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Mak Teams Win Gold & Silver at Efficiency for Access Design Challenge



Two teams of students from Makerere University’s College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) have won Gold and Silver at the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge for their projects entitled ‘Standalone solar load management system’ and ‘Solar energy efficient fish dryer’ respectively. The Grand Final event held on Monday 29th June 2020 saw UK teams from the University College London and University of Strathclyde win Gold and Silver respectively alongside the aforementioned CEDAT teams.

The team that won Gold was made up of Mr. Sibo Derrick, Mr. Weredwong Innocent, Mr. Obeti Silivio and Mr. Mukasa Peter, all Fourth Year students of the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. The Silver award winning team was made up of Mr. Ivan Musingo, Mr. Fred Wanjala, Mr. Reagan Masembe and Mr. Evarest Ampaire, all Fourth Year students of the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The Bronze award was jointly won by Strathmore University (Kenya) and University of Bath (UK).

According to the press release published on the Efficiency for Access website, the Design Challenge is a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access. It is funded by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation.

Mr. Wanjala, a member of the Silver award winning team shared that challenge started in September 2019 with a total of 20 teams from nine universities competing. “Out of the 20, only 14 teams managed to reach the Grand Final where Mak took both gold and silver. Funds to prototype these projects will be sent.”

It is worth noting that three other teams from Makerere University made it to the Grand Final. These presented projects on; ‘Design of a solar powered evaporative cooler’, ‘Design of a solar powered clay refrigerator’ and ‘Design and Implementation of a Solar Powered Smart Irrigation System’.

Please click the link below to view the full Press Release

The full reports of Mak Teams that made it to the Grand Final can be accessed by clicking the links below

Team 001: Standalone solar load management system

Team 002: Solar energy efficient fish dryer

Team 004: Design of a solar powered evaporative cooler

Team 005: Design of a solar powered clay refrigerator

Team 011: Design and Implementation of a Solar Powered Smart Irrigation System

We congratulate the teams from CEDAT for flying Makerere University‘s flag high on the global stage.


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UNDP to set up state-of-the-art Innovation Hub at Makerere



The Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and the UNDP Resident Representative for Uganda Ms. Elsie Attafuah (Right) show off the signed MoU on 20th September at Makerere University. Second row are: Makerere Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma (Left), Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu (2nd Left), Prof. Eria Hisali (Right), Associate Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze (2nd Right) and other officials.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is set to build a state-of-the-art innovation hub at Makerere University that is aimed at skilling students in various sectors with a view to empowering startups and creating jobs.

The Makerere Innovation hub will be established through UNDP’s Timbuktoo initiative, a US$1 billion youth innovation financing facility for Africa which aims to scale 1,000 high growth start-ups, improve 50 million livelihoods and generate US$10 billion in value creation.

UN Resident Representative in Uganda Ms. Elsie Attafuah said the partnership with Makerere is anchored on five strategic areas; fostering innovation ecosystems in public universities, leveraging the role of universities in grassroots development and establishing a regular innovation expo as a platform for youth innovators to network.

Others are; promoting research on resilience, and strengthening gender equality in public institutions.

UNDP is establishing the University Innovation Hub/Pod where ten (10) other African Countries are also beneficiaries. Makerere is well placed to host this innovation pod which will be interdisciplinary in nature bringing together students, academia, and partners from all fields, she said.

She added that the University Innovation hub will provide University Students with: Maker-Spaces that accord service to both engineering as well as creative design projects, with a standard set of equipment; a Design Lab that offers a host of programs in design thinking.

“The hub will support students to apply design principles toward solving any problem they are tackling; Collaborative Working Spaces to enable students create business ideas and host product demos, training events, speaker talks, other community and collaboration building events,” Ms. Attafuah added.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe welcomed the partnership with UNDP.

“I am delighted that Makerere will finally host an innovation hub to facilitate the transformation from research to commercial projects,” he said.

“The innovation hub will help us incubate the ideas developed by our students to ensure that they form companies that will create jobs for the many students we graduate every year,” he added.

The Makerere Vice Chancellor said the Parish Development Model Policy lab will hopefully rescue the well-intended program from the public naysayers.

Prof. Ezra Suruma, the Makerere University Chancellor, also welcomed the partnership

He said the partnership is going to support the implementation of the Parish Development Model that will help to increase income in a bid to fight poverty.

“When I was in the Office of the Prime Minister, we focused so much on the problem of implementation. As Makerere, we have to focus on making sure the Parish Development Model trickles down to the people at the grassroots to ensure poverty alleviation,” he said.

“As we sign this partnership, I hope this will set the ball rolling for innovative programs for societal transformation in the next 100 years of Makerere University,” he added.

The innovation hub, will be headed by Dr. Cathy Ikiror Mbidde, a Lecturer in the School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS).

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Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa RFAs



Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa (DHPI-R) Open Call for Request For Applications (RFAs). Deadline: 16th September 2022.

The Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa (DHPI-R), a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project that is implemented in Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) Senegal is thrilled to announce an OPEN CALL FOR REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS. This will foster widespread, sustainable adoption and application of Digital Financial Service innovations within the health sector of low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) in sub-Saharan Africa.

Focus Research Areas/ Research Themes

DHPI-R is seeking applications for studies that address the evidence gaps listed.

1) Campaign Effectiveness
2) Digital Financial Services’ effects on financial inclusion, safety, and security of payments
3) Health worker performance and retention
4) Payment experience and financial behavior

Funding Information

For any request made in this call, the budget goes as follows;
Large studies:12 months $200,000
Medium studies: 9 months $100,000
Small studies: 6 months $60,000


All Institutions within sub-Saharan Africa

Funding Restrictions and Terms

The award will be a fixed fee agreement, and the total amount of the award will be stated in the award letter. The funding is intended to support the collection, analysis, and dissemination of research. The allocation of program funds will directly correspond to the monetary figures presented in the final Budget and disbursement of funds will be initiated upon the timely receipt of invoices, financial reports, and expected deliverables.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted in English or in French.

Applications must be submitted through our website: Submit applications here.

Application deadline: 16th SEPT 2022

Award decisions: All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission by 30th October 2022.

For more information and application details, see; Call for Request for Applications

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Three Innovations Combating COVID-19 in Uganda



The EpiTent, shown here in the Adjumani district in 2017, was used during the West African Ebola outbreak. The design of the tent offers better ventilation than standard medical tents and allows for flexible staging locations. The innovation has been adapted for the COVID-19 pandemic. / ResilientAfrica Network

How the ResilientAfrica Network is fostering research and innovation while fighting COVID-19

By Eseroghene Oruma, USAID

Research, technology, and innovation are critical tools for international development, particularly for unprecedented challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. People around the world are still reeling from one of the greatest health challenges we have ever faced. The pandemic impacts all our lives, and exposes the shortcomings in our health systems.

How is USAID helping and supporting our partner countries to combat this disease? Through research, technology, and innovation.

By working with local partners such as higher education institutions, USAID brings positive change in local communities that last well after USAID funding ends. Funding from USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) provided support to cultivate an approach to development that sources ideas on how to address local development challenges from the community itself.

The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), based at Makerere University in Uganda which was also a USAID development lab through the HESN program from 2012–2022, continues to deploy this locally driven approach in their work today. Local innovators and technologists receive guidance from RAN about how to refine and scale up their ideas. This approach to development has proven effective in creating innovations to combat the pandemic.

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