbosch University in one way or another and congratulated Stellenbosch University for being in the second position on the continent. He was impressed with the programme in Space Exploration where a satellite was sent into space.

Makerere University is also dealing with the same issues that affect the continent such as climate change, poverty, tropical diseases research, alternative seeds research to ensure food security. Later, the Vice Chancellor gave Mr. Elema, souvenirs of Makerere University to remind him of his visit to the great institution, Makerere University.

The team visited the College of Health Sciences and held discussions with the Principal Professor Charles Ibingira and respective deans. Professor Rhoda Wanyenze, Dean School of Public Health elaborated on the different interventions they have engaged to solve public health issues such as establishing surveillance sites in Eastern Uganda to demographic characteristics of the population, the teaching and learning activities while engaging in interdisciplinary research. She welcomed the idea of incorporating music in public health issues as it sends a direct message to the public. The University has good internet connectivity to sustain distance learning education through Video conferencing where students at both institutions can interact in real time. The School of Public Health is ready to engage in research that benefits both institutions as well as writing proposals together to be able to win research grants.

At the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and BioEngineering, the visitors were received by the Dean Professor John Muyonga who talked about the mission and mandate of the School and the various undertakings there. Professor Muyonga said, their mandate is to share their research by turning into products. They train job creators instead of job seekers who after graduating, go and set up their own industries. The School has State-of-the-Art processing lines and the products they make compete with those on the market. The equipments were received through a grant from the Presidential Initiative in Science and Technology for institutions engaging in research. Through the Telematic service technology, Stellenbosch lecturers teach students at the School although our students can only interact through emails. We need to improve on this technology or get an alternative that will allow students to respond and ask questions as the lecture is being delivered. There is need to train our lecturers in the use of this technology and increase on the number of lectures delivered through this service and also encourage staff exchanges between the two institutions.

In the Afternoon, the team had an interactive session with the Deputy Director Research and Graduate Training – Professor David Owiny, the Director Quality Assurance – Dr Vincent Ssembatya and postgraduate students from various colleges. Professor Owiny, an alumnus of Stellenbosch University said that Makerere University and Stellenbosch University are two great universities in Africa and therefore right for them to collaborate. He explained how graduate training is conducted through masters and PhD training by coursework and research. PhD by research is run in all the colleges and students are encouraged to do cross cutting courses to get skills required in analyzing their research data. Makerere University is strong in publications and throughput for PhD studies has been increasing every year with 77 PhDs in the last graduation of 2017 and 54 PhDs in 2016.

Dr Vincent Ssembatya, Director Quality Assurance said, due to the many universities coming up in Uganda, it was necessary to ensure that the right quality of education was delivered by Makerere University. Quality Assurance is about “fitness for purpose”. The products you produce must meet the standards. Standards in higher education within the East African region are monitored by the Inter University Council of East Africa (IUCEA) while standards in higher education in Uganda are monitored by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). He added, the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA) mobilized universities in Africa to share data about graduate training to ensure that universities were moving towards being research-led universities. The project was initiated to explore the link between universities and development on the continent. The study started with the collection of data at both the national and institutional levels at universities in eight African countries. The research in this network is exploring the use of research in policy-making in Africa. Eight flagship universities were chosen to participate namely; Makerere University, University of Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam, University of Ghana, Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, University of CapeTown, University of Botswana and University of Mauritius. The eight universities were selected because each had been the most prominent national university in its country since independence, and because each has broad, flagship goals built into its vision and mission statements.

Each of the universities aims to have a high academic rating, which would make it a world-class university or at least a leading or premier university in Africa, being a centre for academic excellence, engages in high quality research and scholarship and delivers products that will enhance both national and regional development. At Makerere University, we do Total Quality Management from the entry point to the exit. The research done here must be relevant and in line with the National Development Agenda. Both Directorates look out for innovations and new knowledge generated that will help solve some of the problems in this Agenda such as Refugees, (Uganda having the highest number of refugees), climate change, Oil and Gas and how it affects human rights of the population, and so on. As a result of this pre-entry examinations were introduced for Law degrees, GMAT for the MBA programme and now planning to introduce the examinations for Medicine and Engineering courses. The idea behind this is not to train them for everything but ensure that students are trainable to fit into the industry after completion.

The completion rates at postgraduate level are not yet commensurate with the intakes but struggling to bring it at par. There was one-to-one session between the visitors and our postgraduate students to make friends and establish networks here.

The Visitors also visited Kabanyoro Agricultural Research Institute and taken round by Mr Chris Tweyambe, the Assistant Farm Manager and other places of interest like the Source of the River Nile at Jinja.

Written by Martha L.Muwanguzi, international Office

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Call For Nominations for the Position of Chancellor Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

Makerere University invites nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University.

Purpose of the position

The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presides over all ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University.

Please see Download below for details.

The deadline for submission of nominations is 11th January 2024 at 5:00 p.m. East African Time.

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Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality

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The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.

According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.

 Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson
Swedish Envoy to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson.

Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”

 She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.

She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”

Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls.   These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.

The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls.  This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.

UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu

Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.

This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.

The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.

In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest.  She also applauded  the increased support  and training  for students  and the  strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow  students  and  staff to anonymously  report  sexual  misconduct.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership  to continue monitoring  the implementation of the  Policy and Regulations  Against Sexual Harassment, take  all allegations of sexual  harassment  and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel  have information on available  support services  and take action to ensure that perpetrators  are held accountable.”

Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted  the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.

He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.

“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.

“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms.  As we revel  in the beats and melodies, let us not forget  he underlying message that everyone , regardless  of gender, has a role  to play  in fostering  a world  where everyone  is free from shackles  of gender based violence,” he added.

Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds,  Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse.  He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices. 

 Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda  when he said, “ As we  launch the 16 days activism  in Uganda  and through  these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection.  They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”

Eric Tumwesigye

He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges.  Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.

 Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change.  The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.

“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women.  Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.

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Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District

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Scholars, Alumni and the community of Achukudu Primary School during the commissioning of the classroom block on 2nd December 2023. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.

By Bernard Buteera

On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.

With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!

The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.

Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, the area MP (Right) who was the chief guest, addressing the gathering. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.
Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, the area MP (Right) who was the chief guest, addressing the gathering.

While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.

“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.

Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.

Ms. Joyce Nakoya, the District Education Officer, Napak District. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.
Ms. Joyce Nakoya, the District Education Officer, Napak District.

The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.

“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.

Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.

Ms. Jolly Okumu, the Program Manager of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.
Ms. Jolly Okumu, the Program Manager of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand. 

“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.

The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.

The new classroom block and desks that were donated by the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.
The new classroom block and desks that were donated by the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation.

“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.

The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School. 

“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.

Mr. Raymond Eryebu, the Headteacher of Achukudu Primary School addressing the gathering. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Raymond Eryebu, the Headteacher of Achukudu Primary School addressing the gathering.

The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.

“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.

The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.

The old grass thatched structure that the pupils were using as their classroom block. Makerere University Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback), 2nd December 2023, Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District, Karamoja, Uganda, East Africa.
The old grass thatched structure that the pupils were using as their classroom block.

Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.

The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.

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

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