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160 Cross-disciplinary Researchers and Innovators Awarded under Mak-RIF 2



Makerere University is living up to the slogan ‘We Build for the Future’. Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) Grants Management Committee (GMC) under the leadership of Prof. William Bazeyo has continued to ensure that research and innovations blossom in the institution and related institutions of higher learning. It is such efforts to contribute to development and improved livelihoods that have kept Makerere University performing well across East Africa and Africa. Makerere University was recently ranked Africa’s fifth-best university and the best in East Africa, according to the latest World University rankings by Times Higher Education-September 5th, 2020. ‘We are working harder and determined to become the best University in Africa and the globe at large. It is possible if we all work harder and aim at being a CONTRIBUTION to the communities in which we live and serve’ said Prof. Bazeyo upon receipt of the news that Makerere University is ranked 5th best in Africa. 

Makerere University’s management is forever grateful to the Government of the Republic of Uganda for supporting research and innovations at the institution. This grant has also enabled Makerere University to further contribute to the growth and development of other Universities and affiliated institutions of higher learning including Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Makerere University Business School among others.  

In the new Financial Year 2020/2021, the Government of the Republic of Uganda allocated an additional Uganda Shillings 30 billion to Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). To promptly respond to the government’s gesture, the University Management developed a Framework for Management of the Government Research and Innovation Funds. A multi-sectoral Grants Management Committee earlier appointed by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor after wide consultations with the Colleges is also fully functional executing set Terms of Reference.

In preparation to put out a call for proposals under the RIF Round 2 opportunity, the GMC conducted a comprehensive stakeholder consultation to identify thematic areas of focus for the grant. These consultations included meetings with representatives from key government sectors, semi-autonomous government agencies, the private-for-profit sector and civil society. See details shared and accessible on and The GMC triangulated this information with that from the draft National Development Plan III, Makerere University Strategic Plan and Research Agenda and the thematic outputs from the RIF Round 1 proposals.  To this effect, the Mak-RIF Round 2, Track 1 has awarded 160 researchers and innovators out of 386 competitive applications). These awardees will implement their projects and share actionable research products and approaches in reference to the earlier developed National Research and Innovation Agenda. The main objective of Mak-RIF is to support research and innovation initiatives that contribute to better delivery of National Development initiatives in all sectors critical to Uganda’s economy.

List of awarded projects may be accessed here;

Article by Harriet Adong, Mak-RIF Communications Officer


Press Release: The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative



An earlier photo of Prof. Noble Banadda in his lab at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. He is O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) Chairholder in Makerere University in the Thematic Area of Food Security.

Monday 12 October 2020, 12:00 GMT

The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative: Meet the team aiming to contribute to transforming the African research landscape

Pretoria, South Africa: The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) is pleased to announce that it has selected the Initiative’s first ten host institutions and individual research Chairholders. ORTARChI is an initiative of South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in partnership with the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation (OATF), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and seven councils of the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI).

“For the next five years, the Chairs at these public universities in seven countries across the African continent will conduct research and support high-end skills development on a diverse range of topics including climate, public health, entrepreneurship and youth employment. Aligned to the global concept of research Chairs, these world-class researchers will not only lead multidisciplinary research teams, but also train the next generation of researchers,”said Dr. Molapo Qhobela, Chief Executive Officer, NRF.

ORTARChI provides five years of funding amounting to approximately US$15million, granted after a rigorous review process and in recognition of institutional excellence and capacity in identified disciplines; commitment to supporting high-quality research leadership; and talent; as well as to individual, internationally-recognised researchers.

In addition to the support provided through the grant for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, funds will be provided by the NRF and the OATF for 55 African female doctoral students studying under the supervision of the respective Chairholders.“Through international and regional strategic partnerships, the Chairs will contribute to the development of long-term, mutually beneficial, research collaboration on the African Continent,” said Dr Jean Lebel, President, IDRC.

The Initiative

This initiative builds on the work of Oliver Tambo, a prominent South African and pan-Africanist with a science education background, who believed in creating change through education and in cooperation and solidarity among African nations.

“This is an important new chapter in the ORTARChI story. The initiative was first announced in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important leaders of South Africa’s liberation struggle, O.R. Tambo, who led the African National Congress during the years of exile. Tambo was not only a committed pan-Africanist but also an advocate of science and technology,” said Zengeziwe Msimang, Chief Executive Officer, OATF.

The ORTARChI is an opportunity to promote the values for which O.R. Tambo stood. These values include integrity, courage of conviction, diplomacy and humility. The initiative also recognises African excellence in the fields of study about which he was so passionate. Tambo not only believed in Africa as a centre for excellence, but also that it was and would continue to be the home of innovation and brilliance.

“Building on this legacy of O.R Tambo, ORTARChI will enhance the higher education system, promoting research and development in Africa. Of significance is the Initiative’s contribution to the development of mutually beneficial medium and long term partnerships between and amongst countries within and beyond Africa. As a collective, the Research Chairs will also leverage partnerships with the civil society, private sector, and government, a highly commendable approach to implementing excellent research,” added Prof VitóriaLanga de Jesus, Executive Director of Mozambique’s National Research Fund (FNI).

Media Invitation

Members of the media and the public are invited to the official launch of the Chairs on 27 October, as part of the 2020 Tambo Month Celebrations. The virtual eventwill be a panel discussion led by South Africa’s Minister of Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande and willbe held on what would have been O.R. Tambo’s 103rd birthday.

Details of the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative Launch:

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Time: 14:30 – 16:30 SAST (12:30 – 14:30 GMT)

To register for the event, please go to:

The Research Chairs

Below is the full list of the 10 research Chairholders and host institutions:

Research ChairholderInstitution and CountryThematic AreaResearch Focus of Chair
Prof Gizaw Mengistu TsiduBotswana International University of Science & Technology, BotswanaClimate ChangeClimate change and adaptation in water, vegetation and livestock resources
Prof Almeida SitoeEduardo Mondlane University, MozambiqueClimate ChangeEcosystems for arid and semi-arid zones
Prof Olga Lompo and Dr Samiratou OuedraogoUniversité Joseph KI- ZERBO, Burkina FasoHealth SciencesCancer and public health
Prof  Kwesi Firibu SaaliaUniversity of GhanaFood SecurityFood safety and quality
Prof Nathaniel BosoKwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GhanaHumanities and Social SciencesEntrepreneurship and youth employment
Prof Gerald MisinzoSokoine University of Agriculture, TanzaniaFood SecurityLivestock health
Prof Noble BanaddaMakerere University, UgandaFood SecuritySustainable agriculture
Prof Stephen SyampunganiCopperbelt University, ZambiaEnvironment and DevelopmentEnvironmental management
Prof Imasiku NyambeUniversity of ZambiaWater ResearchWater quality and catchment protection
Prof Hulda SwaiNelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, TanzaniaNanotechnologyAnti-malarial drug delivery

Please see below for the full Media Release

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NTU awarded €850,000 to create opportunities with universities in Uganda and Kenya



NTU Project lead Linda Gibson (4th from right) with Makerere University project lead David Musoke (3rd from left) and the 2019 Erasmus+ exchange participants. Photo credit: NTU

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will receive more than €850,000 of funding that will support three years of projects with partners in Uganda and Kenya.

Two successful bids for the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) funding were put together by a team of staff from NTU’s Global, Social Sciences, Science and Technology and Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences teams.  Erasmus+ enables UK higher education students and staff to study, gain work experience, teach or train abroad.

The project in Uganda is in partnership with Makerere University and will involve more than 150 staff and student exchange participants. The key focus will be to build and enhance multidisciplinary skills and technical knowledge within Nursing, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Animal and Agricultural Studies and Environmental Sciences in addition to Public Health. These new subject areas have emerged from work as part of NTU’s ongoing partnership with the School of Public Health at Makerere University and align with research plans for the future.

Over the next three years the project in Uganda will seek to build the academic, research and employability capacity of students, provide opportunities for knowledge sharing amongst staff and encourage researchers to tackle future global health challenges.

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Neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm babies during infancy in Eastern Uganda



A sign outside the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Hospital Complex, Kampala Uganda.

A recent study by the Makerere University Centre of Excellence for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), School of Public Health (MakSPH) has shown that preterm infants at 6.6 months of corrected age are at a high risk of developing neurodevelopmental disability of 20.4%, and severe disability of 3.3%, especially those with malnutrition.

Researchers recommend improvement in health system readiness to be able to provide follow-up care with emphasis on improving nutrition and continuity of Kangaroo Mother Care at home. Study conducted among 454 babies in a cohort study at birth.

In Uganda, 14% of 1.6 million live births annually are estimated to be preterm. This is according to data obtained from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) demographic and health survey 2016 and the 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) report titled; “Born too soon; The global action report on preterm birth.”

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