The Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance, Hon. Frank K. Tumwebaze has called for equipping of students with hands-on skills to enable them fit into this fast growing economy. He was speaking at the Makerere University Guest House gardens on Tuesday, 14th May 2019 where hundreds of students and members of the public gathered to witness the launch of Huawei ICT Academy at Makerere University. The function also doubled as the flag off ceremony for ten students flying to China for three weeks’ training at HUAWEI under Seeds for the Future Program.
The Guest of Honor, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze advised all universities to train students on becoming job creators and not job seekers by equipping them with practical skills before they graduate. This he said would enable students to commercialize their skills and earn from them after campus.
“It has come to our notice that most students study for the purpose of graduating and leaving Universities but lack practical skills. This is why the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) is now focusing on universities equipping students with skills and not theories alone,” advised Hon. Tumwebaze.
Giving an example of Mr. Ren Zhengfei the founder of Huawei, Hon Tumwebaze stressed the audience to commercialize their skills so as to benefit from them.
“The Huawei founder realized his skill and worked on it and today his company is earning him billions of money. That’s what young Ugandans should do. When you realize that you have a skill, do not sit back; work hard to improve on it and it will earn you more than you expect,” Hon. Tumwebaze said.
The Minister thanked Huawei for picking interest in skilling young Ugandans through the ICT Academy at Makerere University and requested the company to extend the same services to rural areas so that all Ugandans can get an opportunity to acquire valuable skills.
On behalf of the Ambassador, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in Uganda Mr. Chen Huixin, revealed that Huawei has been carrying out its businesses in Uganda since 2001. He added that Huawei joined the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) campaign in order to promote Uganda’s products and that the Seeds for the Future Program will produce good yields for Uganda.
He emphasized teamwork among members if any progress is to be made, noting that Huawei has reached its current level because of teamwork.
“If you want to travel fast travel alone, if you want to travel far travel together. This means that together we can go beyond and do more and that’s what Huawei is doing in Uganda,” said Mr. Huixin.
The Deputy Chief of Mission challenged the audience to end digital illiteracy by educating others about ICT because it is one of four pillars one looks for in prospective employees. “With technology skills, Uganda will develop at a very fast pace, which will enable the country to join other middle economy countries.”
Addressing the audience, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe shared that Makerere University has signed more than 10 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with China’s leading Universities such as Tsinghua University.
He thanked Huawei for fulfilling its promise to set up the ICT Academy at East Africa’s premier University and emphasised that Makerere is fully committed to working with Government to take the country to middle income status.
Prof. Nawangwe called upon the students as primary beneficiaries to take advantage of the Academy because they are the hope for the future. “Makerere University values the support given to its students by Huawei and given the chance; we are willing to take on even more opportunities.”
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Mr. Alex Kakooza applauded Makerere University for starting up the Confucius Institute which has opened new doors for Ugandans to learn Chinese.
He revealed that the Ministry is ready to work with Seeds for the Future in Makerere and other Universities and called upon students to participate in the in the Huawei ICT Academy activities.
“You will never reach your full potential unless you learn how to serve others,” the Principal College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) Prof. Tonny Oyana advised. This he said to the 10 successful Seeds for the Future students who were being flagged off to China for their trip.
Prof. Oyana informed the audience that the Huawei ICT Academy was initiated in September 2018 with the aim of training and equipping 1,000 Ugandan students in two years. He added that Huawei donated equipment worth 30,000USD and will make a 15,000USD annual cash donation to the gazetted resource Centre to be hosted at CoCIS. The Academy which will be free of charge will also offer certification.
“The aim of the Huawei ICT Academy is to partner with Universities to encourage students to gain skills in the practical field of technology over the next two years,” said the Managing Director Huawei Uganda Mr. Liu Jiawei.
The best students were awarded as follows
- Mr. Katerega Daniel from Makerere University received a Huawei MateBook X, Y7 Smartphone and a trophy.
- Mr. Muwonge Julius from Makerere University and Mr. Musisi Charles from Kyambogo University each received a Huawei Y7 Smartphone, trophy and a certificate.
- Mr. Kiwanuka Brain
- Miss Nabuufu Ereth
- Mr. Rutembana Abais
Excellent students awarded certificates and Y7 Smartphones
- Mr. Kizza Ivan Nobert
- Mr. Ogwang Benjamin
- Miss Moureen Caroline
- Mr. Mugisha Ali
- Mr. Baale Ali
Article by Rachael Kanyi, Volunteer, Mak Public Relations Office
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,907 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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