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A Record 9 Mak Teams Qualify for Final Round of Big Ideas 2018 Contest



Makerere University has once again set a record performance at this year’s Big Ideas 2018 Contest by sending nine student teams to the final round. Big Ideas is an annual contest orgainsed by the University of California, Berkeley and its partners, aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.”

Breaking the news to ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), Makerere University; the contest’s coordinator in Uganda, the Director, Big Ideas Contest Phillip Denny shared that his organisation had notified the winning student teams on 18th April 2018 “and I can now report to you that students’ teams from Makerere University did exceptionally well!”

Reacting to the exciting news, RAN’s Communication Manager-Ms. Harriet Adong said, “I thank the RAN team for continuously supporting this Contest but most importantly serving as judges and mentors” “Our efforts have come to fruition and will continue to cause impact in the communities in which we serve and live” she added.

Of these nine teams, six; another record number, were selected as winners by the judges, and three of those six won top honors in their respective categories.

Here are the highlights:

  • TRAM Project – Enhancing financial freedom and food security to smallholder farmers in Uganda through providing quality food storage systems – won 1st Place in the Food Systems category.
  • LUMENDA – An affordable and portable device for rapid and accurate diagnosis of neonatal bacterial meningitis in low resource settings – won 1st Place in the Global Health category. LUMENDA has also been selected to participate (via Zoom video conference) at our Grand Prize Pitch Day event on April 25th, for the chance to win an additional $5000 for their project.
  • Early Preeclampsia Detection (EPED) Strip – A urine-based point-of-care early diagnostic test strip for preeclampsia enabling women to self-screen for the condition – won 1st Place in the Scaling Up category.
  • Ecosmart Pads – Locally sourced, high quality and affordable sanitary pads made from sugarcane residue – won 3rd Place in the Global Health Category.
  • Coordinated Emergency Response System (CERS) – Utilizing a combination of USSD for free communication and the proliferation of e-ridesharing services in Kampala to provide rapid and safe transportation in emergency situations – received an Honorable Mention in the Global Health category.
  • Livestock Disease Diagnosis Kit (LIDDIA Kit) – An affordable point-of-care diagnostic device base that enables farmers to conduct routine checkups on livestock for early and timely treatment – received an Honorable Mention in the Food Systems category.

Makerere University congratulates these nine student teams upon advancing to the final stage of the Big Ideas 2018 Contest and wishes them the best of luck at the penultimate stage. Furthermore, appreciation goes to the RAN staff, judges and mentors who offered invaluable assistance to the student teams.

For more information, please contact

Harriet Adong,
Communications Manager

ResilientAfrica Network (RAN)
Makerere University School of Public Health
P.O Box 7072 Kampala, Uganda
Tel. Off: +256-414 343 597
Email: hadong[at]
Skype: harriet.adong4

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors



URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.


  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at] and copy to wilber.naigambi[at] no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University



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

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University


Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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RUFORUM: Transforming Higher Education Videos and Links



Delegates brainstorm during the 15th RUFORUM AGM held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana from 2-6 December, 2019. Photo credit: RUFORUM

Video Series developed by Julieta Mazzola, EARTH University.


  1. What is Community Engagement?  Video 1 of 3.
  2. Different Forms of University Engagement with the Community. Video 2 of 3.
  3. Student learning through Community Engagement. Video 3 of 3.

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