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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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Prof. Bazeyo Named 2021 Tufts University Honorary Degree Recipient



Professor William Bazeyo

Professor William Bazeyo, a Professor of occupational medicine in the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) has been named as one of six Tufts University honorary degree recipients for the Class of 2021. The announcement published 20th April 2021 on the Tufts University one-stop site for news mentions that Prof. Bazeyo will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

The award is in recognition of Prof. Bazeyo’s leadership in research focusing on One Health Innovation and Control of Tobacco use among others. The award also takes note of his service as former Dean MakSPH as well as chair of several boards including Uganda’s National Research and Innovation Fund under the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

The other recipients named alongside Prof. Bazeyo include; Maria B. Barrett-honorary Doctor of Public Service, Stacey B. Gabriel-honorary Doctor of Science, Hamdi Ulukaya-honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Ofelia Zepeda-honorary Doctor of Letters, and Bryan Stevenson-honorary Doctor of Laws. The latter will also deliver the commencement address to the Tufts Class of 2021 in a virtual ceremony due to be held on 23rd May.

Makerere University congratulates Professor William Bazeyo upon his meritorious achievement.

Click here for the full announcement.

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Embassy of Japan Donates Books to Mak Library



Japanese Ambassador to Uganda-H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto (R), Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd Right), University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha (C), Deputy University Librarian-Dr. Ruth Nalumaga (2nd L) and Dr. Edith Nautukunda-Togboa (L back to camera) pose for photo during the handover of books the University Library on 20th April 2021.

The Ambassador of Japan to Uganda H.E. Fukuzawa Hidemoto during his first official visit to Makerere University on 20th April 2020 handed over a donation 52 books and launched the Japanese Corner in the Main University Library. The donation of books on contemporary Japan was made possible by the Nippon Foundation through the “READ JAPAN PROJECT”.

Welcoming the Ambassador, the University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha shared that at over 12,000 square metres and seating capacity of over 2,800, the Library was one of the biggest in Africa. She added that the Library has special access and facilities for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and offers the Document Delivery Service for any materials that library users both on and off campus may require, among other services.

Turning to the benefits of digitization, the Librarian shared that though physically closed, the University Library continued serving users during the COVID-19 orchestrated lockdown thanks to its vast array of over 27,000 electronic journals and other digital resources. She therefore thanked the Ambassador for the book donation, which would enhance the library’s ability to serve the needs of its diverse users.

“The book donation has already been processed by our staff and can be accessed through the electronic catalog on the Library’s website from anywhere in the world” added Dr. Byamugisha.

Japanese Ambassador to Uganda-H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto (R) and the Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) look at some of the titles during the handover of books the University Library on 20th April 2021.
Japanese Ambassador to Uganda-H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto (R) and the Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) look at some of the titles during the handover ceremony on 20th April 2021.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said that Makerere University has enjoyed a good relationship with the Government and people of Japan, which resulted in the construction of the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) building, home to the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS). The building was officially handed over on 23rd January 1992.

He informed the Ambassador that the University, which will celebrate 100 years of existence in 2022, conducts a lot of research and is world-renowned for the large number of publications in clinical research as well as tropical medicine. The Vice Chancellor added that Makerere enjoys an excellent relationship with Japanese Universities through which staff and student exchanges are conducted.

“Japanese institutions have trained a lot of our staff and students particularly in geology and seismology and we sincerely thank you Ambassador and the people of Japan for this generous support” said Prof. Nawangwe.

The Vice Chancellor concluded by emphasizing that Makerere values her relationship with the Government and people of Japan and sincerely thanked the Ambassador for the book donation that will enhance knowledge about Japanese culture and economic success. “Makerere is an international university and we are always happy to bring more cultures and languages on board so as to further enhance the diversity of our community.”

Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto makes his remarks during the book donation handover ceremony held in the Main Library, Makerere University.
Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto makes his remarks in the Main Library, Makerere University shortly before handing over the book donation.

In his remarks, H.E. Fukuzawa thanked the Vice Chancellor, University Librarian and staff for the warm reception and noted that the donation was aimed at promoting the understanding of Japan among the people of Uganda, and especially students at Makerere.

“In particular, it (the donation) aims to reach out to young researchers who are interested in Japan, as well as opinion leaders and intellectuals specializing in areas other than Japanese studies” explained the Ambassador.

He reiterated that Japan has close ties with the University, by observing that eleven out of the twelve Japanese Universities that have partnerships in Uganda each have one with Makerere. “We have been sending Japanese government sponsored scholarship students to Uganda every year and many of them are graduates of this University.”

H.E. Fukuzawa expressed happiness that the COVID-19 pandemic had not halted the enhancement of academic relations between Japan and Uganda and looked forward to continued collaboration with Makerere University.

The Ambassador was accompanied by his First Secretary-Ms. Tomoko Ohyama and Public Affairs Officer-Ms. Martha Nankasa. In attendance at the handover were the Deputy University Libarian-Dr. Ruth Nalumaga, Ms. Ferrie Nalusse-Head Technical Services, Ms. Maria Nankya Mwebe-Head Book Bank and Ms. Clementine Namusisi-Head Law Section. Also present was Dr. Edith Natukunda-Togboa, the Head, Department of European and Oriental Languages, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS).

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Mak Electoral Commission 2020/21 Position: Commissioner for Finance



Female students smile for the camera as they take part in a March organised by the Students Guild on 11th December 2013 to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Monday, 19 April 2021

All Students

Makerere University


This is to inform you that the position of Commissioner for Finance of the Makerere University Electoral Commission 2020/21 has fallen vacant following the resignation of Mr. Lule Huzaifa (former Commissioner for Finance) on 19th April, 2021.

In accordance with article 50, 68 (2) and 68(4) of the Makerere University Students Guild Constitution as Amended 2016 and Makerere University Students Guild Constitution (Elections) Regulations No.1 of 2018, sections 5(b), 5b(2) and 5b(3) this is to therefore call upon persons who are interested in this position to apply to the Dean of Students.

The deadline for submission of applications is Thursday, 22nd April, 2021 at 5:00pm.  Please attach a copy of University Identity Card, Admission letter and proof of registration as a student.

Yours sincerely,

Winifred Kabumbuli

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