Our dear gallant students, members of staff, all our stakeholders,
I am honoured to address you as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, this great institution which has over the last century made a tremendous contribution to our beloved country and the entire region. As we approach the end of the year 2020, it is worth reflecting on what we have achieved as a University.
The year 2020 has been full of challenges which we have managed to turn into opportunities and I thank all our students and members of staff for their enthusiasm and spirit of innovation, which has enabled us to overcome what looked like insurmountable hurdles.
Shortly after the year started, we were hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the indefinite closure of the University. Quickly, we looked for solutions to ensure that our activities including teaching and research are not stifled. Indeed, it is during the lockdown that Makerere University displayed her best talents in the fight against COVID-19.
We are proud of our many colleagues who provided leadership to this Nation in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Like their peers across the globe, our students faced an uncertain future due to the lockdown. We worked hard to ensure that the hopes of our students for a bright future are not quashed by the coronavirus menace.
I am profoundly indebted to our exemplary Professors who demonstrated a very high level of patriotism and innovativeness by moving massively to blended teaching in a very short time. I am equally proud of our gallant students who rose up to the challenge and responded positively as the true future leaders we expect them to be. This has enabled us to complete the academic year within the calendar year and we look forward to graduating our finalist students in March next year.
Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 and the tragedy of the destruction by fire of our iconic Main Administration Building on 20th September, the Makerere spirit was not broken. Indeed, our research output increased.
We are grateful to His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the Visitor of Makerere University, our indefatigable Minister of Education and Sports Maama Janet Kataaha Museveni, as well as the entire NRM Government, our Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma, the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara and all the Members of Council for the support and guidance given to us during this trying period.
Our gratitude also goes to our development partners including the Governments of Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, France, South Africa, India, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Korea, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland and others, agencies and foundations including the Mastercard Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, KOICA, JICA, DAAD, ARUA, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Worldwide Universities Network and others for the enormous support to our staff development and research programmes.
Because of your support, we maintained our high ranking globally and produced the next generation of researchers and quality human resources for Africa. We can confidently look to the year 2021 with the conviction that we will surmount any challenges that continue to get in our way, and that we will excel in the new normal.
I take this opportunity to wish all our stakeholders a peaceful festive season and a happy new year 2021 as We Build for the Future.
Please see below for the Video version of the Vice Chancellor’s message.
Participating in UNESCO Day-Padua
Our delegation has participated in the UNESCO DAY in Padua. We met the Governor of Venice Province and the Mayor of Padua City. Padua City has several UNESCO World Heritage sites and Makerere is collaborating with Padua to apply for UNESCO recognition of Mt. Moroto as a World Heritage site due to its unique flora and fauna.
Signing MoUs with UniPD & UniCT
Today in Padua, Italy I have signed MOUs with the University of Padua (UniPD) and the University of Catania (UniCT). We have agreed to cooperate on academic exchange, joint research and others. Together, we should work to make the World a better place.
Congratulations Drs. Joloba, Kateete & Batte
I congratulate Drs. Moses Joloba, David Kateete and Charles Batte upon the award of USD 1.75 million from the National Health Institutes, USA to support the development of research capacity for data science for infectious and Non-communicable diseases.