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Synthesis Report: RUFORUM Webinar Series 2020

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The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) devastation across the world has been phenomenal in the shortest time since its outbreak in December 2019 in China. COVID-19 impacts have been felt in all spheres of the economy and global operations. Tertiary education has seen significant interruptions and according to UNESCO, universities and other tertiary education institutions across 175 countries were closed affecting some 220 million learners globally. In the Sub-Saharan Africa region, COVID-19 affected an estimated 98% of all the tertiary education students as countries imposed measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus. The pandemic besides getting students off-campus caused universities to suffer significant revenue losses from tuition and other services offered by their respective campuses.

In order to galvanize our universities’ responses to emerging challenges and opportunities brought about by the Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, the RUFORUM Secretariat convened a multi-stakeholder online engagement from June-October 2020. Thirteen (13) Webinars were convened to galvanize dialogue and directions for African higher education actors, Governments and Private sector response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and in alignment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recognizing the role of universities in responding to the Pandemic,the target audience for these virtual convenings included policy leaders, higher education leaders, staff, university students, technical experts, and researchers. The overall theme of the webinar series was Galvanizing Partnerships for Africa’s Universities Response to Emerging Challenges and Opportunities. The Webinars targeted participants from within and outside Africa to position the dialogue within the continental and global contexts and to build on earlier discussions during the Afro-Arab Partnership meeting in Kampala, the Global Partnership meeting for Higher Agricultural Education and Research,held during the 16thRUFORUM Annual General Meeting in Cape Coast, Ghana and the Ministerial Communique on Promoting Africa Wide Cooperation in Higher Agricultural Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. The webinars generated dialogue and action points that have implications for RUFORUM and other academic and research agencies as they engage with continental agencies such as African Union and European Union as well as National Governments and other regional bodies.

This report summarizes emerging issues and recommendations for strengthening higher agricultural education, partnerships and responses to emerging challenges from the Webinar series.

RUFORUM Webinar Series Participation:

The thirteen (13)webinars attracted more than 100 speakers and moderators. These included among others, former Heads of State, AUC Commissioners and Directors, DEVCo-European Commission Director and other representations, FAO Directors and representatives, Government Ministers, Vice Chancellors and other University leaders, Directors and other representations of university and other associations, private sector actors, students, farmer organizations, Government agencies, international Non-Governmental Organizations, and funding agencies such as, the World Bank and BRIDGIN Foundation.

The audience was drawn from over 100countries across all continents. Marked participation was registered from Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria and the United States of America. The total registration for participation was 5,275 with an average attendance of 60% for each Webinar over a period of five (5) months. The gender distribution was60% male and 39% female.

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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