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Mak Hosts 1st National Oil and Gas Symposium 2020

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Makerere University in partnership with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) on Thursday 2nd July 2020 hosted the first ever National Oil and Gas Symposium in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2) Auditorium, at the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS). The symposium which brought together the major players in the oil and gas sector; Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) as well as Members of Parliament (MPs), academia, representatives of companies exploring oil, members of the civil society, student representatives and members of the public was aimed at discussing the “Potential Contribution of the Oil and Gas sector to Uganda’s Economy”Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe giving his remarks.

Welcoming participants to the symposium, the Principal CoBAMS who also doubled as Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Eria Hisali thanked OWC for partnering with Makerere to bring the idea of the symposium to life. He equally thanked the Makerere University leadership for availing resources that made it possible for the symposium to be held in an academic setting, and partners such as NBS Television for streaming the event live.

He noted that whereas the symposium provided a great platform for various stakeholders and the public to discuss present and future prospects of the oil and gas sector in Uganda, there was need for an in-depth discussion of the day’s various topics. “I urge the academia to take time and follow-up today’s event with detailed research and analysis of these topics in collaboration with the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organisations and other players in the oil and gas industry.”Prof. Eria Hisali - Principal College of Business and Management Sciences discussed the Tullow Oil Farm Down

As host, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe shared that the University Council had just approved the new Makerere University Strategic Plan (2020-2030), whose main thrust is to make the institution more research intensive. He took cognizance of the research potential developed by Makerere in various disciplines over the years, which became more apparent as support rendered to Government’s efforts to fight against COVID-19.

In response to the discovery of commercially viable oil reserves in 2006, the Vice Chancellor shared that Makerere University introduced a Bachelor of Science Programme in Petroleum Geoscience and Production in 2009 and a Masters Programme in the same field in 2012. He added that the University in 2019 partnered with the China University of Petroleum to co-establish and operationalize the Institute of Geoscience and Petroleum at Makerere.Mr. Kiryowa Kiwanuka - Board Member, Petroleum Authority of Uganda reassured the symposium that the delayed Final Investment Decision (FID) was necessary given the anticipated revenues

“We have staff and students currently being trained in China as a result of this partnership” complimented Prof. Nawangwe. He continued to say “We acknowledge that the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba is training the technical staff required by the oil and gas sector but we need to train researchers.”

Researchers, said the Vice Chancellor, would provide the much needed insight into how best the oil and gas sector in Uganda can be a stimulus for economic development. “Government has invested heavily in Makerere University over the years and it’s only proper that we give back.”

The symposium sought to thresh out the day’s topic in three panel sessions. These were on: Farm-downs, Final Investment Decisions (FID) and Uganda’s Economy; Governance and Local content Issues in the Oil and Gas sector; and Environment and Social Issues pertaining to the Oil and Gas Industry. The panel sessions were chaired by Hon. Bategeka Lawrence, Dr. Patrick Birungi and Prof. Pamela Mbabazi respectively.

Hon. Bategeka is the MP Hoima Municipality and Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy. As an Economist who has worked as Senior Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and written extensively about Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector, he was in his comfort zone chairing the day’s most impassioned discussions.

Presentations were made by Mr. Moses Kabanda, who represented the Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) on Implications of Delayed Final Investment Decision (FID) in Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector on the Economy and Prof. Eria Hisali on Analysis of the April 2020 Tullow Farm down transaction and its impact on FID. UNOC’s Mr. Daniel Muwoya followed this with Previous and Potential Contribution of Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector to the Economy and Council Member and Member, Board of Directors, PAU, Mr. Kiryowa Kiwanuka concluded with FID in Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector and the Post-COVID recovery of the Economy. UNOC’s Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Gilbert Kamuntu wrapped up the session on why the FID has taken so long and what has been achieved during the fourteen year wait.The First Panel Discussion Chair and Members (R-L): Hon. Bategeka Lawrence, Mr. Daniel Muwoya, Mr. Moses Kabanda, Mr. Gilbert Kamuntu, Mr. Kiwanuka Kiryowa and Prof. Eria Hisali, 2nd July 2020, CTF2 Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

As the first substantive Executive Director of the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), Dr. Birungi, who has also previously lectured at Makerere University and served as Director, Development Planning at the National Planning Authority (NPA) is no stranger to local content issues and their economic trickle-down effects. His session therefore sought to bring the discussion home on how Ugandans and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have benefited and can continue benefiting from the oil and gas sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) made the first presentation on Good Governance & Transparency in the Oil and Gas Sector. Are we steering clear of the Dutch Disease? He was followed by the Manager, Petroleum Revenue Investment Reserve Fund at the Bank of Uganda, Mr. Philip Andrew Wabulya with Uganda’s Petroleum Revenue Management framework. The MP Buliisa County, Hon. Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale then discussed the Institutional Capacity to manage the oil and gas sector and finally Ms. Betty Namubiru, Manager National Content at PAU presented on Opportunities and challenges for SMEs to participate in the Oil and Gas Sector and Skilling and employment of Ugandans.Prof. Pamela Mbabazi - Board Chairperson, National Planning Authority

Prof. Mbabazi who is the Chairperson, National Planning Authority (NPA) and has also published a book The Oil Industry in Uganda; A Blessing in Disguise or an all Too Familiar Curse? She noted that revenues from the oil and gas sector have immense capacity to support national development if a people-centred approach in organising and planning for the sector is adopted.

Mr. Isaac Ntujju, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)’s Head, Oil and Gas then made the session’s first presentation on what the Government has done in terms of Livelihood Restoration for Persons Affected by the Oil and Gas projects. Dr. Joseph Kobusheshe, PAU’s Director Environment, Health, Safety and Security Management followed up with presentations on Readiness of the Government to implement Oil and Gas in the sensitive areas of the River Nile Basin, Lake Albert, Murchison Falls Park and Synergies between tourism and the oil and gas sector.Hon. Joy Kabatsi chats the President CNOOC Uganda Limited-Mr. Zhao Shunqiang during the Symposium on 2nd July 2020, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The symposium was graced by the Minister of State for Transport, Hon. Joy Kabatsi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba and other dignitaries.

Please click a link below to view the recording of the day’s proceedings.

https://www.facebook.com/nbstelevision/videos/255923435710162/

 

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Rotary International President visits Mak

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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

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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

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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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