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Prof. Nawangwe Leads Delegation to Zurich for 4th Mak-UZH Joint Symposium



The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe was at University of Zurich, Switzerland to attend the Dialogue Days under the theme, Global Health Challenges: What Next? Held from 9th to 11th September 2019, the event was organised by the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Makerere University in collaboration with the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Careum Auditorium.
Dialogue Days is a two-day event (symposium) on Global Health sponsored by UZH, University Hospital Zurich, Researchers for Global Health, Makerere University and the Infectious Diseases Institute. The Dialogue days were interactive sessions and discussions with experts and emerging leaders on climate change, migration and infectious diseases. The focus of the dialogue was the interconnectedness of the global community, the challenges faced in different parts of the globe and what can be done to solve the future global health challenges. The event was open to the public and many scientists from Italy, other universities in Switzerland, Belgium, German and UK all joined the discussions.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe makes closing remarks at the Dialogue Days Event
Prof. Nawangwe was accompanied by the Principal College of Health Sciences (CHS), Prof. Charles Ibingira and the Head of Dept of Biosecurity, Ecosystems and Veterinary Public Health Dr. Clovice Kankya, who also represented Prof. J.D. Kabasa – Principal College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB). He was also accompanied by the Dean School of Medicine – Prof. Moses Kamya, former Dean School of Medicine – Prof. Harriet Mayanja Kizza, Executive Director IDI – Dr. Andrew Kambugu, Director of the Human Rights and Peace Center (HURIPEC) – Dr. Zahara Nampewo and Ms. Martha Muwanguzi – Head International Office at Makerere University. Also in attendance were senior researchers, young scientists, laboratory technologists, Clinicians and PhD students, among others.
The joint scientific symposium is held every other year at UZH and Mak alternately. In 2008, Mak signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UZH to facilitate the forging of a mutually rewarding academic partnership. The MOU has fostered the establishment of multi-disciplinary partnerships across diverse fields including philosophy, social anthropology, ethics, health sciences, veterinary sciences and law.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Branabas Nawangwe (Left) presents a plaque to the President of the University of Zurich, Prof. Michael Hengartner (Right)
One such partnership is the collaboration between the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute of UZH and IDI. The partners exchanged visits including the co-hosting of scientific symposia in their respective institutions over the last ten years.
Presentations at the symposium were made on Communicable Diseases in Animals and Climate Change and the impact on our health. As the human population increases, the wrath has been meted on our environment, cutting down trees for firewood and charcoal as well as building houses.
This implies that wild animals which were living far away from us have now moved nearer to our homes and have infected our pets with diseases. Without proper vaccination, diseases are transmitted from pets to the humans. Not only to the humans but also to other domestic animals that we keep such as like pigs, goats and cows.
Dr. Clovice Kankya from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (standing right) contributes to the discussion during the Migration Boma
Migration is another important and key factor in spreading communicable diseases. From time immemorial, people have been on the move from their original places of abode to new places in search of jobs, and others as a result of wars, conflict and even epidemics in some instances. The migrants normally move with their animals such as goats, sheep and cows into new places.
Urbanisation has also contributed to the spread of Communicable diseases in big cities where many people are living in unhygienic conditions in slums. In such places, the HIV/AIDS prevalence is high, while cholera, bilharzias and other diseases are a common occurence. Neglected tropical diseases, rabies, scabies, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), oncology, mental health, maternal and child health also pose a big challenge towards our health.
The easiest way to deal with some of the health challenges is through advocacy and thorough sensitization of the masses about the dangers of the diseases. The saying goes that “prevention is better than cure “. It was emphasized by the symposium that Leadership for global health has to be visionary and pragmatic, a voice for the voiceless and one that will look into the future of its citizens and plan for better health.
Amb. Eunice Kigenyi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva, makes her speech
Participants were hosted to a dinner at the University cafeteria UniTurm which was attended by H.E. Christopher Onyanga Aparr, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organisations, Geneva. In his speech, H.E welcomed the visitors from Uganda led by the Vice Chancellor and appreciated the hospitality by University of Zurich. He hailed the leadership of the two institutions for keeping the platform alive for the last ten years.
“Uganda and Switzerland enjoy cordial bilateral relations. The two respective governments have set in motion the requisite foundation upon which both parties can build on. It goes without saying that people to people relations are at the core of any country’s relations and I hence congratulate you for this great initiative.
It is worth noting that the Government of Uganda under its Vision 2040, being implemented through the five-year phased development plans, has earmarked Science, Technology. Engineering and Innovation (STEI) as one of the key sectors of the economy where it has and will continue to employ and support policies aimed at its leapfrogging, as we work towards transforming the Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years including changing from a predominantly low income to a competitive upper to middle income country” remarked H.E. Onyanga Aparr.
Amb. Eunice Kigenyi (Right) shakes hands with the Dean of Medicine, UZH, Prof. Rainer Weber (Left) after her speech
The question of who is responsible for global health, kept recurring. Is it the developed world acting against the developing worlds through manufacturing expensive drugs for various illnesses in order to continue offering markets for their pharmaceutical companies? Do we have to train more people to handle the health challenges? Is it a political issue and some countries are out to make money and therefore not concerned about the health of others? Is it a leadership of our countries that is responsible?
Professor Christoph Lubbert, a senior researcher from Leipzig University Hospital, Germany said that global health challenges are due to multi-drug resistance in the treatment of illnesses. In many countries such as Uganda, people suffer from more than one disease. Treatment is given for the different illnesses and medication is taken at the same time. Many medicines taken together have an impact and form resistance in the body. There is constant use of antibiotics for treatment but at times, patients mistake the prescribed doses and the sickness does not go away. Doctors are forced to change the drugs of one illness which combine with drugs of another sickness which also form resistance in the body.
Dr. Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire (Standing Left)’s PhD thesis work received international acclaim, with a 2018 New York Times piece and the Stephen Lawn TB/HIV Research Leadership Award.UZH granted her PhD the status of Anerkennung
Dr. Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire elaborated on drug resistance in TB patients. She studied her PhD at Makerere University and was also recognized by the UZH and given the joint (Mak-UZH) supervision arrangements for the degree. She said that, drug resistance was a result of several factors namely; poor adherence to medical prescriptions, late presentation whereby patients report to health facilities late when then sickness is advanced, drug interactions (many drugs at the same time) leading to resistance; some patients are too weak to tolerate drugs taken for a long period of time such as anti-TB drugs. There was a general feeling that drug concentrations manufactured for developing countries are low compared to those manufactured for developed countries. The drugs do not completely cure but provide relief to patients.
The Migration ‘Boma’ (fireside chat) was opened by Prof. Marina Carobbio, President of the Swiss National Council and moderated by Mr. Rudolf Kung, a renowned BBC journalist. It had four panelists discussing migration of humans and animals and its effects on health. Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director of the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law discussed migration at the intracontinental level between countries starting in Africa mostly due to armed conflict.
Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director of the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law (Standing Left), contributes to the discussion during the Migration Boma
Uganda is a hosting around one million refugees from South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia. The Government of Uganda’s open door policy is a disadvantage to the local population whose land is freely given out to the refugees without compensation. The health care facilities in the refugee camps are far better than what the locals have for their communities. This creates tension and conflicts between the local communities and the refugees. Refugees normally move with their animals which bring diseases to animals in the host communities. Since migration is not about to end, it will remain a future global health challenge.
Prof Beatrice Beck Schimmet, the Vice President of Medicine at the University of Zurich, Prof. Marina Carobbio, the President of thw Swiss National Council participated at the closing of the event. Both highlighetd the the importnace of discussing these complex topics so that, together we can confront them. The dialogue at the tea breaks, lunch and coffee breaks was the highlight of the event.
Participants had the opportunity to engage with collegues from different fields and expressed interest in working together in the future. It is evident that global health challenges call for global solutions and what unites us is greater than what separates us. Future global health challenges can only be propoerly addressed in an international framework, in which everyone; NGOs, politicians, scientists, pharmaceutical companies and scholars need to operate with a global vision and awareness.
Written by Martha Muwanguzi
International Office, Makerere University

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Rotary International President visits Mak



The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

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.

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Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders



The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

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.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “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.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

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.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“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.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

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.

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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

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