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Mak support staff trained in customer care, sustainable investment and retirement planning

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On 25th October 2018, the National Union of Educational Institutions of Uganda (NUEI)-Makerere University Branch with support of the University Management organized a workshop to train Makerere University Support Staff on improving customer care services. Officially opened by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the one-day workshop introduced participants to sustainable investment ideas and viable procedures of planning for their retirement.

The Vice Chancellor thanked Makerere University Support Staff for serving the University diligently.  He urged staff to have a positive attitude towards their jobs and encouraged them to handle university customers with respect and care. “Students are our number one customers; we should therefore handle them with respect. Next on the list are the parents, visitors, collaborators among others,” said the Vice Chancellor.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Director of Human Resource Mr. Andrew Abunyang and Hajati Sharifa Buzeki during the workshop.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe encouraged staff to market and promote Makerere University’s achievements when he said, “Makerere University belongs to all of us.  We are the University, we must therefore protect its reputation and image. What we do will either lift its name or tarnish it.”

The Director of Human Resources, Mr. Andrew Abuyang appealed to staff to perform their duties with commitment and humility. “We should be proud of the organization that we are working with, be able to defend it. Most of us derive our livelihoods from here,” he explained.

The Chairperson of the National Union of Educational Institutions of Uganda (NUEI)-Makerere University Branch Mr. Twesigye Bruce emphasized the need to promote and recognize outstanding workers. According to him, this will increase productivity and efficiency among staff.

The National Union of Educational Institutions of Uganda (NUEI)-Makerere University Branch Mr. Twesigye Bruce.

The well attended workshop, kicked off with a presentation from Hajati Sharifa Buzeki, Commissioner of Human Resource Management, Ministry of Public Service on proper customer care services. According to Hajati Buzeki, customer care is a vital element of institution- client relationship and can strongly impact the operations of the institution and its image. It consists of a collective set of policies that govern how the institution and its employees interact with its customers.

Therefore, to win the hearts of customers, she urged support staff to serve the clients with a positive attitude and humility. She also advised them to have respect to customers’ interests, use need technical support and knowledge to enhance the level of customer satisfaction.

 Hajati Buzeki interacting with participants.

“For Institutions like Makerere University to thrive, we should improve on how we handle clients. The Principle of Customer care states that; ‘do to the people what you want to be done to you’. We should therefore deliver well to the people’s expectations.  At its core, quality customer service is about making sure our customers feel they are valued, treated fairly and appreciated,” she said.

Taking participants through the viable procedures of planning for their retirement, Mr. Joseph Njuguna, Manager for Scheme Operations at Octagon Uganda Limited said that retirees can easily lose all their benefits from late life experimental investments and can suffer personal life mishaps if they do not plan well for their retirement.

According to Mr. Njuguna, workers tend to perceive retirement more as a distant phenomenon. For many workers, retirement comes as a shock that is hard to contain.

75% of retirees who are paid lump-sum benefits consume them. He also illustrated that for lump-sum benefits received by retirees and invested in a business, 48% turned out to be unprofitable, 31% had operating profitability, and 21% collapsed.

“We need to have a solid plan for our desired lifestyle after retirement. We should make a financial plan, engage our legal officers, think of an income that will sustain us and be able to cater for both our insurance and medical needs. Remember that the more we age, the more we are susceptible to suffer from different illnesses. We should not look at our children as some form of insurance strategy. We need to be able to sustain ourselves with a good degree of independence since we have our retirement benefits as a starting point,” he said.

He demonstrated that about 75% of retirees who are paid lump-sum benefits consume them. He also illustrated that for lump-sum benefits received by retirees and invested in a business, 48% turned out to be unprofitable, 31% had operating profitability, and 21% collapsed.

He introduced members to a new retirement income option of Annuities; designed to protect people from the risk of outliving their income. According to him, Annuity arrangements allow the retiree to have guaranteed income for life or for a convenient number of years after retirement.

Mr. Joseph Njuguna, Manager for Scheme Operations at Octagon Uganda Limited said that retirees can easily lose all their benefits from late life experimental investments and can suffer personal life mishaps if they do not plan well for their retirement.

“This follows a stipulated premium paid by the person seeking the annuity (annuitant) either through prior instalments or in a single payment, such as a member’s accumulated (prescribed portion or all) benefits upon retirement. Annuities are provided by insurance companies which are licensed to provide this service in accordance with the Law,” he said.

Mr. Njuguna briefed participants on how to create suitable and sustainable businesses. He advised workers to always invest in businesses or services in which they have experience or knowledge. “Being a professor at University, does not guarantee that you are a professor in poultry farming. You need to invest wisely, ensure that the business or investment idea you are undertaking is in line with your knowledge, experience and interest in order to avoid severe losses. Before you start a business, know its challenges,” he advised.

One of the particpants raising her points during the workshop.

The Principal of the College of Computing and Information Sciences Prof. Tonny Oyana advised staff to use the financial wisdom given by God when investing in businesses.  “God designed us to thrive and gave us a business model. God says if you are hardworking, He will reward you and if you are lazy you will die of poverty. Work hard and plan for yourself and your family,” he said.

Mr. Joseph Musoke, the representative of the support staff on the Makerere University Council, thanked the organizers for the successful workshop. He also appreciated the presenters for the informative and inspirational interactions.

Article by Nabatte Proscovia, Mak Public Relations Office.

 

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Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education

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Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu (L) receives a plaque and citation from RUFORUM Board Member and Vice Chancellor Ndejje University-Professor Eriabu Lugujjo (Right) on 6th May 2021 at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Plot 155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus,

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.

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022. Photo credit: AfDB

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.

Application Procedures

  1. Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
  2. Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
  3. University evaluates and selects applicants.
  4. University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
  5. AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
  6. AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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