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Mak-Tsinghua Partnership to Establish Public Safety Lab

L-R: Ambassador Henry Mayega, Prof. Chen Jianguo, Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and University Secretary-Mr. Charles Barugahare during the Tsinghua delegation's visit on18th December 2018, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

A delegation from Tsinghua University’s Institute of Public Safety Research (IPSR) on Tuesday, 18th December 2018 met the Vice Chancellor, Members of Management together with representatives from the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and held discussions on the proposed establishment of a Public Safety Laboratory at Makerere University. The delegation led by Prof. Chen Jianguo also consisted of Prof. Pang Wenjun and Prof. Zhang Tengbin. They were accompanied by Ambassador Henry Mayega, Uganda’s Deputy Head of Mission in the Peoples Republic of China.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe shared that the Tsinghua delegation was on a five-day; 17th to 21st December 2018, return visit to Makerere, following his visit to China earlier this month.

“I would like to thank Prof. Jianguo for the warm reception accorded to the Makerere delegation during our recent visit and tour of the Hefei Institute for Public Safety Research. I also thank Ambassador Mayega for receiving us in China and accompanying us throughout our stay in China. Ambassador Mayega is not only an alumnus but also our very own ambassador who is very enthusiastic about creating opportunities for Makerere in China, especially with Tsinghua, Asia’s top university” remarked the Vice Chancellor.

Ambassador Henry Mayega-Uganda's Deputy Head of Mission in China (L) and Tsinghua's Prof. Chen Jianguo at the joint meeting to discuss public safety, management, research and establishment of a Lab at Mak

Prof. Nawangwe informed the visiting delegation that Makerere is a comprehensive University whose research output is ranked among the top five institutions in Africa. “Our students excel internationally and we probably have the largest number of collaborations in Africa, over a hundred of them being active, and as many as thirty with institutions in the USA, particularly in the fields of health and HIV/AIDS.”

The Vice Chancellor further noted that Makerere and Uganda had a lot to learn from the expertise developed by IPSR over the decade, especially in the area of public safety and emergency management technology and research. He therefore reiterated the University’s commitment to work with Tsinghua University to jointly establish a Public Safety Laboratory at Makerere. This, he envisaged, could serve as a Central National Laboratory for Ugandan Government agencies in the area of public safety management and research.

In his remarks, Prof. Jianguo thanked the Vice Chancellor and all present for the warm reception accorded to his delegation. He shared that Tsinghua; founded in 1911, is a comprehensive University with a special focus on Engineering and Technology.

Tshinghua University's Prof. Chen Jianguo makes his presentation at the meeting

“Tsinghua and the Chinese Government are very good friends and in 2003, we helped to establish the China National Emergency Response Platform, with more than two hundred and fifty City-level platforms extended to several areas such as public safety management, public transport management, environment safety management and early warning systems for natural disaster management” shared Prof. Jianguo.

He noted that Uganda, just like China is developing rapidly, which presents more challenges for public safety. “We therefore need technology to solve these challenges and support public safety management efforts by Government” added Prof. Jianguo.

A presentation by the Tsinghua delegation showed that the IPSR was founded in 2003 with four focus areas namely; education of public safety students, academic research, provision of services to governments, enterprises and stakeholders, and being the Chinese Government’s Public Safety Think Tank.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) hands over a souvenir Mak tie to Prof. Chen Jianguo at the conclusion of the talks at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Tsinghua University has more than fifty profitable companies, the largest being the Unisplendour Corporation Limited (UNIS) worth approximately US$50billion. IPSR is the Chinese National base for public safety, science and technology development. The Institute has provided Smart solutions such as the; Ecuador 911 Emergency Management System, Angola Public Safety Management, Macao Command Centre, Singapore Intelligent Video Monitoring System among others.

In the reactions that followed the presentation, UPF’s Commissioner of Planning CP Henry Tumwesigye thanked Tsinghua University for the presentation. He noted that although the Force has various capabilities in the areas of public safety management, there was still need to develop an integrated approach that synchronises all the various operations. He therefore hoped that collaborations with Makerere University and partners such as Tsinghua would go a long way in helping to unpack and repackage the Force’s various solutions.

The KCCA representative Mr. Henry Kizito expressed his privilege at attending the meeting and noted that the Mak-Tsinghua partnership would benefit the proposed Kampala Smart City Project. In September 2018, the former KCCA Executive Director Mrs. Jennifer Musisi signed two major pacts with the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization (WeGO) at the Seoul Digital Summit in South Korea. WeGO’s mission is to promote and facilitate the transformation of cities to Smart Sustainable Cities worldwide.

The Tsinghua delegation accompanied by Amb. Henry Mayega (3rd L) with DICTS staff during their tour of the NOC. 4th Right is the Director DICTS-Mr. Samuel Paul Mugabi while 6th Right is Mak Principal PRO-Ms. Ritah Namisango

The Tsinghua delegation also toured the Directorate for ICT Support (DICTS) Network Operating Centre at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) and the Main Library. The delegation is also scheduled to visit the; Ministry of Health’s Emergency Response Centre, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology (CEDAT), School of Public Health (MakSPH) and the UPF Emergency Response Facility.

Article by Public Relations Office

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