Makerere University’s Professor Noble Banadda was on 27th October 2020 inaugurated as one of the 10 Oliver Reginald Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) recipients. The inauguration ceremony was held via zoom from South Africa. In Uganda and Makerere University, the ceremony was witnessed by media at the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) Project Office.
For the next five years, Prof. Banadda will receive US$250,000 annually and an additional offer of €100,000 from Wageningen University for the next 15 years. The grants will be utilized in supervising research in agricultural waste management on farms with a target of training 15 PhD, 9 Postdoctoral and 27 Masters students.
The ORTARChI chair and grant feeds into the Makerere’s Vision as enshrined in its new Strategic plan (2020-2030) that is to become a research-led university. This is the first fully funded Research Chair in Makerere University.
Under this grant, Makerere University will work with South Africa’s Stellenbosch University and Wageningen University of the Netherlands to expose students to different study and research environments and also feed into university’s internationalization agenda.
The Virtual O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative launch was facilitated by Media Personality-Joy Doreen Biira while the welcome address was delivered by Dr. Molapo Qhobela-CEO, National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa. Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was acknowledged by the facilitator as the only Vice Chancellor who virtually attended the Media Launch.
O.R. Tambo’s legacy was presented by Ms. Zengeziwe Msimang-CEO, Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation and the ministerial address by Hon. Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (South Africa).
Ministerial Panel Discussions were represented by Hon. Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (Ghana), Hon. Eng. Dr. Brian Mushimba, Minister of Higher Education (Zambia), Hon. Prof. Joyce Ndalichako, Minister of Education, Science and Technology (Tanzania) represented by her Permanent Secretary Dr. Leonard D Akwilapo.
Ministerial Messages of Support were delivered by Hon. Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe, Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (Botswana), Hon. Gabriel Ismail Salimo, Minister of Science and Technology, Higher and Technical Vocational Education (Mozambique) represented by his Permanent Secretary Dr. Nilsa Miquidade, and Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (Uganda).
The Oliver Reginald Tambo Africa Research Chair was advertised two years ago in search of high calibre scientists who will be able to supervise doctoral and post-doctoral research on the African continent, but specifically to solve African problems.
For any candidate to apply for ORTACHI chair, the initiative set standards that attracted 1,500 applicants. The researcher had to be anchored in a research institution at the rank of a Professor with a minimum of 200 publications. Additionally, the applicant must have supervised at least seven(7) PhD students and had a citation index of not less than 18.
Only 10 candidates (including Prof. Banadda) out of the 1,500 applicants qualified to receive the Research Chairs. Prof. Banadda is ranked 69th worldwide in the area of waste management while in Africa, he holds the 4th position.The other parameters considered were the applicants’ alma mater, international exposure and the network of people the candidate has worked with.
Prof. Banadda’s candidature was supported by South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) and Wageningen University.
“ I am grateful to God that I have been selected among the 10 recipients of the O.R. Tambo Research Chairs. I am grateful to Makerere University for having given me an opportunity to excel; Secondly, I am grateful to the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology for their letter of support; and to Wageningen University in the Netherlands for their counter offer conditioned upon my winning the Chair. Wageningen University offered me €100,000 per year for the next 15 years and also gave me an offer to be an extraordinary professor in their university. All these offers enhanced my chances of winning.
The Oliver Tambo research chair is a prestigious chair that provides US$250,000 per year for the first five years, and based on satisfactory performance, it’s renewable twice. So it can run for fifteen years.
I look forward to the challenge. I look forward to doing very good research with God as my provider. I guarantee you I will invite you for an innovation from this grant. I look forward to the next five, fifteen years as a top class researcher at Makerere University. I look forward to improving my citation index and being more relevant to the community”. Prof. Banadda pledged.
The ORTARChI award to Prof. Banadda will focus on sustainable agriculture under the thematic area of food security.
“I am going to create models or systems of recycling our waste into agriculture, i.e. to see how we can avoid the use of artificial fertilizers by making use of organic fertilizers such that I increase agricultural productivity, technology, and efficiency.
I want to use the engineering point of view to explore how best to extract nutrients from agricultural waste and plug them back into the soil to make sure that crops grow faster and better without wasting them so as to complete the cycle instead accumulating waste”, Prof. Banadda explained.
He explained that ORTARChI is an African project aimed at building capacity in Africa and therefore students must be African. As such, the University will advertise internationally so as to attract African students who will solve problems and create solutions for farmers in Africa while based at Makerere.
About Oliver Reginald Tambo and OR Tambo Research Chairs Initiative
Oliver Tambo never wavered from his vision for a free, just South Africa. His principled and values-based leadership style was the glue that held the African National Congress, which he led for almost thirty years, together in exile. Sadly, he did not live to see the dawn of the democratic dispensation that he dedicated his life to fighting for, passing away a mere year shy of the 1994 national elections.
The Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation is a public benefit organisation established to promote, protect and preserve the legacy of veteran freedom fighters and doyens of democracy, Oliver and Adelaide Tambo. The Foundation achieves this by undertaking education-focused, community-upliftment initiatives that seek to instil the values for which the Tambos stood into a new generation. It is believed that these values, such as integrity, selflessness, and collective, servant leadership, are critical in consolidating democracy. By equipping young leaders with the tools to reinforce the gains made by Oliver Tambo, South Africa’s democratic dispensation will be protected and nurtured for years to come.
The Foundation has partnered with South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to develop the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI). The initiative was first announced in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Oliver Reginald Tambo. Now, the initiative stands ready to launch the inaugural 10 O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs as selected by ORTARChI.
The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs combine political, development and higher education objectives. They aim to honour a leading figure in the development of African unity; have a catalytic impact on the development of research infrastructure in recipient countries; and contribute to knowledge production and high end skills in alignment with the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024). Through international and regional strategic partnerships, the Chairs will contribute to the development of long term mutually beneficial research collaborations on the continent.
About Noble Ephraim Banadda
Noble Banadda (born in 1975) is a Ugandan biosystems engineer, researcher and academic, who is a Professor of Biosystems Engineering at Makerere University’s Department of Agricultural and Bio systems engineering, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering. He was appointed as a full professor in 2012 at age 37, the youngest person in the history of the university to attain full professorship.
After attending local primary and secondary schools, he was admitted to Sokoine University of Agriculture, in Morogoro, Tanzania, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology. His Master of Science degree in Process Engineering, together with his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering, were both obtained from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium. Later he studied in a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the United States.
He was the first sub-Saharan African person to graduate with a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit-Leuven in Belgium. Banadda is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Banadda has had a trailblazing scientific career. He was former head of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Noble is the first African recipient of the Pius XI Golden Medal (2018) awarded by Pope Francis in the Vatican;a Laureate of the Next Einstein Fellowship and now, the Oliver Reginald Tambo Research Chair; honored young scientist at the World Economic Forum; Alumni of the Global Young Academy (2013 -2018); Member of the Malabo Panel of Experts; Fellow of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences; Council member of the Pan African Society for. Agricultural Engineering; Member of the Makerere University Senate; Adjunct Professor at Iowa State University (USA); Research Fellow at Clare Hall at University of Cambridge (UK); College member of the UKRI GCRF programme and a candidate for Extra-ordinary Professor at Wageningen University (Netherlands).
His research focus areas are in the biosystems engineering field and include mathematic modeling of biological systems and interactions. His goal is to create value-added products from solid biowaste resources.
Noble is favorably cited with thus far published research findings in over 195 peer-reviewed journal scientific publications. He has also (co)-supervised 10 PhD students to Completion and 27 M.Sc. students as of 2020.
His notable research innovations include the invention of the MV Multipurpose tractor; Conversion of hard plastics into diesel; the solar powered irrigation pump; Organic pesticides from agricultural waste and the most recent thermal imaging for detection of COVID-19 as well as the three-Dimensional (3D) printing of biodegradable face shields and components for the BulamuVentilator aimed at boosting the contribution of local content to the fight against the COVID 19.
Report compiled by: Jane Anyango, Principal Communication Officer, CAES
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
Dr. Tayeebwa wins UN-SDGF Continental Research Grant
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UN-SDGF) has awarded to Dr. William Tayeebwa and five of his continental research associates USD 339,650 towards his research project titled “Airwaves for Building Peace and Inclusive Societies: The Case of United Nations Peacekeeping Mission Radio Networks in Africa”. Dr. Tayeebwa is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University.
This continental research project examines how the programming of nine United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission supported radio networks has addressed issues of ‘national integration and security’ in the respective countries. It also probes how the radio programmes have covered the implementation of the 17 SDGs and the country-specific targets. The goal and main output of the project will be a book tentatively titled “United Nations Radio Framing of Peacebuilding in Africa” that has already been solicited by Palgrave McMillan Publishers based on previous research on Burundi and DR Congo by Dr. Tayeebwa.
Call for Applications: Schlumberger 2022-2023 Faculty for the Future Fellowships
The Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future program, launched in 2004, awards fellowships to women from developing and emerging economies to pursue PhD or Post-doctoral research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields at leading universities worldwide.
The Schlumberger Foundation is committed to gender parity in science and recognizes that full access to and participation in STEM curriculum is essential for the empowerment of women and girls. By facilitating STEM research for women scientists in emerging economies, scientific and technological advances will be enhanced in the local communities and regions from where selected candidates are awarded this program.
Since its launch in 2004, 770 women from 84 countries have received Faculty for the Future fellowships to pursue PhD and Post-doctoral research in STEM in leading universities and research institutes outside of their home country.
Faculty of the Future grants are based on actual costs for eligible expenses up to a maximum of USD 50,000 per year for a PhD and maximum of USD 40,000 per year for a Post-doc and may be renewed through to completion of studies.
Please see Downloads for the detailed Call For Applications.
If you believe you meet all the eligibility criteria, apply online from September 8th to November 5th 2021: https://www.fftf.slb.com/