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Prof. Tukamuhabwa Wins UBBC Biotechnology Award 2018

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Makerere University’s prolific Plant Breeder Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa has won the Biotechnology Award 2018 during the first Annual Biotechnology Awards ceremony by the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafesty Consortium (UBBC) on Wednesday, 19th September 2018.

The award is in honor of his immense contribution to socio- economic development through biotechnology, scientific research and innovations.

Prof. Tukamubwa’s current research thrust is in genetics of resistance to soybean rust disease and development of varieties that are resistant to soybean rust, groundnut leaf miners and adzuki bean bruchids. These efforts are integrated with adaptation of soybean genotypes to farmers’ conditions and research on soybean seed systems.

Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa shows off his UBBC Biotechnology Researcher Award 2018

He has spearheaded the development of soybean varieties; Maksoy 6N, Maksoy5N, Maksoy 4N, Maksoy 3N, Maksoy 2N, Maksoy 1N, Namsoy 4M, Namsoy 3 and Nam 2 and  climbing bean varieties; Nabe 12C, Nabe 9C, Nabe 8C, Nabe 7C and Nabe 6C. All these varieties are widely grown at commercial level in Uganda and the region.

Tukamuhabwa has also pioneered development of glyphosate tolerant soybeans in Africa, in containment at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK). Glyphosate is a non selective herbicide that kills all plant forms except crops engineered to glyphosate resistance.

One of the biggest challenges in soybean production is the high cost of weeding hindering large scale production and profits to farmers.

A close up of Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa's UBBC Biotechnology Researcher Award 2018

Prof. Tukamuhabwa’s idea is to develop an agronomically acceptable soybean variety which when sprayed with glyphosate will be tolerant, unlike other plants and weeds in the garden.

The Professor explained that this type of soybean however, is not an ordinary soybean. It is genetically modified, that is, there is a transgene to cause resistance to the glyphosate.

“Glyphosate-tolerant soybean reduces time required for weeding, the cost of weeding and avails more time to the farmer and makes soybean productive and more profitable.

All the current soybean varieties produced at Makerere University are conventional and non-GMO.

GMO soybean is being grown in containment under regulations established by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST)”, Prof. Tukamuhabwa clarified.

Prof. Tukamuhabwa inspects some of his soybean trial fields at MUARIK, CAES, Makerere University, Wakiso Uganda

About Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa

Phinehas Tukamuhabwa is a Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Makerere University), Master of Science (University of Bath, UK) and a PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding (Makerere University).

He has acquired knowledge and skills in Genetics, Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Seed Science and Technology and Intellectual Property Management.

Tukamuhabwa has supervised and mentored many young scholars and scientists.

Before joining Makerere University, he worked with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) as a Plant Breeder.

He has served two terms on the National Biosafety Committee and is currently on the National Seed Board and several committees at Makerere University.

Prof. Tukamuhabwa has also served as the Director of Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) from 2013 to date.

About Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafesty Consortium (UBBC)

Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (UBBC) is a coalition of stakeholders with common cause to safeguard the advancement of Biotechnology for socio-economic development and transformation in the country.

UBBC is uniquely born out of a strong need for a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and multi-competence organisation around a common cause.

UBBC works towards the development of health, agriculture, environment, trade and social justice and, is among the stakeholders involved in ensuring Biosafety Legislation for Uganda right from the time of its formation.

The UBBC has organized annual biotechnology award ceremony to honor individuals who have contributed immensely to socio-economic development through biotechnology.

This annual event provides a platform for periodical information to the country and policy makers on current developments in the field of science and innovation. This is in line with the country’s vision of attaining a lower middle-income status by 2020 through bio-economy.

This year 2018, UBBC has recognized winners with awards inform of plaques in the fields of biotechnology in the following categories:

  • Biotechnology  Innovator/Researcher (who have excelled in research and innovation of biotechnology products to solve challenges faced by stakeholders)
  • Biotechnology Entreprenuer (who have rolled out their research to commercialization stage)
  • Biotechnology Communicator (who have excelled in sensitization and outreach in biotechnology to stakeholders in the media and community space)
  • Champions (who have excelled in mentoring and advocacy of biotechnology among stake holders)

The Objectives of the UBBC are to identify and inspire innovators in the bio-economy in Uganda, establish linkages through the value chain from research to the market and, to motivate bio-innovators with awards.

Report Compiled by;
Jane Anyango;
Principal Communication Officer, CAES.

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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution

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Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative

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By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23

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Mak-Undergraduate-Admissions-2021-2022

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).

The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.

Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.

Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.

For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022

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