On Friday 28th February, 2020 Members of Management and Staff of the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) were joined by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Uganda, H.E. Henk Jan Bakker to break ground for the new MakSPH home on the Main Campus. Located right at the entrance of the University’s Eastern Gate opposite the Estate and Works Department, the site was a hive of activity despite the early morning downpour that left ground well soaked.
Students from the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF), College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) set the tone for the groundbreaking ceremony with their lively performance of the Ugandan, Dutch, East African Community and Mak anthems. Their performance of "Het Wilhelmus" (The William); the National Anthem of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in particular had the Ambassador awestruck as they expertly navigated the difficult stanzas in Dutch.
Welcoming the gathering, the Dean MakSPH, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze shared that groundbreaking for the new eight-storey building worth US$9.8million came 66 years after the Department of Preventive Medicine was founded, which later gave birth to the first Institute of Public Health in Africa in 1974.
“This groundbreaking also comes 48 years since our home in Mulago was launched, which coincidentally, was also built by ROKO” remarked the Dean.
ROKO won the contract to build the new 14,969square metre facility. The building will house tutorial rooms, demonstration and innovation laboratories, auditoria as well as space for research fellows, doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees.
Quoting the Former Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, Prof. Wanyenze said “Each of us is carving a stone, erecting a column, or cutting a piece of stained glass in the construction of something much bigger than ourselves.”
In this regard, she pointed out that building the new home wasn’t the biggest thing MakSPH was going to undertake but rather it was training personnel with the capability to drive the change the School would like to see. “Schistosomiasis still stands at more than 30% prevalence in Uganda, the fight against the coronavirus outbreak is ongoing and so we cannot underestimate the role of the School of Public Health in protecting Uganda and Africa.”
The Dean shared that whereas MakSPH had raised only 20% of the total project budget, the School could not afford to postpone breaking ground any longer as the public health needs were great. These were occasioned by challenges such as rapid population growth and urbanization, epidemics and pandemics of emerging and re-emerging pathogens, refugee crises due to natural disasters and armed conflicts among others. She thanked Amb. Bakker and the Netherlands Government as well as other partners for contributing to the 20% collected so far.
The Principal College of Health Sciences (CHS), Prof. Charles Ibingira congratulated MakSPH upon embarking on the new project as it adds to the college’s list of recently undertaken infrastructure developments. He took note of; establishment of the CHS Research Support Centre, Renovation of various Laboratories and the Albert Cook Medical Library, Establishment and extension of the Dental Hospital and School on the Main Campus as well as completion of the IDI-McKinnell Knowledge Centre as some of these projects.
Prof. Ibingira paid special tribute to the University Council for allocating land for the construction of the new MakSPH home and the University Management, the Ambassador and all partners for honouring the invitation to attend the ceremony. Present at the ceremony were the Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-Dr. Umar Kakumba and the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration)-Prof. William Bazeyo.
Also present were the Acting University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye, Director Estates and Works-Eng. Christina Kakeeto and the Manager Procurement and Disposal-Mr. Paul Agaba among others.
In his remarks, Prof. William Bazeyo a former Dean MakSPH (2009-2017) shared that the journey to build the new home started in 2014 with a fundraising drive embraced by all staff then. “I believe that there is no 80% deficit on this project because we have friends who will not abandon us, especially now that we have found the starting capital.”
Prof. Bazeyo thanked Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze for carrying forward the MakSPH dream and not diverting the building funds to other projects. He pledged his support to the successful completion of the project and urged all present to always “be a contribution”.
Prior to inviting the Ambassador to deliver his remarks, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe noted that it was literally unheard of for employees in Uganda to contribute their personal resources to public infrastructure projects. He therefore commended MakSPH staff for leading by example, describing their act as “a great display of patriotism.”
“As a university, we must remain committed to ensuring that our country achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through contributing to the training of high quality graduates. The College of Health Sciences is our flagship of research excellence, accounting for 50% of our research output as an institution” said the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Nawangwe noted that construction of the New MakSPH home was going to be one of the flagship projects as Makerere University kicks off her Centennial Celebrations and urged the contractor ROKO to deliver good quality work.
The Guest of Honour H.E. Henk Jan Bakker started by expressing his gratitude to PAF students for pulling off the feat of singing the Dutch National Anthem. “Dutch is a very difficult language for non-natives to properly pronounce let alone sing and I thank the students of Performing Arts for a job well done.”
He noted that Uganda is better placed than many other countries in Africa to respond to outbreaks of diseases like Ebola because its citizens are educated, thanks largely to efforts of MakSPH. The Ambassador equally commended the team spirit exhibited by MakSPH staff in owning the project by making personal contributions.
Ambassador Bakker shared that the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands had contributed approximately US$300,000 towards establishment of a state-of-the-art auditorium in the new home, equipped with ultramodern ICT equipment. He added that his government had contributed to the improvement and refurbishment of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Centre under MakSPH in Kasangati as part of a five-year project. The Ambassador pledged his Government’s readiness to continue supporting the four priorities of; Food and Nutrition Security, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, the Justice Law and Order Sector as well as Refugees and Host communities in Northern Uganda.
Prior to the official groundbreaking ceremony, the former Dean MakSPH (2003-2009), Prof. David Serwadda moved the vote of thanks to various stakeholders such as the Government of Uganda; for giving VAT exemption for all building materials for the project through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the University Management for maintaining an open-door policy towards the School. He also thanked the of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through Erasmus University Rotterdam, Johns Hopkins University as well as institutions like the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) and many other agencies for contributing to the project and MakSPH’s growth over the years.
Equally recognized by the day’s emcee, Ms. Harriet Adong, were representatives from; Ernst & Young, NC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Absa Bank, BDO Audit Firm, In-Line Print Services and the Media. Also recognized were representatives from MakSPH Projects; ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) and Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support (METS).
Article by Public Relations Office.
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
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.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
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.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa
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Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…