The Makerere University-Sweden Bilateral Research Programme’s Annual Planning Meeting (APM) 2019 got off to an inspiring start as participating institutions underlined their intention to comply with the theme; Building a Collaborative Research Future. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe’s remarks on Ugandan partner universities working on exit strategy to sustain the research investments beyond 2020 and reactions from Swedish partners expressing willingness to collaborate with Session 1 presenters on application of research findings all clearly attested to this.
Addressing participants and dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the APM on Monday, 8th April 2019, the Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, H.E. Per Lindgärde welcomed the discussion on strengthening the ownership and securing the sustainability of his Government’s investment in Uganda’s research over the past twenty years.
“Despite the challenges faced in the implementation of this programme, 361 scholars have been recruited and a number of new curricula have been developed. I congratulate you for this and other important achievements” remarked Ambassador Lindgärde.
He nevertheless urged the implementing Ugandan Public Universities to strengthen the quality of supervision and put in place systems for monitoring and analyzing data concerning student progress on the programme.
Earlier, Ambassador Lindgärde had noted with pleasure the Uganda Government’s plans to review the Higher Education Sector Strategic Plan and National Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation. “This will help to facilitate the very much needed transformation of the Higher Education Sector in Uganda and reequip the sector with the policies and resources to make it a dynamic engine that can help power the Ugandan economy as stated in the Vision 2040.”
The Ambassador also thanked the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) students for singing Swedish Anthem “so beautifully.”
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe thanked the Government of Uganda for allocating UGX30billion in the 2019/2020 financial year to support research at Makerere University. This, he noted, would go a long way in enabling Makerere’s pool of researchers; including over 250 PhDs and 100 Masters and 50 Postdoctoral fellows trained under the Bilateral Research Programme since 2000, to gainfully contribute to national development.
“This support has greatly improved the research culture of the University. I must say that many proposals are now being funded both in the basic and social sciences. Our publications have also greatly increased and this achievement is largely due to the support from Government of Sweden through Sida.
“The Swedish support has enabled us to implement all our research priorities including Health and Health Systems; Agricultural Transformation, Food Security and Livelihoods; Natural Resources Governance and Climate Change; Education and Education Systems; Governance, Culture, Social Justice and Sustainable Development; Science and Technology. The cross-cutting areas include Biotechnology, Knowledge Translation, Gender and Human Resource Development” added the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Nawangwe further noted that Makerere University has with the support of Sida been able to establish strong collaborations with leading universities including those from Sweden. “We have learnt best practices from these universities and also benefitted from joint supervision, which has ensured high quality of our graduates.”
In this regard, he thanked Swedish institutions such as Karolinska Institute for working with Ugandan universities on programmes beyond the current phase of Swedish Government support. The final phase of the Makerere-University Sweden Bilateral Research Programme runs until June 2020.
The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) and Overall Sida Programme Coordinator, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi noted that the five-day APM has been organised to provide an opportunity for the five Ugandan Public Universities to share research findings, take stock of performances as per the agreed research undertakings and engage with policy to transform society.
“In recent years, Makerere has placed more emphasis on research and scholarly productivity of faculty. Despite the regional faculty shortage, we were able to recruit and appoint a number of PhD-prepared and research-active faculty and to support junior faculty to get their PhDs. Capacity building has been a major goal of the University and will continue to be so in the future” reassured Prof. Buyinza.
Prof. Buyinza also introduced participants from the eleven Swedish collaborating institutions namely; Stockholm University, Karolinska Institute, University of Boras, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, University of Gothenburg, Uppsala University, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Linköping University and Mälardalen University.
The APM’s Science Day presentations kicked off in a session chaired by the Sida Programme Coordinator in Kyambogo University, Assoc. Prof. Nabalegwa Wambede. Dr. Gaston Ampek Tumuhimbise from the Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition, Makerere University presented on the use of amaranth leaves and skimmed milk powders to enrich orange fleshed sweet potato flour while Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)’s Mr. Vincent Mwesigye presented on the sero-antigen prevalence, risk factors of lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis in Busiriba, Kamwenge District.
However, the shock and awe moment of the day belonged to Mr. Okot Fred David whose presentation on partial findings of characterisation of anti-venom compounds from selected plants locally used for treatment of snakebites in Uganda left the audience gaping. His findings will seek to document and determine the anti-venom potential of medicinal plants used by traditional medical practitioners to treat snakebites since time immemorial. This indigenous knowledge, he observed, is sadly not so prevalent among the youth and risks being lost with the passing on of the older generations.
Article by Public Relations Office
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
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.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
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.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa
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Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…