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Innovative Volunteerism Key to Africa’s Transformational Change



The Conference Hall at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, Makerere University was abuzz with expectation on the hot Thursday afternoon of 8th February 2018 as students from Universities within Kampala and as far as Busitema University gathered to listen to Dr. Richard Munang demystify Innovative Volunteerism.

Dr. Richard Munang who is the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Regional Climate Change Programme Coordinator has been at the forefront of championing Innovative Voluteerism through UNEP’s Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA) where he is the Focal Person.

“Innovative Volunteerism is not blind optimism” declared Dr. Munang, before going on to explain “Innovative Volunteerism is pinned on the spirit of selfless commitment towards Africa's socio-economic development.”

Dr. Munang asked his audience not to confuse Volunteerism with Innovative Volunteerism. “With volunteerism, you are offering your skills and labour free of charge while with Innovative Volunteerism, you not only do something with your skills that connects the dots or fills the gaps in agro-productivity but also benefits you as economic gain is eventually realised” he clarified.  

Dr. Richard Munang, the UN Environment Regional Climate Change Programme Coordinator for Africa delivers his keynote address at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda on 8th February 2018

He future expounded that Innovative Volunteerism is delivered through EBAFOSA where everyone is brought together for climate action and socioeconomic transformation through sustainable agriculture-led clean energy powered industrialization. “I challenge you to likewise embark on this transformational approach to doing business in Africa called Innovative Volunteerism” rallied Dr. Munang.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe who was represented by Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Principal-College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) thanked UNEP and EBAFOSA for choosing Makerere University as a collaborative associate in organising the public lecture.

“I am therefore delighted to have all of you here at Makerere University to discuss how we can make Africa work through the power of Innovative Volunteerism. Makerere University hosts the biggest number of youth in Uganda’s Higher Education. This is our biggest resource that can be tapped into in the quest to popularise innovative volunteerism,” read Prof. Nawangwe’s speech.

The public lecture was organised by the Makerere University Centre for Climate Research and Innovations (MUCCRI) under the theme “Engendering an Inclusive Africa under Climate Change: the Power of Innovative Volunteerism”. MUCCRI was launched in 2013 under CAES to enhance climate change knowledge generation and dissemination.

Prof. Bernard Bashaasha delivers the Vice Chancellor's address at the Public Lecture

“Through MUCCRI, the University brings together researchers and scientists from within and outside Makerere University, government officials, civil society, and private sector actors to collaboratively and locally address climate change, share information, and solve problems on adaptation technologies and research” added the Vice Chancellor.

Earlier, the audience had listened to the EBAFOSA Uganda Chapter President, Mr. Patrick Luganda, who explained that EBAFOSA is a pan-African platform based in 40 African countries that seeks to combat food insecurity and climate change using an inclusive approach that produces results at the grassroots level. He noted that each and every student present in the audience could easily join the EBAFOSA network, noting that the platform’s impact in Africa thrives on a vibrant network of volunteers.

The public lecture was also addressed by Mr. Isaac Ndamuhaki from FIKA Africa Advocacy Foundation; a youth led non-profit organization focusing on empowering communities with sustainable solutions and empowerment programs in education, environment and agriculture, healthcare, financial literacy and life skills. He urged participants to join the foundations upcoming community awareness drive on autism.

Dr. Munang in his keynote address further noted that gatherings that brought together youth at higher education institutions such as the public lecture will “tap into our togetherness to tie down the lion of food insecurity.”

L-R: Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi, Dr. Richard Munang, Mr. Patrick Luganda and Mr. Isaac Ndamuhaki at the public lecture on Innovative Volunteerism, 8th February 2018

“In the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the EBAFOSA Framework a group of graduate youthful agripreneurs have channeled their skills, networks and capital to optimise the cassava value chain. These young people process cassava into flour, package it, standardise it and sell to bakers. With this integration, the youth generate up to $4,000 as weekly income, translating to $16,000 monthly and $196,000 annually,” shared Dr. Munang much to the amazement of his audience.

Touching on the EBAFOSA standards currently being domesticated in Uganda for the cassava value chain, Dr. Munang said that producers in Busiro stood a chance of tapping into the US$200million African market, which is way beyond their current market under the Uganda Breweries initiative. He shared that although Cassava is the second most important staple crop in Uganda, it has the most significant losses of up to 90% of its initial value – translating to over $30 million annually, as a result of poor postharvest handling techniques and lack of viable value addition initiatives.

As he concluded his keynote address, Dr. Munang pointed out that with Innovative Volunteerism, it is neither a top-down approach nor a bottom-up approach, but rather a blend of ideas from a host of individuals possessing different skill sets that works. He urged his listeners to shun attitudes that have previously kept Africa lagging behind and instead embrace authenticity and persistence, which hold the key to the success stories so far recorded under Innovative Volunteerism. “Attitude is not a way of life, it can be changed. Always aspire not to make a living but to make a difference” he concluded.

Part of the audience at the Public Lecture on Innovative Volunteerism delivered by Dr. Richard Munang

Moving a vote of thanks and giving the closing remarks at the end of the public lecture, the Coordinator MUCCRI and day’s moderator Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi thanked Dr. Richard Munang for not only coming to Uganda but also agreeing to deliver the keynote address at Makerere University. He urged the audience to carefully consider the nuggets of wisdom given by Dr. Munang in his address and use them to make a difference in their community.

“I also urge you to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you by EBAFOSA and MUCCRI to come up with a different way of doing business. In all we do, we need to make a difference” concluded Dr. Twinomuhangi.


Article by Public Relations Office

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals



Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting: 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise



One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.


(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission



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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution



Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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