The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni has commended Makerere University for uplifting Uganda’s pride nationally and internationally by developing the country’s research and innovation sector. This was during the Mak-Sweden Bilateral Research Annual Planning Meeting (APM) that was held on Monday 23rd April 2018 under a theme: “Harnessing the power of research and innovations for social transformation.”
Makerere University-Sweden Bilateral Research Program (2015-2020) is a renewed research program between the Government of Uganda and Government of Sweden. In the current cooperation agreement, the Swedish government appropriated a fund of 275 million SEC (USD 32 million) to support 17 research teams from the Ugandan public universities to build their human resource and improve the environment for research and training.
Addressing participants in the Main Hall, the Honourable Minister of Education and Sports appreciated Makerere University for taking a lead in finding solutions to societal problems through research and innovative ideas.
“You have generated solutions to problems such as poverty, unemployment, environmental concerns, hunger, power and alternative energy sources with the aim of positively changing the lives of people in the society. So many innovative ideas that have benefited our community have been incubated here at Makerere University,” she said.
“Research is the only avenue for the production of high calibre human resource and innovations in the country, it enables new knowledge and builds capacity. The current developments in society heavily depend on the efforts to utilize the findings from the research done on the several topics in the country. Incidentally development of a country these days is highly measured by how much the country has been able to carry out research and utilizing the findings to develop solutions for the community,” she added.
The First lady acknowledged the tremendous support from the Government of Sweden towards research in public universities in Uganda and the tremendous support it has rendered to the Government of Uganda. “I appreciate the Royal Government of Sweden for the support towards research and innovations that has led to great improvement in the research culture of our public institutions,” The First Lady remarked.
“I want to advise students, management, and staff not to jeopardize such great collaborations through disruptive activities. We should translate the theory taught in these institutions through learning peaceful means of resolving disagreements,” the Minister added.
She appreciated the creativity exhibited by students from the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) led by the Head of Department, Dr. Sylvia A. Nannyonga – Tamusuza, Associate Professor of music.
The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Per Lindgarde commended the Ugandan Universities for being able to jointly recruit 310 students out of 337 for the current agreement when he said, “The Swedish Government is proud of the results that have come out of this research collaboration so far. This meeting will hopefully demonstrate a key Swedish Government position: that research cooperation is building a long term commitment beyond aid – a collaboration focused on scientific cooperation on equal footing between partners.”
The First Secretary and Senior Research Advisor in charge of Research Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, Dr. Gity Behravan emphasized the importance of Sweden’s position to have a holistic approach in its support to research efforts in Uganda.
“The Swedish strategy is based on funding institution building, post-graduate education, and research in one single efforts. No part can function without the others. For the current support, we have aligned our support to a multidisciplinary approach with emphasis on local PhD training in line with the NDPII with the goal to increase the production and use of scientifically based knowledge of international quality that shall contribute to Uganda’s development,” she said.
In order to strengthen Uganda’s ownership of the research agenda, Dr. Behravan said that the country should ensure that its partnerships create and build a sustainable system for higher education and research in Uganda. This requires stronger Government commitment to provide the necessary resources to the research sector.
The main objective of the current five-year Bilateral Research Cooperation agreement is to strengthen the capacity of public universities to conduct and sustain high quality research that will contribute to the development needs of Uganda and beyond through building a critical mass of independent researchers.
According to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Makerere University has regained her leadership as one of the best universities; not only on the African continent but globally through the enormous research support the Government and the people of Sweden have given to the institution over the last eighteen years.
“Out of the 716 PhD holders at Makerere University, 226 have been trained under the Sida Bilateral research programme with an investment of more than US$73million. More than 200 members of staff have developed skills as supervisors on this programme and almost all of them, have been promoted to higher academic ranks,” he stated.
The Sida Bilateral research program is credited for the major transformation in the College of Health Sciences. Currently, the College has one of the largest number of PhD holders and an extensive research output not only at Makerere University, but throughout the East African Region. The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology is one of the flagships for research at Makerere University largely due to the Sida programme.
“Practically every College has benefited from the Sida Bilateral research programme and this has greatly transformed the academic landscape at Makerere University. Under this phase, the programme is also contributing to developing human resource for the other public universities,” said Prof. Nawangwe.
He thanked the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) for its central role in realising the university’s vision of being the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa. In the same spirit the Vice Chancellor thanked the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the Government of the Republic of Uganda for creating an environment conducive for conducting research and innovations at universities.
“I thank the Government of Uganda for the funds that have been provided to us for research and innovation through the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology at Makerere University and the partner universities. To the Government and people of Uganda and to the Government and people of Sweden, we pledge that we will put to good use all the funds provided to us for research and for training critical human resource for our country and region,” he stated.
The Annual Planning Meeting for Makerere-Sweden Bilateral Research Programme was organized by DRGT, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), and Mak Public Relations Office. The meeting was attended by Principal Investigators, Supervisors, and Sida-sponsored students at MSc/MA, PhD and Postdoctoral research training from the five Ugandan partner universities of Makerere University, Kyambogo, Busitema, Gulu and Mbarara University of Science and Technology; together with Swedish representatives from the Universities of Gothenburg; Linköping; Stockholm; Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Mälardalen University; Chalmers University of Technology; Lund University; Borås University; Karolinska Institute (KI); Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Uppsala University.
According to the Director DRGT, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, the meeting is organised annually to discuss and appraise the research undertakings, share information and learn about development in the field of research, technologies and innovations. The convention offers a platform for multi-disciplinary knowledge exchange between researchers in Uganda and Sweden, and providing an opportunity to measure strength and contribution to solve the societal problems.
“This year’s theme is in line with our research agenda because we are convinced that Uganda today is faced with complex challenges in the area of health, education, technology, urbanisation, environment, rapid changes in technology and the growing complexity of things in general. Such complexity calls for innovative solutions. Researchers are best placed to provide pathways towards innovative solutions by engaging in research collaboration and knowledge exchange,” said Prof. Buyinza.
The Mak-Sweden Annual Planning Meeting (APM) 2018 also featured the Science Day, a platform where staff, students and researchers from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) provided evidence-based research presentations and a scientific exhibition of research and innovations. The interactive Science Day sessions chaired by Dr. Herbert Talwana and Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze featured some of the following presentations:
Prof. Phenihas Tukamuhebwa presented his innovation project on Soybean and its development. According to him, in 1996, Soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi Syd.); one of the most devastating soybean diseases in the world was detected in Uganda, leading to yield losses of up to 100%. By 2000, farmers had lost interest in growing soybean since it was no longer profitable.
Prof. Tukamuhebwa said that to address this problem, researchers at Makerere University embarked on soybean research and breeding activities in major soybean growing areas in Uganda using a participatory approach that led to the development of six high yielding-rust resistant soybean varieties.
“With over 80% of the people living in Uganda engaged in Agriculture, the Maksoy high yielding rust resistant varieties have transformed the soybean sector and improved livelihoods. Soybean production in Uganda steadily increased from 144,000 hectares in 2004 to 200,000 hectares in 2014 Soybean prices increased from 600 UGX per kg in 2008 to 1000 UGX per kg in 2011 (SNV, 2011),” he said.
Dr. Dorothy Nakimbugwe who is also the Principal Investigator of INSBIZ Project (INSect-based agriBIZiness for sustainable grasshopper and cricket production and processing for food in Kenya and Uganda) introduced the participants to a new and innovative research project of rearing insects for both food and feed. She said that due to health and societal problems such as food insecurity and nutritional issues, researchers have discovered insects as capable instruments in bridging the health- nutritional-food gap by rearing and commercialising them for food and feed.
“Rearing insects can be a solution to the increasing challenge of food shortage in Africa, they are valuable sources of protein, minerals and vitamins that are essential for human development. With enormous demand of meat in the world, insect can be a compliment since are eaten by many people in the world, given their nutritious value,” she said.
In a presentation on combining plants and habitats for improved pest control, Dr. Mattias Jonsson said increasingly, the structure of landscape and habitat is recognized as having a major influence on both insect pests and their natural enemies. Habitat manipulation that aims at conserving natural enemies can potentially contribute to safer and more effective control of invasive pests.
Other presentations of the day included;
- Urban resilience to climate-related shocks and stress in Uganda: a synthesis of frameworks by George Orianga.
- The CNDs integrative to unravel the interplay of natural hazards and vulnerabilities by Frederike Albrecht and Giuliano Di Baldassarre.
- Learning and Student Collaborative innovations. The new frontier for training and job creation by Dr. Fred Kabi.
- Gendered Perception of and attitude towards Climate Change by Faridah Nalwanga
- Integrating ICTs in Agriculture Extension: The Case of M-Omulimisa in Uganda by Prof. Moses Tenywa and Dan Ninsima.
Article by: Proscovia Nabatte, Public Relations Office
Edited by: Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa
We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…
Over 15 core sponsors…
Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…
HERS-EA Fourth Leadership Academy
The Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa (HERS-EA) provides an intensive residential one-week leadership and management development curriculum focused on women, mainly in higher education institutions and administration.
In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, HERS-EA Fourth Academy will be a totally virtual one. As such, the Academy previously scheduled to take place between June 28th – July 3rd has been postponed by one week to July 5th-9th.
Theme: “Positioning Women for Leadership in Higher Education”
A. Institutional Development
1. Managing and Leading Change
2. Reframing Organizations for effective work
3. Developing Effective Partnerships in Higher Education for Women and gender focused advancement
B. Personal Development
4. Career Mapping/building dossier/personal development
5. Professional Women’s economic empowerment through Enterprise development and management for profit maximization
6. Research and Publishing; Leadership and Fundraising for projects including research and publication.
7. The Power of Mentoring; Networking
Who Should Attend?
HERS-EA expects many diverse and dynamic women leaders to attend the ACADEMY, to share and learn from multiple institutional perspectives with guidance from women with a wealth of experience in higher education, national academic organizations, government and non- governmental organizations. Participants are expected hold mid to senior-level positions and bring expertise from all parts of a college or university. They also represent a range of national groups, ages and years of experience in higher education and other fields.
Applying to the ACADEMY:
The deadline for registration has also been extended to June 30th. For more information regarding registration, please visit the website: www.hersea.org Completed registration forms should be emailed, with a scanned payment slip to: firstname.lastname@example.org, by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 30th June.
A complete application includes:
b) A self-descriptive letter (not > 500 words) to include:
- Current Title (e.g. Associate Professor of Economics; Deputy Dean, e. t. c.)
- Name and Contact Information for 2 Recommenders (e.g. Vice Chancellor, Head of Department, Chief Officer in your area, and/or direct supervisor)
- Short- and long-term career goals
- Your expectations for the HERS-EA ACADEMY.
c) Passport size photograph
d) A developmental project you have been assigned or you would like to initiate at your campus (maximum 500 words)
e) Registration fee of $100, please attach a copy of the deposit slip to your application (Bank A/C details below):
If you have any further questions, please email:
info[at]hersea.org or call the HERS-EA Administrator on: +256 (0)772082011 Please,also, visit the HERS-EA website for further updates: www.hersea.org.
Payment Bank Account Details:
Account Name: Higher Education Resource Service East Africa
HERS-EA US $ ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 02083553153181
Swift Code: DFCUUGKA
HERS-EA UGX ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 01083553153172
Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates
The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.
In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.
“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.
“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.
She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”
Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”
Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”
In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.
The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.
“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.
The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”
In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.
“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.
She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.
As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”
The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.
Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”
Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.
Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.
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