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Mak revitalizes its press house: Launches website and three scholarly books



On 30th May 2019, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe launched the Makerere University Press website (, an online space for the institution’s scholars and academicians to publish and market their work.

The launch of the Makerere University Press website was a signature effort for the University to revitalize its legendary Makerere University Press. Established in 1940s, the Makerere University Press focuses on publishing transformative and innovative teaching, learning, research and service resources responsive to dynamic national and global needs.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe launching the Makerere University Press website amidst cheers.

The objectives of the Makerere University Press are to:

  1. Publish scholarly monographs, academic texts, reference works, research reports and scholarly journals.
  2. Encourage members of staff and students of the University to publish worthy academic works in books and journal articles of international standard.
  3. Encourage writers from other institutions of higher learning in Uganda to write and publish.
  4. Obtain copyrights from authors and publishers to reproduce essential reading materials.
  5. Publish textbooks for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
  6. Exploit the potential in the publishing market, which is currently underutilized, and so generate income for the University.

According to the Managing Editor, Makerere University Press Dr. Samuel Siminyu, the Mak Press is currently under the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT). The publishing house serves as a link between the public yearning for knowledge and the creators, refiners and distributors of the knowledge.

“The records we have indicate that the Makerere University Press as an idea was born in the 1940s when Uganda was still a British colony. As far back, Makerere University was already a hub of intellectual activities in the region, and the British academics and colonial administrators working here at that time mooted the idea of establishing a University Press at Makerere University as a channel for capturing and sharing these ideas. The idea seems to have fruited in the 1960s but it was short-lived. Only two publications from that period persisted in our records,” he said.

the Managing Editor, Makerere University Press Dr. Samuel Siminyu making remarks.

It is therefore clear from the existing records that Makerere University Press has had a history of starts and halts that stretch back to the late 1960s. About Sixty four (64) publications carry the Makerere University Press imprint. Fifteen others were either co-published with or through other Publishing houses. Makerere University has also produced numerous Open Distance Learning materials under various units of the University. Records also indicate that currently, Makerere University hosts 22 peer-reviewed journals.

At the same function, the Vice Chancellor launched three (3) maiden publications, namely:

  1. Contemporary African Philosophers: A Critical Appraisal by Dr. Wilfred Lajul
  2. The Power of Identity: Imbalu Initiation Ritual Among the Bamasaaba of Uganda by Prof. J.P. Wotsuna Khamalwa
  3. Modernization of Luganda Terminology in the Field of Linguistics by Dr. Saudah Namyalo

Addressing the audience on Thursday, 30th May 2019 at the Senate Conference Hall, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the Makerere University Press Editorial Board and Secretariat, the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training for ensuring that the Makerere University Press regains its grounds to serve the University community.  

The three books that were published by the Mak Press.

In the same spirit, he appreciated authors: Dr.  Saudah Namyalo, Prof. J.P. Wotsuna Khamalwa and Dr. Wilfred Lajul for the commendable scholarly materials rich in African history, cultural and language.

“Today, we celebrate a milestone; the life of Makerere University Press and the individual lives of the authors and the books we are launching. With these publications, we register our presence as an outlet for African scholarly voices. Instead of reaching out through channels that are not our own, we can now reach out to one another and the rest of the world using our own voice and through our own channel,” remarked the Vice Chancellor.

“Let me thank Dr. Lajul for adding our voice to the debate on what constitutes African philosophy; Prof Wotsuna Khamalwa for exposing what imbalu means to the Bamasaaba and their self-identity; and Dr. Namyalo for guiding us on how to grow our local languages by adding new words and representing modern concepts scientifically. The journey has been long and eventful. We have grown to know each other better and to appreciate our humanity – strengths and weaknesses notwithstanding,” he added.

L-R, Dr. George Nasinyama, one of the former handlers of Mak Press, Dr. Josephine Ahikire-Principal College of Humanaties and Social Sciences, DR. Aaron Mushengyezi-Dean School of Languages, Literature and Communication and other invitied guests.

Prof. Nawangwe called upon staff and students to embrace the Makerere University Press and put it to good use. He thanked the Government of Uganda for investing tremendously in Makerere University to undertake research and publish knowledge-generating materials.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi said that Makerere University has for long experienced a deep information-publication gap due to lack of a publication channel of its own.

“Our staff and students have generated data that is useful to society. However, without publishing channels, this data has not been useful. I believe that the University Press will be an easier and friendly channel to our members, not forgetting the quality of the content. Through the Makerere University Press, staff and students will be able to publish materials swiftly and cheaply,” he stated.

The authors of three books; Dr. Wilfred Lajul, Prof. J.P. Wotsuna Khamalwa and Dr. Saudah Namyalo.

Makerere University  Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) who is also the Chairperson of Makerere University Press Editorial Board, Dr. Umar Kakumba, thanked Makerere University Management for allocating funds to the Makerere University Press in the financial year 2018/2019.  He also recognized the support from Carnegie Foundation of New York that financed the initial revitalization activities during the reign of Prof. Eli Katunguka and Dr. George Nasinyama at the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training.  

“We thank those who have helped us along the way: typists and typesetters; reviewers and editors, accountants and book-keepers; colleagues within and without Makerere, the old and new Makerere University Press Editorial Board Members; friends in the publishing fraternity and many others,” he said

In a key note address on Raising African Voices in Scholarly Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities (the Implications of a University Press in Scholarship-Book), Prof. John Opuda-Asibo urged Makerere University to reflect on its efforts, mission and vision while operationalizing the Makerere University Press.

 Prof. John Opuda-Asibo delivering his keynote address on Raising African Voices in Scholarly Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities (the Implications of a University Press in Scholarship-Book)

“We should remind ourselves that the University Press is not a profit oriented venture. The press is basically for knowledge publication and marketing academics ideas. It is not profitable but provides service and visibility. In addition, we should avoid copy and paste. Plagiarism has affected the trend of writing and publication in the scholarly world,” he emphasized.

According to Prof. Opuda-Asibo, to have an active and valued Makerere University Press, staff and students should observe the following while publishing:

  • A Statutory Instrument outlining legal status, operations (management, ethical issues, place and positions of authors, timeframes) and Intellectual Property issues in place for smooth functioning of the university press.
  • A good published book should have: an overview, background information, rational and justification including the scope of the works, investigative questions and answers, procedures and measurement of events, both basic and analytical description and interpretation.
  • The Author must bear in mind the reader’s expectation as you write. The content must be well written in terms of expressions, time frame and quality of the language. What question does the publication answer? Does the title relate to the subject matter? Is there a useful conclusion appropriate to the context and relevance?
  • The reader must look for the reputation of the author, significance of the document, and other people’s reviewed works and knowledge gaps in problems so far solved or unsolved.
  • The reader should be given an opportunity to develop his or her own view as a user or an author of similar works.

The Vice Chacellor posing for a photo with the some of the members of Mak Press Editorial Board, the former handlers of Mak Press and the authors of the ree books that were launched.

Prof. Opuda-Asibo’s keynote address was further enriched by a panel discussion led by Prof. Edward Wamala and Dr. William Tayeebwa. The two panelists provided an insight into the current models of publishing and freedom of speech and expression in Uganda respectively.

Article by Mak Public Relations Office


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Mak Claims Lion’s Share of Jim Leech Fellowship Cohort 1 2020-2021 Awards



Female graduands pose for the camera in January 2018 after a session of the 68th Graduation Ceremony, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. Photo credit: GMD

Makerere University Alumni have claimed the lion’s share of fellowships awarded by Cohort 1 of the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship 2020-2021. According to the recently concluded selection by Queens University, Canada, sixteen (16) out of the sixty (60) Jim Leech Fellows selected are from Makerere University, seven (7) of them being Mastercard Foundation Scholars/Alumni.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana) at eleven (11) had the second highest number of fellows awarded followed by University of Pretoria (South Africa) with seven (7). The University of Abomey Calavi (Benin) followed with four (4) fellows in the program that selected fellows from twenty one (21) institutions.

These included; Africa Nazarene University (Kenya), African Institute for Mathematics (South Africa), Ashesi University (Ghana), Carnegie Mellon University (Rwanda) and Covenant University (Nigeria). Others were Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology all from Nigeria, McGill University (Canada) and Moi University (Kenya).

Mphohadi College (South Africa), Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), Southern New Hampshire University (United States) and United States International University (Kenya) were the others. The list was completed by University for Development Studies (Ghana), University of Gondar (Ethiopia) and University of Cape Town (South Africa).

We congratulate all Jim Leech Fellows 2020-2021 from Makerere University upon their successful selection.

Please see Downloads for the full list.

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Makerere University 87th Guild President, GRCs Sworn In



Mrs Winfred Kabumbuli and 87th Guild President Shamim Nambassa during the Swearing in Ceremony. Photo by Alex Mugalu

The newly elected Makerere University Guild President, Cabinet and Guild Representatives have been sworn in today, 26th November 2021 to effectively commence duties.

The swearing-in-ceremony took place at the CTF 2 Auditorium, presided over by the Dean of Students Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli who represented the Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe.

On a brilliant event graced by many elders, both the outgoing and incoming students’ representatives, a number of guild representatives from Halls of Residence, Colleges, Schools, Persons with Disabilities, Dag Hammarskjold Hall, Kabanyolo hostels and Galloway Hall were sworn in. The Guild President Ms. Shamim Nambassa and her Guild Cabinet were also sworn in.

87th Guild President Shamim Nambassa taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu
87th Guild President Shamim Nambassa taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu

At the beginning of this month, Ms. ShamimNambassa won the Guild Presidential race after garnering 5,610 Valid Votes, representing 54.16% of the total ballot count. Ms. Nambassa replaced Ivan Ssempijja in the office.

After swearing in, H.E. Nambassa said she is excited to lead the student guild that will usher in Makerere’s 100 years of existence celebrations. “I assume office at a very critical time when Makerere University is about to celebrate 100 years. For the 87 years of the 100 the students’ guild has been around but I am only the 5th lady out of the 87,” Nambassa briefly stated.

Representing the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Students Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli applauded the outgoing Guild leadership for the good leadership they have exhibited during their term of service.

GRCs taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu
GRCs taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu

“I thank the outgoing guild leadership led by Ivan Ssempijja for the outstanding performance. I must admit that they contributed to quality enhancement of academic and social well being of students.”

Mrs. Kabumbuli also acknowledged the central role played by the guild electoral commission led by chairman William Kananga for organising a petition-less election. “The electoral commission, thank you very much, you are exceptional, excellent much less unsurpassed, indeed you were fit for the purpose, you deserve all the accolades,” she said.

Students With Disabilities swearing in. Photo by Alex Mugalu
Students With Disabilities swearing in. Photo by Alex Mugalu

In a speech read by the Dean of Students, the Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated the newly elected leaders for the triumph. “I congratulate all those who stood for various posts and were successfully elected as well as those who have been appointed in various positions of the executive leadership of the guild, I warmly congratulate you. I also thank the voters who turned up to vote in big numbers”.

Professor Nawangwe also appealed to the newly sworn-in leaders to cooperate with University administration to ensure the wellbeing of students.

 “To the new guild leadership, I appeal to you to begin your work with dedication and humility knowing very well that you have been called upon to serve your university beyond self. Please pay special attention to the University Council, the Senate, the College Boards and other statutory organs, the GRC as well as policies, procedures and regulations of the University. In particular, the guild leadership should join Management to encourage students to pay fees in the remaining time,” Prof Nawangwe added.

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School of Statistics and Planning receives ICT equipment worth $500,000



The School of Statistics and Planning today received a consignment of ICT equipment worth $500,000 from the East African Community. The purchase of the equipment was facilitated by funding from the World Bank to the East African Community.
The equipment was this morning received by Dr. JB Asiimwe, the HoD of Planning and Applied Statistics, Mr David Kisitu, the Systems Administrator and Mr Frank Namugera from the Department of Planning and Applied Statistics.
The equipment includes 153 desktop computers, laptops, digital cameras, computer tables, power banks, UPS, cooling systems, security cameras, network accessories and computer chairs among other things.
The equipment will go a long way in improving teaching and learning as the university moves to be a research led institution.

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