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Mak Awards First Gender-responsive Plant Breeding Course Tailored for ICRISAT Participants



Eighteen (18) researchers from seven (7) Sub-Saharan countries were on Saturday 1st December 2018, awarded Certificates of Participation by Makerere University following the successful completion of the first Gender-responsive Plant breeding course tailored on demand for the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) – a member of the CGIAR consortium.

The tailored course was organized under a five (5) year (2015-2020) Makerere University (Uganda) and Cornell University (USA) joint certificate program in applied gender training for agricultural researchers titled, “Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Esther Njuguna (Left) awards a certificate to one of the participants after the GREAT-TLIII Course

The course was tailored for scientists working on the Tropical Legumes III project implemented by ICRISAT, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and jointly organized by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences(CAES) and the School of Women and Gender Studies(SWGS) at Forest Cottages Bukoto, Kampala, from 26th November to 1st December 2018.

The course attracted social scientists and plant breeders working in National Agricultural Research Systems (NARs) and Universities on various breeding programs under the Tropical Legumes III project from Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria.

L-R: Course Instructors Dr. Jenifer Bisikwa, Dr. Brenda Boonabana and Elizabeth Asiimwe share a light moment after the GREAT-TLIII training

The purpose of the training was to offer skills in gender responsive research, tailored to assist agricultural researchers to address gender issues along the design, implementation, evaluation, and communication pathways of their research projects.

The Tropical Legumes III project (TL-III) is a major international initiative that seeks to develop and deliver seed of improved cultivars of common bean, cowpea, chickpea and groundnut at scale to small-holders, while also fundamentally strengthening plant breeding programs to generate increased rates of genetic gains.  

Participants were taken through a range of topics including: the importance of gender in agriculture, anchoring gender research questions in research projects, gender responsive plant breeding and setting breeding priorities, principles of quantitative and qualitative gender research, engendering data collection methods, women empowerment, and how to develop gender responsive product profiling tools.

Mr. Obura Edward (Right) presents a certificate to one of the participants upon successful completeion of the GREAT-TLIII Course

After an exhaustive and insightful training, participant teams drew and presented work plans for the next steps towards improving the breeding programs in their respective countries

Speaking during the closing ceremony on behalf of the Principal CAES and Makerere University Vice Chancellor, the College Registrar (CAES) Mr. Edward Obura congratulated fellows upon successful completion of the course.

Mr. Obura also commended the role played by CAES and the SWGS in conducting the GREAT Spin-off course.

“I take the pleasure to congratulate the GREAT team and the researchers upon completing the Tropical Legumes III course. Having successfully participated in this course, all of you are now change agents. Go out and transform the world,” he said.  

One of the participants, Agnes Ndunguru from Tanzania shares her testimony about the course

Beyond the award, the course participants – breeders and social scientists alike said they had acquired skills that will transform their work in their respective countries.

“…When conducting the Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS), I considered the number of male and female participating without taking into account the voice of both gender groups which could increase the adoption rate. In addition, gender issues didn't come up in planning activities but only appeared in the middle of activities and in the report when we were supposed to show how many men and women participated, which I thought sufficiently demonstrated that I was gender responsive. From this GREAT-TL III gender training, I acquired good knowledge and skills, and going forward, the Tanzania groundnut breeding program will consider real gender and not the number of female and male participants during the PVS.”  Happy Daudi, a female breeder from Tanzania said.

Chris Sebatta, a male Agricultural Economist working with the Uganda groundnut breeding Program also had this to say,

“…After attending this training course, I have come to realise that as a social economist I have to put on a gender lens whenever doing research whose outcomes will benefit all stakeholders including women and men.  Quantitative research alone cannot bring out the complete story without the qualitative part. Many times, as a social economist, I have always believed in the numbers to explain many agricultural issues without realizing that the qualitative part is as important as the quantitative and that the two are complementary.”

Project Principal Investigator for Makerere University Assoc. Prof. Margaret Mangheni Najjingo speaks during the closing ceremony

The Principal Investigator (PI) Makerere University Assoc. Prof. Margaret Mangheni Najjingo appreciated the participants for undertaking and completing the course.

Dr. Mangheni said, this was the first spin-off following demand by different players to have GREAT short courses.

She appreciated the facilitators for building the trainees’ capacities and in a special way acknowledged the project partners for choosing Makerere University as their trainer towards agricultural gender responsiveness.

“The vision we have as GREAT is to transform the breeding in Sub-Saharan Africa and to close the gender yield gap by considering men and women’s gendered issues in the breeding processes. To do this, we heavily rely on our partners”, she said.

The PI also implored participants to continue engaging and strategizing on transforming the agricultural and poverty security in Africa.

ICRISAT’s Gender Scientist for East and Southern Africa Dr. Esther Njuguna described the course as a success

In her remarks, ICRISAT’s Gender Scientist for East and Southern Africa Dr. Esther Njuguna described the workshop as a success.

“In these 6 days, we have succeeded in having conversations, interrogating ourselves, critiquing our own work, critiquing our colleagues and our peers and getting to the point where we feel we have gotten better.

Let us see to it that this knowledge does not remain theoretic. Let us step out and test it and let us continue sharing the progress amongst ourselves for appropriate performance tracking,” said Dr. Njuguna.

Report compiled by;
Esther Namitala,
Public Relations and Communications,
School of Women and Gender Studies,
Makerere University.


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



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



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




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.

Date: 22nd September, 2022

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