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First ever Campus France Antenna opens in Uganda

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The French Government through its Embassy in Uganda has opened up a Campus France Antenna at Makerere University to help Ugandan students to have access to information and guidance on education and business projects in France. 

Officially launched on 30th January 2018 by the Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal and the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut who represented the Minister of Education and Sports and First Lady Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, the Campus France offices will be a one stop center for students to access information and resources on scholarships and other study opportunities in France.

The Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal handing over a sign post to the Makerere University Chairperson of Council Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem as a sign of an official opening of Campus France at Makerere University.
  
Campus France is the French National Agency that promotes international mobility and French Higher Education. Created by the Act on external State Action of 27 July, Campus France focuses on simplifying the French procedures for the reception of foreign students and researchers in an increasingly competitive environment. According to the Director Campus France Ms. Beatrice Khaiat, the initiative supports the development of international academic and scientific mobility by promoting training programmes and ensuring guidance to students as well as inviting  teachers and researchers to French institutions.

“This programmes helps to improve the conditions for the reception and stay in France for foreign students, manage French government scholarships and foreign government scholarships granted to foreign students staying in France on an individual or group basis for the purpose of training, gathering information, research among others,” she said.

On 29th September 2017, Makerere University and the Embassy of France in Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cultural, linguistic, higher education and research cooperation in Uganda. The MoU also stated the interest of setting up a Campus France Antenna in Makerere University International Relations Office. Since its establishment in Uganda in 2017, Campus France has already guided and sponsored several Ugandan student in their education and business projects.

the Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal addressing students and invited guests in the Makerere University Freedom Square

Addressing students and invited guests in the Makerere University Freedom Square on 30th January 2018, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal encouraged students to learn French and acquaint themselves with the French culture in order to increase their chances of getting jobs both nationally and internationally.  The Ambassador mentioned that French as a language is one of the easiest and most spoken language in the world.

“I am quite sure that you are thinking of the very complicated French language. Today 250 million people speak French and they are here on the African continent, they are your brothers and sisters from Congo, Burundi, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Senegal and many more. Learn French and increase your chances of getting a job in many of the African countries,” she remarked. 

She encouraged students to utilize the opportunity and apply for the available study courses to improve and upgrade their academic qualifications. “This is your right and freedom, kindly utilize it. Freedom of access to education, mobility and most of all the freedom of being a citizen  of the world  is what the Government of Uganda and the Government of France want to humbly contribute  to by opening the first ever  Campus France Office in Uganda, at Makerere University  International relations Office,”  she said. 

She thanked the Minister of Education and Sports, First Lady Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni and Makerere University for embracing and supporting the idea of hosting Campus France at the noble institution. In a special way she thanked the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for maintaining the long term relationship between France and Uganda that has led to the introduction of Campus France in Uganda.

L-R; the Director Campus France Ms. Beatrice Khaiat, The University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha, the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut, the Ambassador of France in Uganda, Her Excellency Madam Stéphanie Rivoal, The Acting Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. Eria Hisali and the Chairperson of the Makerere University Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem.

In a speech read by the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut, the Minister of Education and Sports  Hon.  Janet Kataha Museveni appreciated the drive by the French Embassy to make France visible in Uganda. According to her, such a move like opening up Campus France at Makerere University will enable students from the region that is predominantly Anglophone to access information about educational opportunities that do exist in France.

“It came to our notice that few students seek access to higher education in your great country, even though is a well-known fact that France has some of the most deeply cultured and most excellent institutions of higher learning in the world. I am sure that the advent of Campus France in Uganda and in the Great Lake Regions, opens a door for our scholars and researchers to more readily access those opportunities,” she said.

The Minister was glad to learn that the Antenna will assist students to apply and access various scholarships open to international students, and also assist them to process their applications, assess their documents and send them to colleges of their choice. The Minister appreciated the move in which students will be assisted to apply for visas to France and the guidance on how to  obtain suitable accommodation once  they are in college.

“Such a degree of detailed care assures us that Campus France will indeed be ‘a home away from home’ for our students who will be fortunate enough to access higher education programmes in France. I have no doubt that the presence of Campus France in this region, and at Makerere University specifically, will take cooperation between Uganda and France to a new level, because the more students we send to France, and the more French students we receive at Makerere University and other institutions in the region, the richer that cooperation will be across the borders” she explained.

the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut  representing the Minister of Education and Sports and First Lady Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni

“Such a program will also go a long way in bridging the cultural chasms that were created among the various African regions by colonial divisions, complicated as they were by the fact that the different colonizers spoke different languages which has continued to make it difficult to Africans to communicate with one another,” the First Lady added.

At the same function, the Ambassador officially unveiled the French Corner at Makerere University Main Library. Located in the IDA Section of the Library, the French Corner will host French books and learning materials purposeful to students and other learners.  The University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha thanked the Embassy of France in Uganda for the up to date learning package, saying that it will simplify the lives of students learning French and those pursing their courses in French. 

On behalf of Makerere  University, the Acting Vice Chancellor Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang appreciated the support  rendered to the University by the Embassy of France in Uganda through provision of scholarships for PhD students, the student exchange programmes with French Universities particularly Sciences. In the same spirit, the Makerere University Chairperson of Council Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem thanked the Embassy of France in Uganda through their hardworking Ambassador for opening yet a fresh chapter of Internationalization in Makerere University.

The Ambassador officially unveiled the French Corner at Makerere University Main Library.

“I am aware that the Embassy has held a number of activities in partnership with Makerere University such as the public debate and dialogue on ‘the use of the French language’ and a debate on the theme “Let’s Save the World Together” as well as the debate to discuss “the Role of the Youth in Media on one hand and Politics on the other Hand. Through these various interactions, the Embassy has been able to expose the young minds to international approaches and solutions aimed at addressing challenges that affect global village, through constructive dialogue. I am therefore confident that the exposure the students are receiving is the spark that will ignite the fire in tomorrow’s leaders that go through the gates of Makerere to think beyond the scope of solutions that solely fit in the Ugandan setting,” he said.

The Chairperson of Council assured the Ambassador of the University’s commitment to creating the policy and governance atmosphere that provides an environment conducive to the promotion of networking, exchange of ideas and the creation of truly global citizens.

The launch of Campus France Antenna was accompanied by a “French Expo” in which different French companies, restaurants, and other enterprises as well as Makerere University exhibited their research, services, culture and innovations. Impressed with the way Juliet Anena is developing Tissue Culture Technology to generate new planting materials especially sweet potatoes, cassava and banana plantains, the Ambassador awarded Juliet Anena; a Makerere University student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture a scholarship to go to France and share knowledge and experience  with the French agricultural experts.

The Ambassador awarded Juliet Anena; a Makerere University student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture a scholarship to go to France and share knowledge and experience  with the French agricultural experts.

Through a lottery, the Ambassador also awarded three Makerere University students with grand prizes. The students included Mr. Tenywa Hamid who received Campus France Promotional goodies, Ms. Amina Nannozi who was awarded with a French training session at Alliance Française and Ms. Mollen Nyiraneza; awarded with a Cultural & linguistic scholarship in France. 

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. Eria Hisali congratulated the winners and urged them to support the initiative and  work as Ambassadors of Campus France. He thanked the organizing team comprising Embassy of France, Mak Public Relations Office, International Office, Estates and Works Department, and Security Departments for putting up a successful function and encouraged students to utilize the Campus France offices for more opportunities. 

Article by Mak Public Relations Office 
 

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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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