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Mak Launches Online National Biodiversity Data Bank



Makerere University with support from USAID and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has launched an Online National Biodiversity Data Bank (NBDB) software application to boost research in Uganda’s Biodiversity.

The Data Bank software application was launched by the Acting Commissioner Biodiversity in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Dr. Akankwasa Barirega at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday, 5th September 2019.

The Coordinator of the Data Bank Dr. Daniel Waiswa from Makerere University’s School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS) in his remarks highlighted that without data on Uganda’s biodiversity, the tourism sector will head into sleep mode.

“The Data Bank is a central repository for biodiversity data in Uganda to serve the public, private and civil society domain,“ he said.

He explained that biodiversity data for most of the work done at the University is scattered, requiring a central place which can help to make informed decisions on the status of biodiversity resources.

“Currently we collect data from the field and stakeholders, keep it and make it accessible to all those interested in conservation of biodiversity. For students we use the data for research to inform policy with regard to management of biodiversity resources” remarked Dr. Waiswa.          

He said the Data Bank will move towards increasing access to data, considering the case of the online and offline database donated to the NBDB by WCS. He also reiterated that the online Data Bank is quite important in broadening the scope of the current databank to include aquatic biodiversity and environmental quality data.

According to Dr. Waiswa the NBDB was formulated with a vision of becoming the leading centre of excellence in quality biodiversity and environmental data collection, processing and management in Uganda.

Dr. Akankwasa Barirega (Left) chats with The Dean SFEGS, Assoc. Prof. Fred Babweteera who represented Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and another official at the Online NBDB Launch

Its mission is to inventory and monitor the national biological resources and provide biodiversity information to conservationists, government agencies, land managers and others interested in the conservation and sustainable utilisation of these resources.

The NBDB future outlook includes Capacity Building in biodiversity and related issues as well as generation of funds through proposal writing, fundraising. Others are consultancies and increased participation in university programs of teaching and research among increasing relevance of stakeholders through provision of demand driven products and services.

The Dean SFEGS, Assoc. Prof. Fred Babweteera who represented Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) said the Data Bank software application was a great milestone for the college to make its resources more accessible in the public domain. He lauded USAID for providing resources and technical support for the conference.  

Dr. Akankwasa Barirega who also heads the Department of Wildlife Conservation at the Ministry of Tourism applauded Makerere for launching the Online National Biodiversity Data Bank.

“For us as a Ministry responsible for Tourism and Wildlife, we have great excitement because we cannot develop tourism products without biodiversity data.

You must know where the animals, plants, birds, mammals, reptiles are so that we can promote them for Tourism, “he noted.

He observed the need to know what is available so that it can be managed better, saying unknown data cannot be managed.

“Government is responsible for management and conservation of wildlife, there is no way this work can be done without having information on where these things are. To us this is a great tool that will help in the day-to-day conservation management, decision making, tourism product development and conservation as well as tourism development policy formulation, “he emphasized.

The Country Director Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Mr. Samuel Nampindo Takozekibi (Left) and Dr. Akankwasa Barirega interact during the NBDB Launch Event at Speke Resort Munyonyo

He reported that lack of updated data has been one of the biggest challenges faced by the Tourism and Wildlife sector,

“There are many species of animals that we don’t know about, people only know about big mammals like the elephants, Gorillas, yet there are a lot of insects like beetles and butterflies which can contribute to tourism in addition to their ecological benefits like pollination which masterminds the agriculture sector in Uganda, “he said.  

Taking into consideration the recent debate on the proposed construction of a dam on Murchison Falls, Dr. Waiswa said that such a resolution was not being guided by the available data on biodiversity, noting that the availability of resources like the National Biodiversity Data Bank will easily guide decision-making.  

The Country Director Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Mr. Samuel Nampindo Takozekibi said that his organisation has worked closely with Makerere University particularly the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) to ensure that the platform is accessible by the public through the internet.

“The Data Bank is as good as having the data which we have also contributed to collecting; we also support academic training so that the students can collect the data as they earn their degrees, “he revealed.

He said that WCS is working towards negotiating the international treaties like the post CDD 2020 to come up with the targets which will become key frameworks for governments, so as to contribute to slowing down species’ loss and extinction.

Mr. Nampindo observed the need for the data collected to be used in reporting on the natural capital contribution to the development of this country, so as to attract increased investment by government.

He advised other public universities to be part of the process since they have continuous recruitment of students who do research in an effort to earn their degrees which will provide key sustainability for the data bank.

“The data bank can also innovate products that can be sold mostly to international students, to earn money to enhance its sustainability.”

Article Compiled by; Jane Anyango and Agnes Nankebe Nantambi, Communication Office CAES


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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals



Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting: 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise



One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.


(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission



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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution



Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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