The academic year 2019-2020 was rocked with many challenges following the declaration of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) a global pandemic on 11th March 2020. Countries world over are experiencing and trying to cope with its unprecedented rapid spread that has claimed many lives and devastated the social economic activities. Given the absence of a vaccine, partial and total lockdowns, social distancing, wearing of face masks, hand washing and sanitizing were recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the global remedy to contain the spread of COVID-19.
All institutions of learning were since closed with online delivery as the only option despite the challenges that come with it. However, despite the challenges, the CAES registered some milestones. Eight (8) staff members were awarded projects under the Mak-RIF Special COVID-19 Call to contribute to measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. Over five technologies and innovations under this initiative were unveiled including an Automated Communal Hand Water Pump (MakNAI), Thermal Imaging for detection of COVID-19, Three-Dimensional (3D) printing of biodegradable face shields and components for the Bulamu ventilator and the Touchless Handwashing (TW-20) Kit .
Teaching and learning was disrupted. Academic staff were trained via zoom on uploading content on MUELE and also delivering lectures online. Student’s placement for internship was disrupted by the Pandemic. The college developed different guidelines on how to conduct internship for all programs. E-learning focal coordinators were appointed.
Graduate program supervision, examination and defence resumed after the partial lifting of the lock down. A total of 1,017 undergraduate students were admitted. Of these, of 480 were admitted under the government scholarship while 537 students were admitted under the Private scheme.
The college actively participated in the restructuring of her programs following minimum standards developed by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and the Quality Assurance and Gender Committee (UQAG) of the University Council was tasked to identify programs with duplications to be merged or removed from the curriculum. Pronouncements have been made by the different units as we wait for management decisions.
In our outreach and knowledge transfer efforts, over 250 staff publication in revered journals were recorded for the academic year 2019/2020. College branding materials including banners, tear drops, flyers and brochures were procured and a Book on Agriculture and Ecosystem Resilience in Sub Saharan Africa launched. Monthly policy seminar series to re-ignite the debate and bridge the existing knowledge gap between research and policy making on issues of agricultural and rural development were inaugurated. The College Strategic Plan (2020-2030) was developed and shared with college stakeholders and the university planning committee. The Climate Change Manual for Eastern Uganda was formulated and a Poultry Training Manual to address key capacity and knowledge gaps within the poultry sector designed. Over 20 research dissemination workshops for Mak-RIF and other projects were held.
On the human resources front, a number of our staff ascended in their academic ranks, a few resigned and some retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age. Six of our staff were nationally and internationally recognized for their outstanding performance.
The college continues to write grant wining proposals to mobilise resources to supplement the university resource envelope. As of now the CAES has over 150 running projects and 8 MoU s signed in the period under review.
On behalf of CAES Management, allow me express our heartfelt gratitude for the support rendered by university management, our development partners and the Government of Uganda towards our research function. I also thank our staff for the commitment and dedication to serve the university despite the challenges. We also thank students and parents/ guardians as our primary key stakeholders. As CAES, we are committed to delivering on our mandate to build for the future.
I thank you.
Prof. Bernard Bashaasha
My Academic Journey
My name is Irene Bayiyana and I am one of the RUFORUM Alumni. I am an agricultural economist, with a master’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a PhD in Economics. Currently, I am working as a Research Officer/Agricultural Economist based at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)/ National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) – Namulonge. When I attained a bachelor’s degree, I worked as an assistant research fellow under Prof. Johnny Mugisha in the Department of agribusiness and natural resource economics at Makerere University. Through Prof. Johnny Mugisha, I got to know about the RUFORUM Grant on “Assessment of spatio-temporal bovine migratory routes and Transboundary animal disease infestation in Uganda”. Since I had the interest to advance my career, I applied for the scholarship
After my admission for the master’s degree, I wondered! what next? The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) had only offered a partial scholarship catering for only my tuition and part of research funds. RUFORUM scholarship covered my stipend, research balance and funds to attend the 2012 RUFORUM Biennial conference thus enabling me to complete my master’s degree.
I was able to realize my dream of becoming a good scientist in 2012 at the RUFORUM Biennial Conference. Through the facilitation to attend several conferences, RUFORUM gave me a chance to interact with a broad spectrum of scientists from whom I learnt and received positive criticism and feedback on what I was doing. Moreover, the encouragement and support from different scientists that I interacted with also spurred me on as an upcoming scientist.
Senior Public Servants Skilled on Policy Instruments Design under the IGE Program
By Jane Anyango
Officials from Uganda’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been equipped with skills and knowledge on how to design and enforce policy instruments to achieve compliance under the program called, Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) in Practice.
IGE in Practice, is a collaborative program between Makerere University’s Environment for Development Initiative (EfD-Mak) Center and the University of Gothenburg. The IGE program covers five countries namely Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda fully sponsored by Swedish Development Agency (Sida).
IGE program is aimed at strengthening Uganda’s capacity for transformation towards an Inclusive Green Economy largely under the United Nations SDG 8 that focuses on promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The program focuses on the use of environmental policy instruments, and specifically economic instruments such as environmental taxes, pollution fees, subsidies or subsidy reduction and other types of fiscal incentives for societal development in line with the Global Agenda 2030.
The two days training (16th-17th September, 2021) held physically and virtually brought Uganda’s senior public servants from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Water and Environment, the National Planning Authority and the National Environment Management Authority coordinated at Hotel Protea in Kampala.
The training was facilitated by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden including the IGE program Head at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Prof. Anders Ekbom. Other instructors were Niklas Harring, Daniel Slunge, Emelie Ce’sar, Martin Solvinger and Erik Sterner.
Speaking during the training, Makerere University’s Policy Engagement Specialist in charge of coordinating the IGE training program, Mr. Peter Babyenda said the major aim of the program is to create capacity among public servants to plan sustainably, so that while planning, they should be mindful of the future generation in terms of environmental issues.
Mr. Babyenda said, some of the participants from Uganda’s Ministry of Finance included the Director Cash and Debt, officials from the Department of Micro-economics and the Department of Tax.
“Why tax? If you are to regulate, you use tax. We want them on board so that they get skills and plan well.
Today, we have discussed how to design a policy instrument and what measures governments use in order to enforce something for example, if government wants to protect wetlands, what policy instrument can be used, and what can it do to achieve the intended goals.
We have discussed various measures like tax and how you involve people. The public servants know these things but we want to remind them and give them new techniques so that while planning and budgeting,they should consider these issues if we are to sustainably manage the environment”, Mr. Babyeda explained
Babyenda added that since the program inception in June 2021, two trainings have been conducted with the ones held on 16th and 17th September 2021 being the third and fourth respectively.
He said other trainings are planned for October 2021 and they will be wrapped up by regional trainings in November, 2021where the environment will be discussed generally among peers from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya and notes shall be compared.
“As you are aware, Rwanda and Kenya have gone ahead with green economy. Kenya is leading in terms of green economy and Rwanda is coming up as well as Tanzania but, in Uganda, the policy instruments are not being implemented.
Uganda was the first among those five countries to ban the use of plastics but up to now, plastics are in use and that is why we are targeting policy makers, so that they can advise the political class to manage the environment sustainably,” Mr. Babyenda stated.
Babyenda explained that this program is an advanced in-service training with direct applicability in the participants’ daily work involving theoretical training within IGE, practical exercises, project development and support for implementing change.
Participants speak out on the training.
Dr. Ronald Kagwa works with the National Planning Authority as Manager Production Trade and Trading planning and is also in-charge of implementing the Green growth development strategy.
“We are here to build capacity in green growth policies especially how to use green growth instruments to advance inclusive growth in development. So today, has been a good day in that, we have learnt about policy instruments, trust, policy attitudes all which are critical for successful implementation of green policy instruments” Dr. Kagwa said.
Moreen Anino is an Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Water and Environment.
“I am happy to have learnt about social inclusion and developing instruments that are acceptable by the public because this will help us to achieve higher levels of compliance during implementation of these policies” Ms. Anino said.
Jane Anyango is the Principal Communication Officer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)
Press Release: Twenty Two (22) winners of RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2021 announced
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is pleased to announce the 22 winners of the 2021 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition. The competition attracted 340 applications from 26 countries in Africa namely Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somali, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
The following three-stage process was undertaken to identify the top 22 winners:
- All 340 applications were reviewed for compliance to the call guidelines
- A total of 319 (93.9%) applications were compliant and were each evaluated by three independent assessors
- Top 22 applications were selected basing on mean scores from the three independent evaluators.