At their advent on the Uganda-Kenya frontier in the late 80s and early 90s, many saw Boda-Bodas as a heaven-sent remedy to all the transport bottlenecks facing petty traders operating between the two East African Community (EAC) nations. One of Uganda’s celebrated musicians, Elly Wamala, in fact dedicated a song entitled “Boda-Boda” in praise of their great work.
Fast-forward to the present day, these two wheeled taxis are to Uganda’s urban centers what yellow taxis are to New York. Looking at Uganda’s road safety statics, it is also true to assert that they have become to Uganda a cause of the loss of many lives. Over 3,000 people are estimated to die in road crashes annually in Uganda and 28% of these are cyclists. Worse still, more than half of all road traffic deaths are attributed to vulnerable road users namely; Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Boda-Boda cyclists have also become infamous for being accomplices in many crimes, having very poor entrepreneurial skills and are classified as a high risk group for HIV/AIDS, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
At Makerere University, we are alive to the fact that road safety is a shared responsibility. Therefore, with the help of the Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) from the Government of Uganda, Makerere University has embarked on a project codenamed Enhancing Behavioural Change of Boda-boda Riders in Uganda Using Mobile Learning (EBoML) .
This project aims at using innovations that spur lifelong learning on-the-go. This will involve learning on smartphones based on the fact that Boda-boda riding is “nomadic” in nature. The high rate of smartphone penetration in both urban centres and rural commercial zones is another factor likely to boost the chances of success of this project.
Research conducted by Paul Wanume and others in 2019 showed that over 50% of the male youths aged between 18 and 35 years in Uganda are employed in the Boda-boda industry. It therefore goes without saying that the absence of mobile innovations that aim at facilitating behavioral change education among these people will only have a multiplier effect on the worrying death rates that have become a common attribute of the Ugandan roads.
To help address this, a Public Dialogue was organised under the auspices of the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on Thursday 27th February, 2020. The event was attended by distinguished officials and stakeholders from the Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Uganda Police Force, Makerere University, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Kampala Capital City Authority, Leadership from Namayingo Town Council, Officials from RIF and Representatives of Taxi Drivers, Boda-boda Riders, Owners and Spouses.
Welcoming participants to the occasion, Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, the Principal CEES thanked all stakeholders for sparing precious time to attend the important event. He noted that Makerere University’s core functions are teaching and learning, research and innovations as well as knowledge transfer partnerships and networking.
“Makerere University has in the past been referred to as the Ivory Tower. However, we cannot conduct research on our own; we need partners like you the stakeholders gathered here today so that we can ask all the important questions that can help transform our communities, the Boda-Boda industry being the focus in this case” explained Prof. Masagazi Masaazi.
Taking the case of the Uganda Police manned CCTV cameras system that is now able to monitor traffic and help apprehend perpetrators of crime, the Principal added that it was no longer possible to escape the integration of ICT in business operations.
According to Assoc. Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, Deputy Principal CEES and Principal Investigator (PI) of this trans-formative project, “When behavior is changed positively, sanity can return to the roads, thus reducing accidents and increasing the riders’ income through entrepreneurial skills passed on to them.”
The PI added that the three-year project has so far secured funding for the first year from RIF and urged all stakeholders to participate fully so as to ensure continuity of funding. “We have in the past built capacity to transfer knowledge to our students using eLearning and mLearning and this project is an opportunity to take important behavioural change knowledge to the communities.”
Among the activities at the Public Dialogue was a session on Continuous Professional Development and Learning conducted by ACP Charles Ssembambulidde, Assistant Commissioner/ Enforcement Directorate of Traffic and Road safety in the Uganda Police Force. He commended the initiative by Makerere University and emphasised that successful road safety strategies in all countries depend on a broad base of support and action.
Eng. Ronald Amanyire, the Secretary to the National Road Safety Council, who made remarks on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, reaffirmed the central government’s resolve to support all efforts that aim at creating safe roads for all road users.
The event was crowned by a feedback session where stakeholders in the Boda-boda industry expressed gratitude for the educative session and called for a Nationwide training of all Boda-boda riders in a similar experience.
The EBoML Project will develop a Positive Behavioural Change Virtual mLearning Environment (PBC-mLE) for safe-driving, healthy-living and entrepreneurship and deploy it among Boda-Boda Riders, initially in the Districts of Wakiso and Namayingo. EBoML is just one of a multitude of other projects that have been funded under RIF to impact the Ugandan societies in our resolve to Build for the Future.
Article by Mpindi Percy Christopher, Volunteer, Mak Public Relations Office.
A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga
The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).
His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.
The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.
Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.
Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual
By Agnes Namaganda
On July 22nd 2022, Makerere University–Child Health and Development Centre (Mak–CHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.
“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.
Draft Manual Content
The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.
After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.
Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.
Contact: Agnes Namaganda – firstname.lastname@example.org
Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals
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
General1 week ago
Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals
Veterinary & Biosecurity4 days ago
Dissemination & stakeholder engagements on Paratuberculosis Research findings held
Health4 days ago
Boy Children Report More Physical & Emotional Abuse
General1 week ago
Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise
Engineering, Art & Tech1 week ago
Integration of Building Information Modelling (BIM) into Construction Education; A stake holder engagement held.