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Mak holds Validation Meeting to enrich the Proposed Strategic Planning Framework



On 13th June 2018, a number of internal stakeholders comprising the Vice Chancellor and his Management Team, College Principals, representatives of academic and administrative units convened in the Senate Building Conference Hall to validate the proposed Makerere University Strategic Planning Framework that will inform the Makerere University Strategic Plan for the next ten years (2019/20-2029/30).

The Strategic Planning Framework focused on positioning Makerere University as the Regional Knowledge Hub will be used as a reference in the formulation of colleges /unit strategic plans that will inform the ten years Makerere University Strategic plan (2019/20-2029/30).  

During the Validation Meeting, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe expressed commitment to the process of turning Makerere University into a research led University when he said, “We have the potential to be the research led University in Africa. Makerere University’s legacy in research and publications is known worldwide. We have made research in various critical areas and our research has made a strong impact to the community. I believe we have the potential for the new shift and we are shifting for better.”  

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe addressing members.

The Chairperson of the Strategic Plan Drafting Committee, Dr. Isaac Okullo, who is also the Deputy Principal, College of Health Sciences noted that for each thematic area, a range of measures of success have been specified. These will provide the benchmark to assess baseline and progress of implementation over the plan period. 

“The implementation of the ten year Strategic Plan will be phased into three year operational plans and annual work plans which will be assessed for realisation of the set targets. The annual work plan/ activities will guide the budgeting against which university performance will be assessed,” he stated. 

He urged Colleges and Units to embark on the process of drafting the Colleges/Units Strategic Plans to enable the Strategic Plan Drafting Committee finalise its work on time. “We request that you identify a Planning Chairperson and constitute a Planning Committee of not less than five members to drive the planning process,” he said. 

According to the Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee who is also the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Prof. William Bazeyo, the new Strategic Plan is expected to align the University goals with the Sustainable Development Goals; the Agenda 2063 by the African Union; and the institution of National Development Plan II and Vision 2040. 

“At its meeting on 29th November 2017, Makerere University Council identified inhibiting factors that need to be addressed as the university moves into the next planning cycle. The University Council also stressed the need to evaluate the placement of Makerere University in the national Development Agenda,” he said.  

In February 2018, Makerere University embarked on the process that will culminate in the formulation of the next ten year Strategic Plan (2020/21-2029/30). The formulation of the new Mak Strategic Plan (2020/21-2029/30) will take a year-long participatory approach incorporating views of different stakeholders including staff, alumni, students, professional bodies, civil society, as well as the private and public sectors. The current 10 year Mak Strategic Plan is expected to come to an end in 2019.

The development of the Strategic Framework marks the beginning of the new direction of Makerere University Spanning over the next decade. It is envisaged, and as underlined by the Strategic Planning Retreat held in February 2018 at Entebbe, that the new strategic plan 2020/21-229/30 will address three key investment areas namely the institution, the human capital and the development impact. These will fit with in the structure of the core and support functions of the university.

The Strategic Planning Framework outlines the identity, vision, mission and core functions of Makerere University, puts forward the key procedures and parameters that will guide the Colleges/Units in the formulation of their plans and articulates the key performance indicators in terms of measures of success and benchmarking international and regional institutions in the plan formulation process.

While the outgoing strategic plan was more focused on processes, it is proposed that the new plan should target quality outputs and outcomes. As such the basis of the strategic plan is:

  1. Anchoring the University as a research led institution that contributes to the development of the national intellectual outputs and resources but also meets the requisite criteria of a regional hub;
  2. A reviewed research agenda that provides opportunities for exploitation of the talent among students and staff to engage with relevant stakeholders (industry, communities, private and public entities) as part  of their research interests, with a focus  on impacting and identifying future  research requirements;
  3. Enhanced engagement with industry and business, and other end-users of research and promote knowledge transfer and commercialisation nationally, regionally and internationally;
  4. Increased value and volume of innovations spawned from university research and other functions; 
  5. A problem/community-based learning approach that prepares a versatile, professionally grounded; ethical leader and change agent who is committed to lifelong learning;
  6. An equitable, inclusive and gender mainstreamed system in both academic and support function areas;
  7. A human resource system  that will engender an engaged, motivated and highly productive workforce, Institutional Consolidation including transformation from the current  partially implemented Collegiate system from a highly centralised to a largely  decentralised Financial Management and less bureaucratic administrative system well entrenched in actual operational needs of the colleges; and
  8. A robust M&E system that will promote institutional learning and improvement in the service provision and outputs of the university.

The Director of Planning and Development Department Dr. Florence Nakayiwa said that new Strategic Plan envisions an efficient and effective university that is highly reputable with a recognised brand. It also looks at an engaged, motivated and highly productive workforce. 

The Director of Planning and Development Department Dr. Florence Nakayiwa making a presentation.

“The Strategic Plan also foresees a Makerere University graduate that is versatile, professionally grounded, has ethical values and committed to lifelong learning. It also positions the graduate as a leader and change agent, who has had a positive experience at Makerere University,” she said.

According to Dr. Nakayiwa, teaching and learning is the main mechanism through which the University contributes to the National Human capital Development needs. The University offers an array of disciplines ranging from humanities, performing and liberal arts to areas of science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). She noted that since the Makerere University Graduates at Bachelors, Masters, and PhD level should be distinct and equipped with requisite skills, the new plan will be geared towards creating the appropriate environment and support to the students to meet their academic and professional aspirations. 

“The implication will be the institution of a robust, relevant and competence based 21st Century curriculum coupled with career guidance, counselling and mentorship. It will be a blended learning, integrated with field work and community services. Continuous dialogues and engagement with the students will define the teaching and learning interface at all times,” she explained. 

“The curriculum will be a learner centred; promote participation, experimentation and collaborative learning. A problem/community-bases learning approach that prepares the learners to take on societal challenges will be adopted. The role of the academic staff is envisaged to change from lecturing to designing of learning experiences and environments in which students learn and work together with the lecturer thus becoming more of a coach. This will promote the critical intellectual dispositions and build capacity for independent thinking and analysis of unchartered and complex issues,” she added. 

In a presentation, Mrs Patience Mushengyezi a Member of the Strategic Plan Drafting Committee said that the research agenda over the next 10 years period shall be determined by taking into account the research leadership role of Makerere University in undertaking both basic and applied research. The research thrust will be built on the established Centres of Excellence such as the African Centres of Excellence, the East African Centre of Renewable Energy Efficiency and the Waste Management Centre of Excellence.

some of the  Management Team, College Principals, representatives of academic and administrative units who attended the meeting.

“It is envisaged that the University will shift from exclusively focusing on creating an enabling environment to a position of defining, creating, nurturing and investing in the building blocks for a research university in Uganda. There will be a distinct shift to increased graduate enrolment and knowledge production. There will be efforts to engage government to fund graduate programmes through the loan scheme and other direct funding mechanisms,” she stated.

On Knowledge transfer partnership, Mrs Mushengyezi said that the new strategic plan will focus on generating knowledge and capacity through incubation centres, technology parks, intellectual Property and commercialisation of ideas. 

  • Discussing the Institution, Dr. Justine Namaalwa also a member of the Strategic Plan Drafting Committee said that the new strategic plan is ready to;
  • Develop efficient, effective and highly reputable institutions recognised as a good brand
  • Develop a culture that will engender an engaged, motivated and highly productive workforce
  • Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Library Services
  • Leverage the ICT as a platform for academic excellence and innovations at Makerere University
  • Reposition the gender Mainstreaming program to excel in providing an equitable and gender responsive organisational environment 
  • Generate maximum benefit from university land holdings and existing infrastructure facilities
  • Develop a devolved efficient financial management system 
  • Widen the university financial resource base 
  • Leverage resources and experience from the international experience of staff and students in teaching, learning, and research and service provision.

Article by: Mak Public Relations Office 

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Rotary International President visits Mak



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



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



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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