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Tributes to the Late Prof. Johnson Opio Acon

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On 15th January 2020, the Makerere University community awoke to the sad news of the passing on of Senior Prof.essor Johnson Opio Acon, which occurred in the early morning hours at Kampala Independent Hospital. He was a Prof.essor in the Department of Veterinary Pharmacy, Clinical and Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (CoVAB). Please see below for some tributes from colleagues.

“Sometimes I run out of hope. Prof. Acon’s demise is a tragedy. I mourn him greatly. Prof. Acon has been a person who combined incredible achievement with great personal grace. Prof. Nasinyama once intimated to me that Prof. Acon was the greatest philanthropist to many of his students.

He was elegant in every way, the way he spoke with a soft Edinburgh accent, the way he dressed, his immense courtesy and concern for others. I can dare say, in all ways, Prof. Acon had style! He was smart in dressing and intellect; he was simply incomparable. From 1996 – 2005, I did not need to go to car vendors to know the trending vehicle in town because I could easy know that from Prof. Acon's latest car. For the two decades I interacted with Prof. Acon, I got testimonies to the effect that he had immense positive impact of the current and next generation of Veterinary Medics. I observed salient attributes befitting of a distinguished academic especially that he epitomized quality, ethics, standards and professionalism in all forms and manner. He leaves an indelible mark on the graduate research training function at Makerere. He truly symbolized a well cultured Professor in an African premier University i.e. of great scientific repute and champion of evidence use as a driver of change. I found him an amiable man with commitment to transform graduate training at Makerere.

During the 90s and early 2000s, when he was still an active member of Senate, Prof. Acon was always picked by the Chair and listened to by all not only for what he said, which always moved our thinking, but also for the way he said it; quietly, utterly without bombast, but with immense authority. He always made valuable contributions; never backed down from a good argument or passionate exchange. He always had a recommendation of something. He believed in the power of ideas, and in the power of sharing those ideas. His eloquence, well contextualized arguments, vigilant choice of words earned him respect among Senators.

There are generations of scientists at Makerere and globally, particularly in veterinary medicine who owe their academic success to Prof. Acon. Recently, much of his endeavor was focused on research for society, where he facilitated at many of the regional symposium.

Like many distinguished African elites of his time, Prof. Acon paid allegiance to Makerere University, promoted professionalism and integrity, but most importantly, he promoted good research practice. Prof. Acon had a big heart, a hearty laugh and dazzling intellect that he used to encourage rather than intimidate. He will be sadly missed by DRGT and all who knew him, both for his presence and for his contributions to Makerere’s intellectual development. We shall miss my friend Prof. Acon, with his wisdom, his humor and his generosity.

May his soul rest in peace. (Psalm 23 & 121)”

Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT)

 

“May The Good Lord Grant him eternal Peace and comfort his family. Very sad indeed.”

Prof. Denis K. Byarugaba, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB)

 

“Oh sincerely sorry. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Dr. Isaac Mugume, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

 

“This is indeed a tragedy.  May God have mercy and grant all family and friends peace, comfort and strength in the midst of this storm.”

Dr. Jessica Aguti, College of Education and External Studies (CEES)

 

“Very sad indeed. May the Lord comfort the family and friends.”

Betty Akoli, Department of the Academic Registrar

 

“This is very sad news. Professor Johnson Opio Acon is one of those people that made one admire his profession. He treated animals and people well. He has contributed greatly to the brand of Makerere University. On a personal level, I first met him in 1989. Back then, Veterinary Medicine was running an ambulatory clinic that I happily joined each time Dr. Seguya, Dr. Biryomumaso, the Late Frank and others run. We shall miss him dearly.”

Prof. Noble Banadda, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

 

“It's indeed a very sad day for the Veterinary profession, CoVAB and Makerere University. Prof. Acon has been an icon of the veterinary profession with very rare attributes of commitment, time keeping and professionalism that endeared him to his students, patients and clients.

May God strengthen and uphold his family through this dark season. The Veterinary Fraternity will miss him dearly. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Dr. Sylvia Angubua Baluka, President Uganda Veterinary Association President, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB)

 

“Very shocking news indeed. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.”

Dr. Okwi Andrew Livex, College of Health Sciences (CHS)

 

“So sad. May his soul rest in peace.”

Prof. Felix Bareeba, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

 

“It is indeed sad to have lost our senior colleague in the Veterinary profession. Our sincere prayers to the family upon this loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.”

Dr. Fredrick Muyodi, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS)

 

“Prof. Acon will forever be missed by CoVAB, Makerere University community, Local and International Veterinary community, Academia and most of all, his family. My sincere condolences to all.”

Prof. George W. Lubega, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB)

 

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Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education

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Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu (L) receives a plaque and citation from RUFORUM Board Member and Vice Chancellor Ndejje University-Professor Eriabu Lugujjo (Right) on 6th May 2021 at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Plot 155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus,

When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.

But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.

He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.

He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.

So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.

Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022. Photo credit: AfDB

The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.

About the JADS program

The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline.  The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.

The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Application Procedures

  1. Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
  2. Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
  3. University evaluates and selects applicants.
  4. University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
  5. AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
  6. AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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