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Amb. Lindgarde Lauds Govt UGX30Bn Support to Mak Research

Swedish Ambassador-H.E. Per Lindgärde (6th Left), Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (5th R), ED UIRI-Prof. Charles Kwesiga (4th R), Dr. Gity Behravan (6th R), Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (3rd R) with PIs and other officials at the Mak-Sida Annual Review Meeting, 30th September 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, H.E. Per Lindgärde has lauded the Government of Uganda’s recent allocation of UGX30Billion to support research at Makerere University, noting that this was a “testimony of recognizing the critical role that home-grown research plays in the development of Uganda as articulated in the NDP (National Development Plan) and Vision 2040.”

H.E. Lindgärde was speaking at the launch of the Makerere-Sweden Bilateral Research Programme Annual Review Meeting on 30th September 2019 in the Main Hall, Makerere University. The Ambassador noted that Sweden as a major long-term funder of capacity strengthening in Uganda had consistently raised the need to sustainably fund research, and the allocation by Government was welcome news.

Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, H.E. Per Lindgärde lauded the Government of Uganda for ensuring sustainability of research at Makerere University through the UGX30Billion allocation

The current and fourth phase of the Bilateral Research Programme is centred around 17 research projects and comes to an end in June 2020. The Ambassador therefore welcomed a continued discussion with his Embassy “on strengthening the ownership and securing the sustainability of the Swedish investment”, in Uganda’s Higher Education, particularly at Makerere University.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe appreciated the Royal Government of Sweden and its citizens for the support extended to Makerere University over the exceptionally successful 18 years of collaboration. He added that the Swedish Government played a fundamental role in augmenting the internally generated funds at Makerere University, which intervention helped to substantially tackle the chronic shortage of funds for research.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe termed the Mak-Sida Bilateral Research Programme as exceptionally successful over the past 18 years

“The significant movement from individually-based projects to the integration of the programme within the broader research agenda at the Colleges, institutional and national level is itself appreciated as an invaluable lesson, opportunity as well as challenge” remarked Prof. Nawangwe, adding that Makerere and the various stakeholders would forever cherish this generous support.

The Vice Chancellor further paid tribute to the Government of Uganda for the allocation of UGX30Billion to Makerere University for Research and Innovations effective financial year 2019/2020, as well as securing over US$200 million from the African Development Bank to finance improvements and expansion of Higher Education Science and Technology (HEST) facilities. He nevertheless called for a strategic and continued investment by Government in Research and Development so as to enhance Universities’ contribution to economic growth and human capacity development in the country.

The Director, DRGT and Overall Coordinator of the Mak-Sida Bilateral Research Programme, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi

In his remarks, the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) and Overall Coordinator of the Mak-Sida Bilateral Research Programme, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi praised the Royal Government of Sweden as a strategic partner in building the next generation of researchers for Uganda. He reiterated the commitment of Makerere University and her Swedish collaborators to continue conducting a regular inventory and audit of the advances made in research through the Annual Review Meetings.

Makerere University and the four Public Partner Universities (PPUs) of Kyambogo, Mbarara, Busitema and Gulu have greatly benefitted from the Bilateral Research Programme through building infrastructure and human capacity development. We appreciate the guidance and visionary leadership of His Excellency the Ambassador as well as the First Secretary Research Cooperation, Dr. Gity Behravan for being a good friend and colleague to the PPUs” remarked Prof. Buyinza.

The Director Quality Assurance, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya highlighted the Impact of Sida Support to Makerere University

This year’s Annual Review Meeting was held under the theme “Framing a Transformative Research Agenda”. Delivering a Keynote Address on The Impact of Sida Support to Makerere University, the Director, Quality Assurance, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya outlined the strides made by Makerere University since the year 2000 when the first Phase of Sida support was initiated.

In particular, he noted that; salaries of Professors had risen from US$1,000 to the current US$2,000 per month with more increments projected, PhD holders had increased from 225 to the current 825, and the number of female professors from three of the 43 Professors in 2008 to the current figure of thirteen of the 94 Professors. He also took note of the increased capacity to attract and mobilise funds for research as well as increase in the number of publications in citation indices from less than 50 in 2000 to the current over 1,000 per year.

The Principal, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Prof. Tonny Oyana. CoCIS organised the 2019 Science Day.

He nevertheless outlined low gender parity between female and male staff, low graduation rates for PhDs, low funding for Graduate training especially at PhD and low funding of research especially in the humanities as work in progress. These, he noted, would need to be addressed before the University’s 100th Anniversary in 2022.

This year’s Science Day was organized by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) and featured exhibitions on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science to create insights for decision making. Other exhibitors were from the College of Health Sciences (CHS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB).

CoNAS' Mr. Godwin Anywar (Left) shares some of his medicinal plant extracts with the University of Borås' Prof. Elena Maceviciute and Veronica Trépagny during the Science Day Exhibition, 30th September 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

The Science Day also featured presentations by; Ms. Arinaitwe Irene on “A PPGIS-Based Framework for Municipal Solid Waste Management”, Ms. Nakasi Rose on “Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Microscopy-Based Point of Care Diagnostics” and Dr. Oyo Benedict on “Online Courseware Development in Public Universities in Uganda: The Precepts of Active, Passive and Exclusive Participation”.

Other presentations of the day were by Mr. Ongaya Kizito on “Towards a Spatial-Temporal Model of Prevalence of Nodding Syndrome and Epilepsy”, Dr. Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende on “Walking through the Method Zoo: Does Higher Education really meet Software Industry Demands?” and Mr. Kamulegeya Grace on “Characterization of Measurements and Tools in Early Stage Software startups”. The final presentation of the Science Day was made by Mr. Mugume Isaac on “Building a High Resolution Rainfall Monitoring Model using Mobile Signals”.

Please see Downloads for the Science Day presentations

Article by Public Relations Office

 

 

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