The College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University on Friday, 22nd June 2018 officially launched the Makerere Public Infrastructure Management (MPIM) Consortium at a function presided over by Ms. Christina Malmberg Calvo, the World Bank Country Manager, Uganda. MPIM is a professional entity that brings together a network of experts in the diverse areas of public infrastructure management with the objective of promoting sustainable infrastructure management. To help achieve this, MPIM will provide professional capacity, advisory services and best practices to public and private institutions involved in infrastructure projects and programmes in Uganda as well as elsewhere in Africa.
“Uganda has an ambitious development agenda of transforming itself into a modern and prosperous country by 2040. To achieve these targets, the Government has increased its capital investments significantly in the past decade to address the binding constraints to growth and job creation especially through infrastructure investments” remarked Ms. Malmberg.
She acknowledged that whereas this was a fine strategy, Uganda as a nation needed to improve its capacity to manage public infrastructure, especially the ability to assess and deliver projects on time and within budget. “There are projects that are completed at twice the original cost, in part, due to endemic delays in implementation, cost overruns and corruption” added Ms. Malmberg.
The Country Director therefore acknowledged the MPIM consortium launch as timely and a continuation of Makerere University’s leadership in building and strengthening institutional capacity to better manage public investments in Uganda. She however urged Makerere to work with the Government to attain faster execution of projects by building the capacities of ministries, department and agencies in project preparation, appraisal, approval and monitoring through the MPIM Consortium as a centre of excellence.
Ms. Malmberg also proposed that Makerere through the MPIM Consortium could help: strengthen the independent review of Government’s project proposals; document good practice operational procedures to ensure adaptive learning; monitor and evaluate all public capital investment projects under implementation; and support transparency especially during project appraisal.
Representing the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration)-Prof. William Bazeyo thanked Ms. Christina Malmberg Calvo for accepting to preside over the event, noting that Makerere University and the World Bank have enjoyed cordial and mutually beneficial working relationship over several decades. He also appreciated members of the audience; most of whom were Makerere University Alumni, for continuing to support their alma mater by taking great interest in the consortium launch.
“Today marks an important day as we launch the Makerere Public Infrastructure Management Consortium. Makerere University through its remarkable Masters degree in Public Infrastructure Management supports a lot of infrastructural development in neighbouring countries by training managers from various sectors.
“I am therefore pleased that the consortium will be able to undertake research and development study initiatives in public infrastructure management with the aim of reducing the gap between knowledge acquisition and knowledge practice in infrastructure management” remarked the Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Bazeyo further commended the MPIM Patron and Dean, School of Business, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba for being a great mobiliser, whose skills have greatly enhanced the Masters in Public Infrastructure Management’s growth and recognition.
“I thank the Pan-African Capacity Building Programme (PACBP), supported by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the International Development Corporation (IDC) and the French Agency for Development (AFD) as well as all development partners that have supported the Masters in Public Infrastructure Management program since its inception in 2012” the Principal CoBAMS, Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali remarked. “These resources have been put to good use and the gathering today is one of the pieces of evidence that can attest to this” he added.
The Principal tasked the School of Business to work the MPIM alumni to incorporate a component on the role of communities in the management of infrastructural facilities. “We have already heard reports of vandalism of culverts and other road works along the recently completed Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway. This calls for a holistic approach to communication, especially in addition to the standard facilitation that accompanies infrastructure development” he shared.
Assoc. Prof. Hisali then paid tribute to the organising committee for the excellent work and preparations leading up to the successful consortium launch. “The MPIM Consortium will open a new door for understanding more cultures in the region and as a College we are committed to supporting all MPIM activities” he concluded.
Delivering the keynote address at the consortium launch, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba noted that the huge investments in infrastructure projects and programmes to foster the development signified that resources were no longer the problem. “Today, the biggest obstacles are the leadership gap and professional managerial deficiency leading to loss and wastage of resources earmarked for development programs” he clarified.
He added that the Masters in Public Infrastructure Management was therefore developed to make Africa productive by reforming public service performance and building capacity of the African public service – through training and partnership. “The degree particularly focuses on enhancing managerial capacity in roads and transport management, water and sanitation, energy resources management, solid waste management, and health and education services” said Assoc. Prof. Kakumba.
In terms of impact to date, the program has registered and trained 152 students under MPIM, produced 92 graduates in four cohorts and received funding for 100 scholarships worth US$1Million. As a result, the program has trained senior managers from the; Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA, Ministry of Works and Transport-MoWT, Rwanda Development Board-RDB, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority-RURA and Local Governments across East Africa.
As he concluded his address, Assoc. Prof. Kakumba shared that the MPIM Consortium would offer its alumni a networking forum for continuous interaction to foster ideals of the PACBP. In particular, the consortium would offer the alumni a vehicle to establish partnerships with Government non-government agencies as well as international collaboration and linkages. It would further provide capacity building and home-grown solutions to local infrastructure challenges and help mobilise tuition scholarships to train more managers.
Speaking on behalf of the partners, DBSA’s Programme Manager MPIM and Executive Coach-Dr. Dumisani Magadlela expressed his happiness at attending the launch, saying “in South Africa we hold Makerere University in high regard and thank you for leading. This programme is pioneering what we want to see in other regions and as such, we want to come in and support you strongly in technical terms” added Dr. Magadlela.
He also paid tribute to Assoc. Prof. Kakumba’s mobilisation skills, noting that he had helped the PACBP mobilise in South Africa for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and in Senegal for the West African bloc. “Central Africa is also coming on board through the Omar Bongo University in Gabon and Dr. Kakumba is also helping to mobilise there.”
Dr. Magadlela further emphasised the PACBP’s keenness on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4; Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, acknowledging that “the MPIM consortium launch is working towards achieving this SDG.”
“We are right with you, holding your hands going forward. We are ready to come and work with you especially on the short courses. You have a friend in South Africa” reassured Dr. Magadlela.
In the discussions that followed the consortium launch, panelists who included the EU Delegation to Uganda’s Head of Economic Growth-Mr. Pavlos Evangelidis, African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Overseer of Infrastructure Development in East Africa-Mr. George Adongo Makajuma and Dr. Ibrahim Okumu-Senior Lecturer, CoBAMS, discussed various issues ranging from financing infrastructure to its impact on local communities and economic development.
Mr. Evangelidis noted that whereas all EU funded programmes in Uganda were aimed at fostering economic growth, development and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive of environmental sustainability. Funding to the tune of 600Million Euros has largely been and still is directed at infrastructure development with the aim of maximizing the profitability of Uganda’s exports.
He reiterated that the EU’s funding model is based on non-reversible grants and focuses on achieving public good. He also clarified that all projects funded by the EU are on upon request by the Government. He gave an example of the proposed Kampala-Jinja Expressway, a vital link of the transport sector’s northern corridor.
On the energy front, Mr. Evangelidis shared that the EU was working with Government to provide sustainable power in areas where it is currently unsustainable. This, he said, involves working with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to come up with mini-grids as a viable means of providing access to electricity.
In his contribution to the discussion, Mr. Makajuma shared that AfDB’s 10-year strategic plan is largely (up to 80%) made up of infrastructure as a means of unlocking export-led growth and trade: a strategy that minimizes social exclusion by bringing everybody into the national economy. He further shared AfDB’s focus is on promoting regional integrity that fosters inter-regional trade links. “Let’s do business with each other” he insisted.
On the financing front, Mr. Makajuma noted that debt servicing remains one of the biggest expenditures of developing economies. “The MPIM Consortium launch is long overdue as a means to help arrange and structure some of these deals on loans. We need assurance on the sustainability of money spent on infrastructure by examining the project lifecycle cost. For avoidance of rushed loans, contracts that are well structured should precede private sector involvement or consultation” he added.
He emphasised that the repayment period for infrastructure development loans should never be shorter than the lifecycle of investment, so as to prevent governments from being burdened by debt servicing before they accrue any returns on investment. “The efficiency game is the future of decision making and the MPIM Consortium exists to create that caliber of advisors. Today’s launch marks the start of a good journey and the African Development Bank is willing to support this initiative.”
Making his presentation on the “Voice of the Beneficiaries”, Dr. Okumu, quoting the World Bank Enterprise Survey 2013 (WBES 2013) shared that it takes 44 days to receive an electricity connection service, an economically unviable option for any business. He further cited interventions like the Isimba and Karuma hydroelectric projects, which despite being scheduled for completion in 2016 and 2017 respectively remained incomplete to date.
Dr. Okumu further decried the allocation of over 90% of road construction projects to foreign companies. “This has weakened the multiplier effect of huge government investment in infrastructure because after completion of the projects, very few of these skills have been passed on to the local communities.”
As a way forward, he called for further strengthening of capacity development in Public Infrastructure Management as well as the attachment of property of public officials under whose watch shoddy infrastructure development works occur, in addition to other punitive action. Lastly, he made a case for the urgent need to link skills development initiatives to infrastructural skill requirements.
The workshop also received presentations from the National Planning Authority (NPA)’s Resident Consultant-Mr. John Bosco Kintu Kavuma on the “Capacity for Project Implementation and Management of Infrastructure in the East African Region” as well as the Chairman, Board of Directors-Eng. Usama Kayima on the “Strategic Direction of the MPIM Consortium.”
Please see Downloads for the presentations
Rotary International President visits Mak
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.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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