On Thursday, 30th May 2019, Makerere University was privileged to host the official launch of the Uganda Economic Update, 13th Edition in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG). Held in the Main Hall, the event was presided over by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, who represented the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni.
Delivering the welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe thanked the World Bank Group chiefly represented by the Uganda Country Manager Mr. Antony Thompson, for choosing Makerere University to host the event. He noted that the theme for the 13th Edition; Economic Development and Human Capital in Uganda: A case for Investing more in Education particularly fits in well with Makerere’s mandate to produce quality human resources for the region.
“The 13th Economic Update highlights pertinent issues rotating around improving quality in the Uganda’s Education sector, which are also at the heart of Makerere University. I particularly appreciate the World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI) that measures the impact of under investing in human capital on the productivity of the next generation of workers” added Prof. Nawangwe.
Prof. Nawangwe further thanked the World Bank for collaborating with staff at the School of Economics to produce and disseminate the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Uganda Economic Updates as well as allocating a US$900,000 grant to establish a Public Investment Management (PIM) Centre of Excellence at the same School. He noted that the two World Bank funded Centres of Excellence the; African Center of Excellence in Materials, Product Development and Nano-Technology (MAPRONANO) and Makerere University Regional Centre of Excellence in Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) had since inception recruited students at Masters and PhD level, procured equipment and facilitated various capacity building trainings for staff.
In his remarks, Mr. Antony Thompson thanked the Vice Chancellor and University leadership for accepting to host the launch of the 13th Edition of the Economic Update. Admitting that the launch was his inaugural visit to Makerere, he could not hide his admiration for the job well done by KCCA in rehabilitating infrastructure at the University as part of the Second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project (KIIDP-2).
Mr. Thompson observed that although Uganda’s economy remains strong and stable, it still faces major risks such as poor quality of the human capital. He advised that countries can only end extreme poverty and create more inclusive societies if they invest in developing their human capital. “In addition to the economic benefits, basic education increases individual’s earnings by about 70 percent. Education reduces the risk of poverty and provides other benefits, including lower under-age pregnancy and better health outcomes.”
The Country Manager however noted that despite advances such as Universal Primary Education (UPE) made by the Ugandan Education sector, the country’s Human Capital Index still remains low. “A child born in Uganda today will be only 38% as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.”
He also reported that over 1.4million pupils currently drop out from primary schools and never make it to P7. He nevertheless opined that when this trend is addressed, one million new places need to be created in lower secondary schools in next 6 years to accommodate this additional intake.
“Achieving these ambitious results will require significant changes in educational policy and major additional investments of at least $2 billion between 2019 and 2025 to improve both the quality of learning and enrollment. This requires increasing the current education spending from 10 percent to reach the sub Saharan average of 16 percent” explained the Country Manager.
He nevertheless reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to support the Ugandan Government to realize these goals.
The panel discussion that followed the presentation of the Economic Update brought to light a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Ugandan Government in partnership with the World Bank as well as several points of reflection. The presentation underscored the need to increase budgetary allocation to the Education Sector, expand early childhood (pre-primary) education, scrap the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) in preference for continuous assessment, adopt the automatic promotion policy and improve the transition rate from Primary to Secondary school among other recommendations.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Mr. Alex Kakooza shared that through the Uganda Teacher and School Effectiveness Project (UTSEP), MoES had with support from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) under supervision of the World Bank been able to improve early grade literacy instruction and parent participation in children education. UTSEP has also improved parent participation in school activities like feeding programmes. He added that the outcomes from the pilot districts in Eastern Uganda had been tremendous so far, with pupils as low as P3 exhibiting improved literacy and numeracy skills.
Mr. Kakooza however observed that more resources will be required to implement the World Bank recommendations, especially in the recruitment of more teachers and construction of additional classrooms. “Currently, over 1,000 parishes in Uganda do not have primary schools. If these were to be constructed, an additional 20,000 teachers would need to be recruited to teach these pupils.”
He nevertheless thanked the World Bank for sharing cost effective infrastructure development plans, which would enable the Ministry meet the rapidly growing demand for classroom space.
The Executive Director National Planning Authority (NPA), Dr. Joseph Muvawala observed that whereas Uganda constantly trumped up the benefits of reaping a demographic dividend from its relatively young population, well structured investments were of utmost importance. “I thank the World Bank for this report but wish to state that dividends accrue to those that invest and it is clear that we are not investing enough.”
On the scrapping of PLE, Dr. Muvawala said that whereas this was technically the most viable option, it would not be implementable as observations had revealed teachers’ preference of a final exam over continuous assessment. He also stressed the need to further investigate the high dropouts recorded at primary level and come up with investments aimed at addressing the findings.
The Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Patrick Ocailap’s opportunity to speak was highly anticipated as most recommendations had in essence called for increased budgetary allocation to the Education sector. He thanked the World Bank Group for its report and concurred with all the findings and conclusions therein. He nevertheless asked the calls for increased funding to be matched with an analysis of efficient use of current allocations to the sector.
Mr. Ocailap also advocated for improved efficiency in revenue collection as a way of boosting government revenue but cautioned that as the economy expands, marginal and not proportional allocations to the education sector might be the more viable option.
The Deputy Secretary to Treasury also weighed in on the calls for increased salaries to teachers, noting that they were indeed legitimate. He however emphasised that this ought to be balanced by evident improvements in students’ performance and improved efficiency of teaching in schools.
Mr. Patrick Kaboyo the Executive Director, Coalition of Uganda Private School Teachers Association (COUPSTA) reminded the gathering that whereas world leaders meeting in Muscat, Oman in 2014 had agreed to commit 6% of national GDP to Education, Uganda’s commitment still stood at less than 3%. He nevertheless applauded the Cabinet for approving the National Teacher Policy on 1st April 2019, which would go a long way in improving teachers’ productivity, discipline, retention and motivation.
He acknowledged that whereas the Ugandan Education Sector is currently in reform mode, there was need to look beyond improving access and massification to ensuring that the sector produces critical thinkers. These, he noted, would be better suited to function in today’s creativity-driven marketplace.
A curriculum that matches personal development and attainment of knowledge with the skills that meet current industry demands will be a great asset to the implementation of WBG recommendations and achievement of the Education Sector’s targets. Dr. Rovincer Najjuma a Lecturer and Curriculum Specialist in the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) shared that Uganda requires a curriculum that offers holistic development of skills at all levels of education because the employability of a workforce starts with skills developed right from the foundational stages of lower primary.
She however cautioned that developing a great curriculum should not take precedence over the training of quality teachers. This position, she said, was derived from reports showing that a child in sub-Saharan Africa spends a great percentage of their school going age interacting with teachers. As such, teachers possibly have the greatest influence on pupils. She therefore advocated for a Centre of Excellence to develop teachers’ capabilities.
Delivering the final address of the day, the Guest of Honour, Hon. Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo thanked the Makerere University Management for accepting to host the important launch. He equally thanked the WBG Country Director for the well researched report, noting that it would generate a lot of debate from almost every Ugandan. He asked the audience to observe a moment of silence in respect of a great academic and former Prime Minister and Chancellor of Makerere University, Rt. Hon. Prof. Apolo Robin Nsibambi who passed away on Tuesday 28th May 2019.
Reading the First Lady and Honourable Minister of Education and Sports’ remarks, Hon. Muyingo said that Africa has been reported as the region of the world having the highest return on Education. He shared that MoES has been reviewing the Government White Paper on Education (1992), which analyses the full scope of education sector and its polices. He added that MoES is working with the WBG under the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to review Uganda’s Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy so as to ensure adherence to minimum standards.
The State Minister for Education further reported that the Government had approved the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy. The policy will pave way for an employer-led TVET System and TVET Qualification Framework. He added that MoES would soon come up with an ICT Education Policy to enhance access to the vast online resources.
Hon. Muyingo concluded his remarks by appreciating all partners who work with the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure timely delivery of quality education and thanked WBG for the well-timed release of the report, noting that it will inform ongoing policy reform.
Article by Public Relations Office.
Rotary International President visits Mak
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.
At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted. President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.
President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims.
Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.
By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.
The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.
Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.
Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.
Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.
Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.
“Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.
The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.
The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.
At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.
“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.
On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.
Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.
“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.
Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.
Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.
She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.
Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.
She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.
On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”
At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.
She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.
“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.
Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.
“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.
Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.
He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”
Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.
Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.
Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”
Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.
“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.
The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”
She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.
The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.
Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal
The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25. For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.
Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.
Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY
Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG