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Hon. Kitutu Commends Feedback Report on Land tenure Rights for Forest-Dependent Communities

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The Minister of State for Environment Hon. Mary Gorettie Kitutu, has commended the feedback report  of study findings  on “Securing Tenure Rights for Forest- Dependent Communities,” in Uganda; saying that, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the requirements needed to ensure forest tenure rights for forest dependent communities in Uganda at both policy and community level.

In a speech read by Ms Lucy Iyango, Commissioner, Wetlands Management Department, Ministry of Water and Environment at a Multi-stakeholder Colloquium held on 22nd November 2017 at Hotel Africana, the Minister reported that the study made significant contribution to enhancement of the implementation of the Forest sector Reforms brought in by the new Forest and Tree Planting Act of 2003 which include; forest governance, governance of land and forest resources. The study also contributes to the implementation of the National Development Plan, 2015 to 2019, and Vision 2040.

The Multi-stakeholder Colloquium on was organised by the  Makerere University, School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS) together with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)  and the Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment (AUPWAE).

The high profile meeting also focused on sharing experiences, engaging with policy makers and practitioners and generating recommendations for improving forest tenure reform implementation in Uganda.

Addressing participants at Hotel Africana, the Minister reiterated said that securing and strengthening land tenure rights for forest dependent communities is essential for reducing forest degradation and deforestation.

She thanked the Government of Uganda for instituting a Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) approach in which forest-dependent communities play a role in the management of the Central Government Forest Reserves under the control of National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the local Forest Reserves under the control of District Forest Services (DFS).

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi-Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) represented the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

“This approach has been found to provide a degree of inclusiveness in the management of the forest estate, particularly in areas where the communities are empowered to engage effectively with the responsible bodies involved in forestry management such as NFA and DFS. The government has also supported the registration and declaration of community forests both on public and customary lands. Under these arrangements, the capacity of communities to manage these resources have been built. In addition, communities have been empowered by civil society organizations to negotiate for their rights,” she said.

She applauded SFEGS, CIFOR and AUPWAE for ensuring that the profile of gender and its influence on community forestry is enhanced during the research. “It is without doubt that the participation of women and other marginalized groups is key in enhancing forestry governance,” she said.

The Minister also thanked the European Commission, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other partners for supporting the project.

In a speech read by the Director of the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe emphasized the need to increase capacity building on land tenure systems and land security among university students.  He as well urged all participants to take off time to evaluate and identify the drivers, enablers and inhibitors of the forest reform implementation process in Uganda and tease out the livelihood outcomes and tenure security concerns for the sustainable forest management in Uganda.

The Principal of College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Prof. Bernard Bashaasha emphasized the importance of dialogue among stakeholders involved in forestry sector in the country. “Everyone with a stake in the forest sector in particular and the environmental sector in general must be listened to and allowed to take part in the management of our natural resources,” he said.

The Project's Principal Investigator-Prof. Abwoli Banana makes his presentation at the colloquium

Professor Banana, the Principal Investigator of the project in Uganda informed the participants that, Uganda like many other tropical developing countries has experienced high rate of deforestation and forest degradation to both forest reserves and forests on private land in the recent past.

According to the recent study by NFA, forests on private land have declined from 70% of Uganda’s forest cover in early 1990 to 38% at present. Similarly, forest cover in forest reserves has declined from 1.5million hectares in 1990 to 1.1million hectares in 2015 (representing a decline of 41%), as a result of increased demand for forest products, expansion of agriculture and illegal settlements. It is as a result of these high rates of deforestation in private, public and government forest reserves that forest tenure reforms were introduced in 2003.

According to Alhaji M. Jallow, the Representative of FAO in Uganda, encroachments on the forest reserves have been exacerbated by population increase. The increase in demand for agricultural land, timber, charcoal and firewood has increased competition on utilization of resources.

“The government of Uganda has the political will to reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation through afforestation, forest land tenure reforms, intensive farming enhancement, forest conservation, tree planting by communities, and land scape restoration,” he mentioned.

The International law including instruments such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination recognise the rights of forest peoples to, ‘own, control, use and peacefully enjoy their rights over these resources’.

Uganda’s legal and policy frameworks in the forestry sector recognise forest-dependent communities’ role and rights in the forest sector. When presenting to participants about “Tenure security and livelihood outcomes of reform implementation”, Prof Abwoli Banana said that the Government of Uganda embarked on forest and land sector reforms that aimed at sustainable forest management, including adoption of new polices and laws, and establishment of new institutions to address forest cover decline.

Dr. Esther Mwangi-Principal Scientist CIFOR engages the audience at the colloquium

“These reforms have entailed different arrangement for sharing and granting rights to local people living in and around forests, in an attempt to reconcile forest conservation with livelihood improvement goals,” he said.

According to the Chairperson, Technical Advisory Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Omukungu Kiwazi Kyagambiddwa, Buganda Kingdom has developed a strategic plan known as “Enteekateeka Namutayika” to address land and forest management reforms. In the same spirit, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom shared the kingdom’s five year development plan in regulating settlement patterns in forested lands  in the kingdom. These contributions were made in line with the theme on customary land ownership and perspectives of cultural leaders.

In a presentation she made on “Gender dimensions to forest tenure reforms in Uganda”, the Principal Scientist CIFOR Dr. Esther Mwangi said that there is a need to strengthen women’s land tenure rights. According to Dr. Mwangi, improving women’s access to and control over economic resources has a positive effect on a range of development goals, including poverty reduction and economic growth.

“While many people in the developing countries lack secure property rights and access to adequate resources, women have less access to land than men do in all regions and in many countries. Women across the developing countries are consistently less likely to own land, have fewer rights to land, and the land they do own or have access to is of lower quality in comparison to men,” she highlighted.

Reiterating the need to strengthen women’s land tenure rights in the country, Dr. Margret Namusoke, a Representative from the Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment mentioned the importance of building more capacity among men and women on the land tenure rights and reforms.

Kyankwanzi District MP-Hon. Anne Maria Nankabirwa officially closed the colloquium

While closing the colloquium, the woman Member of Parliament of Kyankwanzi District Hon. Anne Maria Nankabirwa called upon the media to give Forestry and Environment a priority while reporting. She also implored NFA to consider the protection of biodiversity when allocating forest reserve lands to private tree planters.

During the colloquium, participants agreed on a range of recommendations for improving forest tenure reform implementation in Uganda and were forwarded to the Minister of State for Environment for implementation.

Article by Public Relations Office

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Short Course Announcement: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning

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The Lead Facilitator, Dr. Roy William Mayega (Left) takes participants through Instructional Design (ID) Training held from 29th January to 2nd February 2018. RAN Innovation Lab, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), School of Public Health Annex, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Plot 28, House 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Many faculty members in Higher Education Institutions do not get pre-service training in teaching and learning before they start teaching. This means that they have to learn the ‘hard way’ on the job, and this often affects the quality of delivery. The Office of the Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), in collaboration with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MakSPH, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Institute of Open Distance and eLearning – Makerere University hereby announce the 2024 edition of the course titled: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning. The course will run from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August 2024, only in the morning hours (08.00am – 11.30 am). The course will be delivered in dual mode: Both online (through the zoom platform) and face-to-face (at the RAN Lower Lab, MakSPH Annex in Kololo). The course is open to both junior and senior faculty members, research fellows, honorary lecturers and academic program administrators from Makerere University and other Universities wishing to enhance their teaching skills, with a view to improving teaching and learning.

Applying

Interested applicants are requested to send a short expression of interest that includes their designation, by email, to: Mr. Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, using the following email address: imutyaba@musph.ac.ug. Admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applicants should be ready to take off 5 mornings of intense work during the week indicated. Come and discover the frontiers of teaching and learning.

The Course Team

Course Lead: Dr. Roy William Mayega (MBChB, MPH, PhD), Senior Lecturer, Instructional Materials Designer/Editor, MPH DE Program, MakSPH; Lead the co-creation of instructional materials for the inaugural MPH DE Program

Course Facilitators

  1. Dr. Roy Gonzaga Mubuuke (PhD), Breast Radiology Specialist/Medical Education Consultant/Member HEPI Project Team
  2. Dr. Rovincer Najjuma (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Curriculum Specialist, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University
  3. Dr. Suzanne Kiwanuka (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Chair Department of Health Policy, Planning & Management, MakSPH, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
  4. Dr. Barbara Kirunda (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, MakSPH, MakCHS, Field Coordinator, MPHDE Program
  5. Mr. Jude Oboth, IT Specialist, MakSPH; 12 years of professional experience managing large organizational computer networks
  6. Prof. Pauline Byakika (PhD), Professor of Medicine, Chair Department of Internal Medicine, MakSoM, MakCHS, Head, Mentorship Program MakCHS
  7. Dr. John Bosco Isunju (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, MakSPH, MakCHS; Head, COVID Task force on alternative assessment, MakSPH

Support Team

  • Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Admin Support
  • Harriet Adong, Communications Specialist, ResilientAfrica Network and MakRIF – Course Communications lead
  • Wilson Abigaba, IT Specialist RAN and MakRIF – Course IT Support
  • Debbie Namirembe, Senior Administrator, RAN – Admin Support

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Mary Stuart Hall Rehabilitation Commences as VC Hands over Site to NEC

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre) hands over a file to NEC Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira (Left) as Ag. DVCFA, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe (Right) witnesses on 31st May 2024. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall commenced on Friday 31st May 2024 with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe handing over the site to the contractor National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) represented by Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira. The first and largest female Hall of residence, Mary Stuart was completed in 1953 and named after wife to Bishop Simon Cyril Edgar Stuart, the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Uganda from 1932-1952. Mary Stuart worked hard for the betterment of women education during her time in Uganda.

Mary Stuart becomes the second student residence to undergo rehabilitation following the handover of Lumumba Hall to NEC on 27th June 2023. Both projects are fully funded by the Government of Uganda. And whereas Lumumba’s works cost UGX9billion, Mary Stuart’s will cost UGX10.5billion, and cover roof repairs, plumbing and electrical systems and installations overhaul, as well as external aesthetic works.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor thanked the President, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Government of Uganda for ensuring that funds for the long-awaited rehabilitation of student halls of residence are availed. In the same breath, he thanked the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni for not only inspecting the state of the halls on 19th January 2021 but also ensuring that funding for the halls rehabilitation project is prioritized.

Prof. Nawangwe commended NEC on being a professional contractor, noting that all matters arising out of previous projects had been handled within original budgets and time-frames.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials.

“Now that we are in a girls’ hall, every detail matters. We must make this hall look like one that is going to house the future mothers and leaders of this nation so that when they leave, they feel that they have attended a leading university in the world” the Vice Chancellor advised NEC.

Prof. Nawangwe equally urged the Project Consultants led by Dr. Kenneth Ssemwogere, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) to work with the contractor on ensuring that the project works and aesthetics give the hall a fresh new look.

On behalf of NEC, Lt. Gen. James Mugira thanked the Vice Chancellor and leadership of Makerere University for the trust and confidence shown in the Corporation’s capabilities, adding that he was happy as an alumnus of the School of Law to be back to contribute the development of his Alma mater. “This is the third project we are undertaking as the National Enterprise Corporation; we started with the perimeter wall, and we are now at Lumumba Hall where works are at 80-85% completion.”

Lt. Gen. Mugira therefore reassured the Management that NEC would do quality work and try as much as possible to complete the project in time, at a relatively lower cost than other contractors. “With NEC, we bring on board military discipline and we don’t have red tape or bureaucracies; once a decision has been taken, it has been taken” he clarified.

“I want to thank the Vice Chancellor for believing in and promoting local content, because NEC is a local company. With NEC engaging in such a project, we are first of all giving jobs to our young people, we are skilling them, we are saving foreign exchange that would otherwise be repatriated and as a country, we are building capacity” Lt. Gen. Mugira summed up.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa.

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe expressed happiness that the second phase of rehabilitation of halls of residence was finally taking off under the NEC, a contractor that had done quality work on other projects such as the new Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) plant in Jinja.

He noted that the project will provide good grounds for hands-on industrial training for students of quantity surveying, architecture, civil engineering, and other disciplines. Prof. Alinaitwe further observed that the project accords staff the opportunity to not only improve their professional profiles but also practice as consultants within the university premises, “and so we thank the Vice Chancellor for availing us these opportunities.”

The University Secretary and former Guild President, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda shared that the University Leadership looks forward to the rehabilitation works being expedited. “The current student leaders have challenged us that they would like to be around for the commissioning of the finished product and so I hope that we can finish these works and give them an opportunity to account to their electorate.

Prior to the handover ceremony, the parties were taken on a guided tour of the site by the Director, Estates and Works Department, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Warden Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Norah Nalubowa and a host of other officials accompanied by the Chairlady Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi.

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Prof. Hisali, Prof. Yawe handover office to Prof. Bbaale, Prof. Wokadala

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In a vibrant ceremony brimming with nostalgia and optimism, College of Business and Management Sciences-Makerere University (CoBAMS) celebrated the transition of leadership from the accomplished hands of Prof. Eria Hisali and Prof. Bruno L. Yawe to the promising stewardship of Prof. Edward Bbaale and Prof. James Wokadala on Friday 31st May 2024.

The event, attended by esteemed members of the university community, including representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s office and members of the Central Management Team, was a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication that have come to define CoBAMS. The outgoing Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali, and Deputy Principal, Prof. Bruno Yawe, were lauded for their eight years of service, during which they significantly advanced the college’s academic and infrastructural capabilities.

A Legacy of Excellence

Prof. Hisali’s farewell address highlighted the numerous achievements under his leadership. He proudly noted the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations that have greatly benefited the college. “Our MoU with Stellenbosch University provided full PhD scholarships for four Academic Staff Members, while our partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands supported PhD training for two Staff Members. Additionally, the Republic of Korea’s embassy in Uganda granted three PhD scholarships,” he remarked.

Assoc Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) handing over to incoming Deputy Principal Dr. James Wokadala.

These collaborations extended to notable institutions such as ACCA, Prudential Uganda, Addis Ababa University, The University of Rwanda, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and the University of Dar es Salaam, reflecting CoBAMS’ commitment to internationalization and academic excellence. Prof. Hisali also mentioned the development of a Quality Assurance Framework and significant infrastructural proposals, including a new block pending government funding.

The outgoing Principal shared impressive statistics: a fivefold increase in publications from 30 in 2017 to 150 in 2023, expansion of wireless internet coverage to over 90% of the college, and a significant rise in PhD holders among the academic staff to 60%.

Prof. Yawe appreciated all the academic, administrative and support staff that supported his leadership throughout the 8 years of service.

Looking Ahead

Prof. Edward Bbaale, the incoming Principal, expressed his vision to elevate CoBAMS as a global leader in innovative teaching, research, and policy engagement. With over two decades at CoBAMS, including eight years as Dean of the School of Economics, he emphasized his commitment to continuing the progress made by his predecessors. He pledged to prioritize graduate training, faculty research, and the commercialization of innovations, alongside strategic financial initiatives such as the College Endowment Fund.

Prof. Eria Hisali receiving a token of appreciation from memebers of the Administrative Staff at MakCoBAMS.

Prof. James Wokadala, the new Deputy Principal, acknowledged the substantial achievements of the outgoing leaders and outlined his plans to build on their legacy. He aims to foster a supportive and engaging environment by establishing a gym for staff and creating a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).

Heartfelt Farewells and New Beginnings

The ceremony featured heartfelt speeches from various stakeholders, celebrating the contributions of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, representing the academic staff, praised the outgoing leaders for their unwavering support and urged the new administration to continue fostering a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Ms. Caroline Nanono Jjingo, on behalf of the administrative staff, echoed these sentiments, appreciating the open and inspirational leadership style of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. “Throughout their tenure, they have resonated the words of Henry Ross Perot, who said that “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”  She said.

Outgoing Principal Eria Hisali and outgoing Deputy Principal Bruno Yawe cut cake.

The Deputy University Secretary, Mr. Simon Kizito, provided sage advice to the incoming leaders, emphasizing the importance of openness to feedback, leading by example, and maintaining accountability. He reminded them that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and encouraged them to learn from it while prioritizing self-care.

On their part, the support staff appreciated the outgoing leadership for their open door policy and willingness to support all staff especially those experiencing life challenges. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Mr Joseph Ikarokot said there was a season for everything and staff were privileged to have worked with the duo.

A Promising Future

As the new leadership team embarks on their journey, they carry forward a legacy of excellence and a vision for a brighter future. With their extensive experience and commitment to innovation and collaboration, Prof. Bbaale and Prof. Wokadala are well-positioned to steer CoBAMS toward greater achievements and global recognition.

The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting, gifts from the administrative staff, and a reaffirmation of the college’s enduring spirit of unity and progress. The new era at CoBAMS promises continued growth and success, building on the solid foundation laid by Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe.

Some of the staff memebers who were present at the handover ceremony.

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