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
The 19th RUFORUM AGM in Yaoundé calls for consolidated efforts towards transforming higher agricultural & tertiary education to contribute to sustainable development & food security in Africa
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 163 universities in 40 African countries held its 19th Annual General Meeting at the Palais De Congres in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 28th October to 2nd November 2023. The first of its kind in West and Central Africa, the RUFORUM AGM 2023 provided an opportunity for over 600 delegates from Africa and beyond including; Ministers, Development Partners, University leaders, students, private sector leaders; farmers and farmer representatives; emerging and early career researchers as well as other key stakeholders in agriculture and higher education to share experiences and chart a way forward for transforming higher agricultural and tertiary education to contribute to sustainable development in Africa under the theme: Transforming Higher Education to Sustainably Feed and Create Prosperity for Africa.
Officially opened by His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon, represented by Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo, Cameroon’s Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education, the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting in Yaoundé provided a platform for participants to deliberate on key strategies for transforming higher agricultural and tertiary education to contribute to national, continental and global development as well as building consensus among key stakeholders in agriculture and higher education on the actions required to strengthen the role and/or integration of universities in agricultural and national development processes in line with the aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063 ‘The Africa We Want’.
In a speech presented by Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo at the official opening ceremony, His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon stressed RUFORUM’s significant efforts to support the African Union Agenda 2063 when he said, “RUFORUM’s vision 2030, makes the body a significant contributor to transformation of Africa and vehemently seeks to harness the discovery, engagements and learning of vibrant transformative universities to catalyze sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa.”
According to him, it is worth indicating that agriculture in Africa should be understood in its broadest sense to include but not limited to animal and crop production, livestock, wild life, fisheries and forestry. Hence RUFORUM’s mission since its inception in 2004, of strengthening the capacities of universities to foster innovation responsive to demands of small holder farmers through the training of higher quality researchers, the output of impact-oriented research and maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers, national agricultural research institutions, the Private sector and government is worthy prioritizing.
He called upon participants to use the meeting forum to change the face and image of the African continent through constructive and fruitful deliberations on agricultural production, food safety research and better health food security. To him the RUFORUM AGM is a bigger opportunity to think and act, make proposals, formulate recommendations and necessary resolutions which if acted on can change the face of the African continent.
“This is the turning point for the African continent to think big and have the courage to dream big. This is our opportunity to make a difference in our world. This is the opportunity Africa needed to change the target of its demand of action. We have to mutualize and federate our actions and voices in the interest of a united, strong and prosperous Africa,” he said.
The 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting carried a unique vibrant turn as being the first to be held in West and Central Africa. The weeklong event broke the record as the most and well attended ever with over 600 participants across the region as well as international delegates. The colorful event was embroiled with informative, constructive, edutainment activities in form of pre-AGM events, side events, Business Meetings, capacity building and mentoring sessions, scientific conferences, poster sessions and exhibitions well aligned to key thematic areas as well as the AGM theme: Transforming Higher Education to Sustainably Feed and Create Prosperity for Africa.
Additionally, high-level policy dialogues with Ministers, Senior Government Leaders and Development Partners were held to review the finance and other resource mobilization strategies as well as following up on the actualization of the available national, regional and global policies geared towards higher education transformation and ensuring of food security in Africa.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji, the RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor University of Bamenda thanked His Excellence Paul Biya and the Government of Cameroon for accepting to host the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting and equally appreciated the financial support towards the same cause.
In a special way, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji thanked the Ministry of State for Higher education and all the sister ministries of Government of Cameroon that worked hard to see to it that the 19th RUFORUM AGM is a success. Equally, the Board Chair, extended her sincere gratitude to the people of Cameroon for the warm reception and support.
“My special tribute goes to the members of AGM 2023 Sub committees. You have indeed done a great job throughout the ten months of organizing this significant event. On behalf of RUFORUM Network, I thank you. To the RUFORUM Secretariat under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Patrick Okwori, accept our immense gratitude for your strong determination and dedication,” she gratefully said.
She recognized the tremendous achievements and developments aligned to RUFORUM’s nineteen years (19) of existence noting that the strong network has wisely selected its priority areas of focus to transform higher education and agricultural sector in Africa as;
- Reform the training agenda for Africa to meet the development needs
- Entrepreneurship and business incubation for wealth creation
- Research for Development and wealth creation
- Partnerships for scale and impact
“As African people, permit me to use the adage of a broom; it is easy to break a single broom piece but when you combine several small brooms together they then make a broom stack that will not be easy to break. The collective power that RUFORUM has put together through 163 universities from across 40 countries bears such strength. The Vice Chancellors gathered here today remain committed to the core values and foundations of the network. To illustrate this Your Excellency, each of the Vice Chancellors meet their own costs of participation.” She happy said.
In the same spirit the RUFORUM Executive Secretary Prof. Patrick Okori deeply thanked the host Universities that is, University of Bamenda, University of Ngaoundere, University of Dschang, University of Buea and University of Maroua under the strong and able leadership of the RUFORUM Board Chair, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji for successfully hosting the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting.
He also recognized the Former Vice Chancellor of University of Ngaoundere Prof. Florence Uphie Chinje Melo who heavily supported the AGM preparations. He was astonished with the presence of the Africa Development Bank, MasterCard Foundation, research international communities, RUFORUM for Agricultural Research in Africa, the Africa Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services, sub regional Agricultural organizations such as the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF).
“You have all provided support for this engagement, thank you very much. Together we will continue this journey of transforming Africa’s Agricultural and higher education to produce human resources and development solutions that Africa and indeed the world needs,” he said.
Reflecting on the AGM’s theme, Prof. Okori emphasized the need for Africa to become food secure when he said, “Africa must be an equal opportunity creator for the young generation, it must create wealth for its people and provide opportunities for the present and future and these are well summarized in agenda 2063. It is our collective duty therefore to turn these opportunities and actions into investment.”
According to him, the RUFORUM Network remains strong in building capacity and providing the necessary development solutions and opportunities. He noted that Africa generates about 10-12 million job entrants annually but the continent’s economy in its current configuration can only produce 3 million jobs. To him, for Africa to therefore reap from its demographic dividends, there is need to strengthen the paths to demographic transition of keeping young girls in school.
Prof. Okori also mentioned that RUFORUM is currently intensifying its inclusion and diversity targets. From 45%, the network has an ambitious target of at least 70%. “We must slow the rate at which girls give birth when young. It is the only way we are going to benefit from our population dividend,” he said.
According to him, the higher degree needs for Africa is pretty dire. The World Bank recommends 10,000 PhDs to Africa. This can be compared to India whose signal population of 1. 4 billion registers 24000 PhDs a year. The pressure therefore on Africa’s side to intensify graduate training is real.
“Our graduate training in sciences therefore is one of the drivers to achieve this and it is the immense reason as to why in this meeting we have social and development partners. We are launching a journey with the Africa Development Bank that will bring us together as apex organizations in Africa to work together and solve our own challenges. However, as we do all these, we need to celebrate Africa. We should be recognizing and celebrating people who made what Africa is today,” he said.
Africa is informed by a number of important mutually interacting factors that collectively, are affecting the growth and progress of the continent. The economic outlook of the African continent in 2023 by the African Development Bank and other global apex development financial institutions was positive. However, Africa’s economic growth has since then decelerated, and is now projected to be lower than the previously projected rate of 4.1%.
Agriculture a key sector, continues to be affected by both natural and human induced factors. It continues to face serious threats from climate. Studies by the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification show that Africa accounts for 44% of severe droughts recorded globally in the last 50 years, causing economic losses of more than USD 70 billion. In 2022, an estimated loss of US$ 8.5 billion in economic damages was experienced due to climate change. Clearly, climate change and weather variability, remains one of the grand challenges of the 21st century for Africa and the World, because it affects key livelihood and strategic areas of emerging economies.
Unemployment facing Africa’s dominant demographic-the youth, raises questions about education, skilling and jobs creation while inclusion and diversity, the underpinning for an equal society, remains challenging. The question then to academia, researchers, development practitioners and policymakers is, “what step must we take right now to address the challenges to our current and future generations?”
“Our resounding response as RUFORUM is in line with what Malcolm X said many years ago, “Education and research for development are the passports to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Prof. Partick Okori.
According to the Deputy Minister for Education in Malawi, Her Excellence Mdooko Nancy Chawola who represented the visiting ministers of RUFORUM partner countries, African countries should put in place vibrant resource mobilization mechanisms to collectively finance Africa’s education and support governments that are battling with competitive budgetary demands.
“For the universities to offer solutions for the challenges the continent is facing, there is need to rebuild the curriculum that responds to our current needs and not what we needed yesterday. Our respective countries are grappling with higher levels of unemployment, can investors assist by producing graduates with entrepreneurial skills so that they are able to employ themselves and others. Of course there will be need to put in place support mechanism for such graduates to take over,” she said.
She equally acknowledged the national regulatory frameworks such as the Malawi Regulation Framework 2063 developed inline with the African Union Agenda 2063 the Africa we want, in which the continent aspires to be prosperous by 2063 through various means such as modernizing agricultural for increased production and productivity there by making people food secure.
She applauded RUFORUM’s efforts towards zero hunger in Africa through its vision 2030. According to Mdooko Nancy Chawola, food security is supposed be prerogative as well highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) that is geared towards ending hunger, attaining food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable development.
In Cameroon, Agriculture and Education have been prioritized as drivers for economic growth and transformation. Through an agricultural flagship program initiated by His Excellence Paul Biya, science programmes and financial services as well as favorable ways of accessing market have been introduced in the country with the aim of transforming agricultural sector into a value added industrialized and integrated system engine of economic growth.
According to Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga- Vice Chancellor, University Buea, the government of Cameroon has resolved to grant its people with education that can help them manage their personal, national and Africa’s present and future economic destiny. In 2022, His excellence Paul Biya endorsed the recruitment process of 2000 lecturers in universities to ensure the quality of higher education in Cameroon.
“Collectively these education reforms and investment actions affordably can transform the people of Cameroon into a strong emerging market. Cameroon carries the highest science female adoptive rate in sub-Saharan Africa at 73%. This is a strong result of government delivery of United Nations SDG 5 of achieving education and build human capital for the country,” he noted.
The Opening Ceremony for the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting unlocked the floor for critical discussions and meetings throughout the week. At the same function, RUFORUM presented a contemporary painting to His Excellence Paul Biya, President of the United Republic of Cameroon in recognition of his outstanding, selfless and patriotic services s to the people of Cameroon and Africa at large.
On 25th October 2023, the RUFORUM Network equally participated in the Cameroon Higher Education Day, the first of its kind in the country.
2nd Issue of Mak-Research & Innovations Fund Bulletin
Welcome to the 2nd Issue of the Mak-RIF Bulletin. Makerere University has continued to receive funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support faculty members to conduct high impact Research and Innovations that contribute to national development.
In this issue of our Bulletin, we share about how the Mak- RIF Research Agenda and themes highlighted there in are guiding and contributing to our operations, awards made in the past financial years, a highlight of the research achievements, impact to-date, and a flash back to some of the fund activities among others.
Dates for 74th Graduation Ceremony
The Academic Registrar wishes to inform the public that the 74th Graduation ceremony will be held from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th January 2024.
DATES FOR THE DIFFERENT COLLEGES/SCHOOLS
DATE: MONDAY, 22nd JANUARY, 2024
- College of Natural Sciences (CONAS)
- College of Health Sciences (CHS)
- School of Law (SOL)
DATE: TUESDAY, 23rd JANUARY, 2024
- College of Education and External Studies (CEES)
- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 24th JANUARY, 2024
- College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS)
- College of Computing and Information Sciences (COCIS)
- College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (COVAB)
DATE: THURSDAY, 25th JANUARY, 2024
- Makerere University Business School (MUBS)
DATE: FRIDAY, 26th JANUARY, 2024
- College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT)
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS)
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