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Capacity Building for FSF Scholars at Makerere in Self-Marketing, Relationships, Academic Excellence and Career Planning

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Since 2001, the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD) has been implementing a Female Scholarship programme under the Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation (FSF).In addition to the tuition and living expenses, GMD equips the scholars with various life and soft skills that are crucial in succeeding beyond university education. In this respect, GMD organised a two-day capacity building workshop from 8th- 9th February 2018 in the Makerere University Senate Conference Halllevel four under a theme: “self-marketing and career success”. Over 70 female scholars attended the training and it was facilitated byreputable trainersfrom Daniel Choudry Sales Training Institute, the Gender mainstreaming Directorate and Public Relations Office Makerere University.

According to the Ag. Director Dr.Euzobia Mugisha Baine, the capacity building training aimed at enhancing scholar’s skills and capacities in social and academic life at campus and beyond. The two- day training also focused on providing academic mentoring and psychosocial support to scholars while at university. The content of the training included  introduction  to critical and mind wooing aspects of  career choices, managing social and intimate relationships and achieving academic excellence, the power of communication, building self-confidence, entrepreneurship, effective use of social media, masterly of academic rules and regulations among others.

Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine, Mr.  Daniel Choudry, Ms. Lucy Athieno, Mr. Eric Tumwesigye, Ms. Ritah Namisango, Ms. Frances Nyachwo together with the FSF Scholars at Makerere University Freedom Square.

Addressing the scholars,Dr. Euzobia Baine emphasised thatthe capacity building trainingaims at introducing the scholars to have a glimpse into the real world of hustling at work and how to overcome the social challenges they might face when pursuing their dreams. She therefore urged scholars to take each and every point at the workshop seriously and embark on a journey that can positively change their lives.

“You have to understand that besides academic life there is also asocial world and, these two complementeach other. If we are to succeed we have to balance academic and social achievement. Attain the good grades, plan your life and aim high for your career, so that you can achieve and succeed in both arenas, which is not a smooth journey,” she said

She thanked the facilitators for dedicating the two days to have serious and constructive interactions with the scholars when she said, “I am pleased that we have some of the best facilitators in the area of self-marketing, communication, career planning, entrepreneurship among others. They have dedicated their time to see to it that you receive the knowledge we believe is going to aid your journey to success.”

Some of the Scholars during the Capacity Building Workshop.

Dr. Baine appreciated the team work exhibited by her colleagues in the Directorate in organising the workshop, as well as Makerere University Management, Council and University community for the tremendous support towards the scholars. In a special way, she thanked the Carnegie Corporation of New Yorkwhosponsored the activity and all the various funders of the Female Scholarship Foundation for helping the disadvantaged Ugandan girlsto attain Universityeducation.

During the interactions, Daniel Choudry the Director of Daniel Choudry Sales Training Institute and also a Lecturer at Makerere University Business School urged scholars never take the power of self-marketing for granted. According to him, youth have left the power of branding and marketing to businesses and organisation forgetting that their personalities areequally very important in achieving their goals. He therefore encouraged them to focus on building the reputable and respected personality that can attract them to market themselves socially and professionally.

“You should be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. Start by reflecting on your distinct talents, skills, and academic or professional achievements. Your marketability is largely affected by how much you believe in yourself. In essence, good self-promotion starts with self-confidence. Your own perception of yourself will help you begin to assemble your “brag bag”, that unique picture of who you are personally and professionally”, he said.

Mr. Daniel Choudry engaging the scholars on self-marketing.

He advised the scholars to always be keen on the kind of friends they associate with since this is highly considered to be the greatest measurement to someone’s success. “Be friends to people that can add value to your life, have friends that can be of great importance to realising your dreams, if you associate with turkeys, you will never fly like eagles. The friends you have influence your character, sometimes without you realising it,” said Choudry.

Ms. Lucy Athieno, the Executive Director of Eco-Pads Uganda and also an Alumni of the Female Scholarship Initiative (FSI), shared her entrepreneurship journey on how she managed to become one of the successful female entrepreneurs in the country. According to Athieno, it is important to understand the community needs since this helps someone in knowing the target and the kind of services or goods to bring on market. She also tipped the students on how they can apply for grants and funds to expand their businesses when she said, “be sure that your proposal has the basics that a funder can find attractive to give you his or her money.  When pitching your idea, always speak to someone’s heart and emotions and always associate with people who are better than you because you can learn a lot from them.”

Lucy Athieno sharing her entreprenuership experience.

She also shared with students the power of storytelling and how her story led her to acquire more funding for her business. “The power of storytelling is very important but how do you tell your story? Do not hesitate to tell someone about that one thing you always wanted to do, if it is a good idea people will always pick interest and support you. We can always be what we want if we work for what we want, always attract your respect and reflect that thing you desire, become what you respect and mirror what you admire,” she said.

Discussing the importance ofthe power of small habits in building people’s career and image, Mr. Eric Tumwesigye the Female Scholarship Foundation Desk Officer in the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, cautioned scholars on their behaviour and attitude towards people and jobs. According to Tumwesigye, some youth are lazy, lack proper strategic plans and are poor in time management. They have exhibited poor communication skills and can no longer respect their elders. He therefore called for order among scholars and emphasized the need to revamp the youth image in the career sector.

Mr. Eric Tumwesigye the Female Scholarship Foundation Desk Officer in the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, advise students on the importance of resepecting the small habits.

“We are what we have become mainly because of our habits. We have diverted from our societal norms and we have fully neglected our societal habits. They might be simple, and small but they carry the highest value and respect, keep time, have a proper communication and respect the elders then you will win that big deal you have always yarned to attain,” he said.

On the second day of the workshop, Mrs. Alice Ddamulira, a facilitator from Sales Training Institute and Director, St. Mark’s College Namagoma, engaged scholars on relationship matters. She encouraged scholars to develop strategy and plan for their relationship journeys. “We should understand ourselves before we go in for love. We need to be the person we would admire to meet,”she stated.

Relationship matters and relationship dilemmas was Alice Damulira's interesting topic to scholars on day two.

Speaking about relationship dilemmas, Mrs. Ddamulira advised scholars to shun all the fears and myths on relationships and work towards a successful and a happy life ordained by God. She encouraged scholars to properly take care of their bodies and always hold onto their values and principles when it comes to relationship issues.
“Be cautious about self-talk, people love people who are confident. Understand that gracefulness and decency make a lady desirable and powerful. Be graceful and decent in speech and dress. Uphold yourprinciples and values, those who are attracted to you as a person will come and approach you,” she said.

The Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer, Ms.Ritah Namisango advised scholars to work hard and excel academically. To her, academic excellence is the only way scholars can appreciate their funders for the great work they have done in nurturing their future.  
“If someone has given in their best to make sure you are here, return one favour and give your best academically. Excellence is not an option, it is a must. Work out the strategies for excellence,” she said.

The Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer, Ms.Ritah Namisango advised scholars on academic excellence.

The Deputy Director (teaching, Learning Research & Innovations) in the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, Ms. Frances Nyachwo called for persistence and patience among scholars. She encouraged scholars to pursue their goals and always havea creative mind that can generate income for them.

“Take the initiative to work towards that goal that you want to achieve. You need to do something that is generating for you income, be creative and have a strong mind. We want living testimonies. We have been inspired to take another step forward. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate but our deepest fear is to think beyond what we see,” she said.

She thanked the scholars for being cooperative and called upon all the alumni of the Female Scholarship Foundation (FSF) to a Breakfast meeting scheduled to take place on 10th March 2018 in the Makerere University Main Hall. The aim of the Breakfast meeting is to prepare for the resource mobilization campaign to support bright but socio-economically disadvantaged girls to study at Makerere University under a theme: Drop a Coin and Forever Change aLife.

The Deputy Director (teaching, Learning Research & Innovations) in the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, Ms. Frances Nyachwo speaking to scholars.

Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation (FSF) was incorporated by the Makerere University Council in 2010 out of the Female Scholarship Initiative (FSI) established at Makerere University in 2001 with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The goal is to support girls from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to access university education thus contributing to the increased female enrolment, progression and achievement in University Education and ultimately improving the socio-economic development of the Ugandan society.

Article by:Mak Public Relations Office and Gender Mainstreaming Directorate

Photos by: Mr. Godfrey Kimono, Associate Photographer

 

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Rotary International President visits Mak

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The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted.   President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims. 

Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.

By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.

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Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

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The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

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Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal

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The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25.  For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.

Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.

Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY

Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG

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