On the Friday afternoon of September 14th, 2018, Assoc. Prof. Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye stepped down as Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics which is in Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), paving way for Assoc. Prof. Noah Kiwanuka to succeed him. The well-attended ceremony which took in MakSPH Boardroom had a representative from the University administration, the Dean of MakSPH, Assoc. Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze , and representatives of the Chairs of the other departments in MakSPH.
The anticipation before the event was validated by the occasion itself, as the audience had quite an overabundance of tribute to the outgoing chair, Assoc. Prof. Mbona, as speaker after speaker continued to accord acclaim to him for his contribution to the department.
In his remarks, Assoc. Prof. Nazarius Mbona thanked members of the department for the tireless work they had done in propelling the department as far as it had come, singling out the Dean, Prof. Fredrick Makumbi, and Prof. Fred Wabwire – Mangen, as colleagues who had stood out from the rest, as very helpful in the work he has been doing as a Department Chair. “I wish everybody goes through holding an office like this, so that the CV shows progress; but also to understand how to work. You cannot fail to pick a call from the Department Chair if you have been one before”, he remarked.
He also revealed that it was during his tenure that MakSPH had started offering the Master of Health Informatics program; adding that now a new course had been approved for this ongoing semester – the Master of Science in Biostatistics.
He assured the Assoc. Prof. Kiwanuaka, incoming Chair of undivided assistance whenever and wherever possible, to sustain the performance of the department. He also encouraged him to embrace the use of social media especially WhatsApp as a communication tool. Assoc. Prof. Tumwesigye also brought to attention some issues which needed urgent attention in the department, most pressing among them being the quality of teaching and supervision. To that, he added the responsibility of having to oversee everything in the department, including having knowledge on them all. “Space is also another big, big challenge in the School of Public Health”, he revealed.
In his deliberation, Assoc. Prof. Kiwanuka appreciated the work done by his predecessor, Assoc. Prof. Mbona, especially with the remedial actions taken in overturning the image of the department in light of the failure rate of students. He also thanked the Dean for her efforts in increasing the teaching, comprehension and completion rates of the students. He pledged to make sure that above all else, the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department fulfills its primary role.
Assoc. Prof. Kiwanuka reminded the audience about the role of the department in most, if not all, of the academic programs at the school. He also urged colleagues to look at graduate students differently, noting that the student of yesterday is the colleague of today, and the boss of tomorrow. He pledged himself to only one term four years in office as Chair, vowing that every other idea to act otherwise would never see the light of day.
The Dean of MakSPH, added her voice to the tons of gratitude heaped on Assoc. Prof. Mbona for working really well with the School, revealing that she is his former student. She revealed that the outgoing Chair has been very flexible whenever called upon. She also commended him for communicating well, taking advice excellently, and pursuing issues with a passion, urging the incoming chair Assoc. Prof. Kiwanuka, to act likewise, and even much more. Assoc. Prof. Wanyenze further urged him to read and keep abreast of the policies of the university. She particularly referred to the human resource manual and promised that MakSPH would give the new Chair an orientation separate from what the university would do in due time.
The Dean revealed that she views the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics as a goldmine for MakSPH which should be exploited referencing the challenge of big data, and the impact that the department can have on providing solutions to that challenge. Assoc. Prof. Wanyenze (pictured right) also revealed that the issue of space was one for which sleep was having none of her. “Many people are helping, and university management has also been supportive. We want to do a ground-breaking maybe later this year, or probably early next year”, she disclosed, adding that efforts were underway to start the first phase of the building. She also requested members to engage in these efforts, promising to give credit to whoever will make a contribution.
Also in attendance was Prof. Fred Wabwire – Mangen who is a former Dean of MakSPH, Prof. David Guwatudde who is a former Chair of the Department, staff members of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, representatives of chairs of other departments, Mr. Abraham Matovu who represented the Makerere University College of Health Sciences’ Human Resource Department, and the internal auditor MakSPH, Mr. Dembe Amos Ashaba. Dr. Simon Kasasa was the Master of Ceremonies.
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.
But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.
He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.
He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.
So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.
Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.
About the JADS program
The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline. The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.
The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
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