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Prof. Kaaya Wins AU Agent of Change for Aflatoxin Control Award 2018

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Makerere University’s Senior nutritionist Prof. Archileo Kaaya has been selected for the African Union (AU) Award 2018 as an Agent of change for Aflatoxin Control in Africa by the Third Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA). Prof. Kaaya will be recognized during the Third PACA Partnership Platform Meeting to be held from 2nd to 4th October 2018, in Dakar, Senegal.

A letter from PACA Secretariat written to Prof. Achileo Kaaya reads in part:

“We are very pleased to inform you that you have been selected as the recipient of the African Union recognition of agents of change for aflatoxin control Africa in the category of Research and Technology.

You will be receiving your certificate of recognition from the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the AU at the Third PACA Partnership Platform Meeting, 2 to 4 October 2018, in Dakar, Senegal.

The response to the call for nomination of candidates was remarkable with dozens of candidates from across Africa nominated under five categories. Congratulations!”

Prof. Archileo Kaaya, the AU Agent of Change for Aflatoxin Control Award Winner 2018

Archileo Kaaya is a Professor and the Head, Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, under the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

He holds a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), Makerere University, 1988;  a Master of Science from the University of Florida, USA, 1995 and a PhD, Makerere University/Virginia Tech, USA, 2005.

His area of specialty is Mycotoxin Management in foods and feeds and Post harvest handling of fresh produce.

Kaaya has been working for Makerere University as a Professor, Lecturer and Researcher in the field of Food Science and Nutrition for 27 years. He has over 35 Research items, 5,360 Reads and 368 Citations. He has done a lot of research on aflatoxins.

Aflatoxins are harmful substances produced by fungi in food.

In a bid to save lives that would be lost to liver cancer and a host of many diseases as well as disorders caused by aflatoxins, the AU Commission enacted  a continental scorecard to help monitor the progress made by different countries in controlling aflatoxins.

Prof. Archileo Kaaya (L) chats with Dr. Stephen Lwasa (R) at the CAADP Malabo Declaration Action Planning Meeting

This move was announced by Dr. Amare Ayalew, the Program Manager of the AU’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) at the Second Partners Platform Meeting (PPM) organized by PACA in Entebbe Uganda in October 2016.

The plan for monitoring and evaluation of aflatoxin control followed a June 2016outbreak in Tanzania that claimed the lives of some citizens.

Outbreaks come as a surprise for many due to lack of information. The patients have symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, ascites and jaundice, which are similar to those associated with acute aflatoxin poisoning.

Prof. Kaaya has conducted research and authored/co-authored a number of articles including:

  • Summary of Gender Report for Peanut CRSP VT 54: Gender issues in Aflatoxin Incidence and Control in Peanut Production in Uganda
  • The effect of delayed harvest on moisture content, insect damage, moulds and aflatoxin contamination of maize in Mayuge district of Uganda
  • Peanut Aflatoxin Levels on Farms and in Markets of Uganda
  • Fungal Microflora Causing Maize Ear Rots in Uganda and Associated Aflatoxins
  • The effect of storage time and agroecological zone on mould incidence and aflatoxin contamination of maize from traders in Uganda
  • Factors Affecting Aflatoxin Contamination of Harvested Maize in the Three Agroecological Zones of Uganda
  • Incidence and Severity of Maize Ear Rots and Factors Responsible for Their Occurrence in Uganda
  • Factors associated with fumonisin contamination of maize in Uganda
  • Effect of solar drying on the quality and acceptability of jackfruit leather
  • Mould and Aflatoxin Contamination of Dried Cassava Chips in Eastern Uganda: Association with Traditional Processing and Storage Practices
  • Drying Maize Using Biomass-Heated Natural Convection Dryer Improves Grain Quality During Storage
  • Fatty acid composition of seed oils from selected wild plants of Kahuzi-Biega National Park and surroundings, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Oil content and physicochemical characteristics of some wild oilseed plants from Kivu region Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Diversity of Gibberella fujikuroi Species Complex Isolated from Maize Produced in Uganda
  • Realization of the right to adequate food and the nutritional status of land evictees: A case for mothers/caregivers and their children in rural Central Uganda
  • Predictors of Stunting in Children Aged 6 to 59 Months: A Case–Control Study in Southwest Uganda
  • Nutrition, hygiene, and stimulation education to improve growth, cognitive, language, and motor development among infants in Uganda: A cluster‐randomized trial
  • Risk factors for stunted growth among children aged 6–59 months in rural Uganda
  • The Spirit Project: Strengthening the Capacities for Fostering Innovation Along Potato Value Chains in East Africa
  • A Review of Production, Post-Harvest Handling and Marketing of Sweetpotatoes in Kenya and Uganda
  • Contribution of forest foods to dietary intake and their association with household food insecurity: A cross-sectional study in women from rural Cameroon
  • Shift in performance of food safety management systems in supply chains: Case of green bean chain in Kenya versus hot pepper chain in Uganda
  • Mid-infrared spectroscopy for discrimination and classification of Aspergillus spp. contamination in peanuts
  • Assessing the Status of Food Safety Management Systems for Fresh Produce Production in East Africa: Evidence from Certified Green Bean Farms in Kenya and Noncertified Hot Pepper Farms in Uganda
  • Characterization of Invasion of Genus Aspergillus on Peanut Seeds Using FTIR-PAS
  • Nutrients and bioactive compounds content of Baillonella toxisperma, Trichoscypha abut and Pentaclethra macrophylla from Cameroon
  • Composition of Fatty Acids and Tocopherols Content in Oilseeds of Six Wild Selected Plants from Kahuzi-Biega National Park/DR. Congo
  • Fatty Acids and Tocopherols Content in Fractionated Oils from Five Wild Oilseed Plants Native to Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Kivu-DR Congo
  • Farmers, peanuts, and aflatoxins in Uganda: A gendered approach
  • Dynamics of Fusarium and fumonisins in maize during storage – A case of the traditional storage structures commonly used in Uganda
  • Potential for Fumonisin Production by the Strains of Gibberella fujikuroi Species Complex Isolated from Maize Produced in Uganda
  • Diversity of Gibberella fujikuroi Species Complex Isolated from Maize Produced in Uganda
  • Effect of Solarization on Mould Incidence, Moisture Content and Germination Percentage of Maize From Farmers and Traders in Mayuge District of Uganda

Prof. Kaaya is the third CAES Professor to receive an outstanding award this year. Prof. Noble Banadda recently won the Pius XI Gold Medal Gold medal 2018 while Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa won the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafesty Consortium (UBBC) Research Award 2018.

The CAES community celebrates as congratulatory messages continue to flow in.

“Congratulations Prof. Kaaya for this recognition. Thanks for flying Makerere's banner high. As CAES we continue counting God's blessings.” CAES Principal, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha posted.

“Congratulations Prof. Kaaya. You are one of the few scientists who have consistently pursued  your field of research and avoided pastoralism brought about by the winds of change  in sources of global funding.

This is something that can be emulated by the young scientists especially energised by this continental achievement”, Dr. Fred Kabi wrote.

“Prof. Kaaya, Congratulations for such a great achievement. Your success is our passion. You have made us proud and may the Lord grant you more,” said Dr. Stephen Lwasa

Report compiled by;
Jane Anyango
Principal Communication Officer, CAES

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Rotary International President visits Mak

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The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

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.

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Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

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The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

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.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “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.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

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.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“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.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

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.

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Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal

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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

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