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EBoML Project Proves Boda-Boda Riders Can Learn on the go



Enhancing Behavioural Change of Boda-Boda Riders in Uganda Using Mobile Learning (EBoML) is a three-year project initially funded for one year by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). The goal of EBoML is to professionalise the Boda-Boda industry in Uganda using Mobile Learning (mLearning) for positive behavioural change of Boda-Boda riders. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT), Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) and Boda-Boda riders from the two pilot districts of Wakiso and Namayingo.

Speaking at the EBoML Research Dissemination Workshop held on Friday 28th May 2021, the Deputy Principal, College of Education and External Studies (CEES) and EBoML Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda noted that although the Boda-Boda industry employs more than 50% of youth, it lacks order, the riders have limited or no savings and they face a myriad of health risks.

Furthermore, riders by the “nomadic” nature of their work cannot be gathered into the organised classroom settings and given one-off training on behavioural change. The solution; take learning to the beneficiaries wherever they are, provided they have a smartphone and an internet connection.

“We therefore developed a multimedia-based Positive Behavioural Change virtual mLearning Environment (PBC-mLE) for self-paced and/or assisted lifelong learning in; safe-driving principles, health-living and entrepreneurship” remarked Dr. Birevu.

The PBC-mLE was then rolled-out in the pilot districts, evaluated and the purpose of the dissemination workshop was to present findings from that exercise.

Presenting findings from the Entrepreneurship Module, Mr. Turyakira Nazarius shared that the majority of Boda-boda riders (83%) knew the importance of saving and 69% were in the habit of saving regularly, with only 5% admitting to never having saved. The majority (40%) preferred to save with the Boda-Boda scheme, while a third (33%) opted to keep their savings in a secret location at home. 14% saved with a bank, 8% saved with a trusted person and 5% used other undeclared methods.

Further analysis revealed that solving daily household demands and paying school fees at 22% each accounted for the largest expenditure of savings. These were followed by buying household assets and caring for parents at 16% each, servicing loans (7%) and other expenditures (17%).

The Boda-Boda riders were also asked to share the most important skills they would wish to acquire. At 26%, the need for skills on how to secure more capital topped the riders aspirations. This was followed by basic knowledge about the Boda-Boda business at 22%, Marketing at 19% and Customer care at 16%. Record keeping accounted for 13% of the responses while 4% aspired to learn other skills in areas such treating cattle diseases.

The Deputy Principal CEES and EBoML Project PI, Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda addresses the workshop.
The Deputy Principal CEES and EBoML Project PI, Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda addresses the workshop.

At the end of the entrepreneurship module, riders were expected to know; the different ways of saving, the different types of businesses, good customer care practices and how to use savings from Boda-Boda riding to start up another business.

“Being a service industry, good or bad hygiene impacts directly on the riders’ lives and those of their customers thereby having an impact on the business” remarked team member, Ms. Lillian Mbabazi from the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) as she presented findings from the Health and Safe-Living Module.

Findings revealed that 66% of Boda-Boda riders acquire health information from their fellow riders or friends, 51% from healthcare providers and 50% from family or the mass media. Other riders reported that they secure information from; health outreaches, social media, school or classes, herbalists, the internet and other sources.

A number of health issues were reported to impact the lives of Boda-Boda riders. Accidental injury, hygiene and substance abuse had the highest recorded impact at 80%, 44% and 42% respectively. Additionally, intentional injury and violence accounted for 38%, unwanted pregnancy and parenting-28.7%, Sexual health-27% and obesity-11%.

Boda-Boda riders reported a number of barriers they faced in accessing healthcare. These, in order of priority included; high costs, long waiting lists, embarrassment, lack of knowledge, long distances to facilities, time constraints and language barrier among others.

Furthermore, healthy eating, emergency services and dental services at 53%, 52% and 45% respectively were reported by the riders as aspects of healthcare that lacked sufficient information. Others reported were; mental health, prolonged disease or condition management, education about physical activity, primary health care, substance abuse and treatment, and reproductive health.

Boda-Boda riders when not on the move are usually stationed at designated stages. Under personal and workplace hygiene, only 30% of riders reported that they had access to running water for handwashing. Additionally, while 83% of riders admitted to bathing three or more times a week, 6% said they bathed only once a week. On the bright side, 39% of the riders admitted to bathing twice a day.

Ms. Lillian Mbabazi (R) assisted by the day's Emcee, Dr. Godfrey Mayende (L) makes her presentation on the Health and Safe-Living Module.
Ms. Lillian Mbabazi (R) assisted by the day’s Emcee, Dr. Godfrey Mayende (L) prepares to make her presentation on the Health and Safe-Living Module.

In terms of risky sexual behaviour, whereas 65.7% of the riders reported that they had sex with one to two sexual partners in the past 12 months, 23% had engaged in sex with three or more women in the same period. On an alarming note, 57% of the riders reported that they did not use a condom in the past six months prior to the survey.

Engaging with multiple sexual partners is a high-risk sexual behavior especially in the absence of condom use. The researchers therefore sought to find out the number of women impregnated by the riders in the last twelve months. Whereas the majority (53%) reported that they hadn’t impregnated any women in the period, 36% had impregnated one, 6% two, 4% three and 1% four or more.

Further examination of the relationship between riders and the women revealed that whereas 35% had impregnated their wives and 5% their girlfriends, disturbingly, 1% had impregnated a student and another 1% a stranger. 4% admitted to impregnating a girl/woman who was neither a wife, nor a girlfriend, nor a student, nor a stranger. The majority (54%) opted not to state their relationship with the woman they impregnated.

Transactional sex between Boda-Boda riders and clients who fail to pay cash for their trips has often been talked about but with no figures of its extent. Findings from the EBoML team revealed that whereas 88% of Boda-Boda riders reported that they do not engage in transactional sex, 12% admitted to engaging in the practice.

Away from the health and safe-living, the third and final module on Safe-Driving revealed that 63% of Boda-Boda riders sampled had less than five years of riding experience. Nevertheless, 12% admitted to having more than ten years of riding experience and the rest (25%) had six to ten years of experience.

Adulthood is a regulatory requirement for operation of motor vehicles because maturity is considered a critical factor for decision making. The project therefore sought to ascertain at what age the riders first operated a motorcycle. Whereas the majority of riders (84.6%) said that they were 18 years and above at the point of first riding, 6.8% admitted to have started riding while still below 18 years of age. 8.6% of respondents said they were more than 30 years of age at their first riding attempt.

Ms. Nazziwa Sharifah represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) at the workshop.
Ms. Nazziwa Sharifah represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) at the workshop.

A driving permit is a legal requirement for every Boda-Boda rider. That notwithstanding, only 13% of respondents were in possession of a driving permit, with the majority (87%) having never acquired one. A further analysis of the reasons as to why riders didn’t possess permits revealed the expense involved as the biggest deterrent at 75%. Others reasons cited were; ability to freely ride without a permit (34%), ignorance of permit acquisition procedures (43%) and no time to process the permit (10%). Despite not possessing driving permits, 90% of Boda-Boda riders claimed to know the rules governing the road usage.

The pilot also sought to determine the leading causes of Boda-Boda accidents. Crossing animals at 43.5% were cited as the leading cause, followed by over speeding and other motorists/Boda-Boda riders at 41.5% and 30.5% respectively. Other causes cited included; poor mechanical condition of motorcycles, struggling for passengers with peers, overloading, excitement during celebrations, drink driving and other causes at 21.5%, 16%, 15.5%, 11%, 8.5% and 6.5% respectively.

In terms of training needs under this module, the majority (66%) of riders required training in basic mechanics to help reduce their expenses at the garage. Additionally, 65% required training in road safety while 4% preferred training in both defensive driving and understanding road signs.

The dissemination workshop would have been incomplete without feedback from the project beneficiaries. Speaking on behalf of the Boda-Boda riders, Mr. Ayebazibwe Rogers and Mr. Alibe Jonathan both based in Wakiso District thanked the EBoML team for according them the opportunity to access lifelong learning without interrupting their work schedules. The riders highlighted some of the valuable lessons learnt in each module as;

Under the Entrepreneurship Module:

  • How best to start up a small scale business alongside the Boda-Boda job
  • Importance of saving money even the least earnings and why one should save
  • Customer care
  • How to deal with losses
  • Book keeping
  • Good work ethics and appreciating the value of work

Under the Safe-Driving Module:

  • Importance of the wearing helmets and protective gear
  • Defensive driving
  • Simple mechanics
  • Importance of road signs and colour codes
  • Smartness and presentability
  • Road use in consideration of other road users

Under the Health and Safe-Living Module:

  • How to avoid use of drugs and narcotics
  • How to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Healthy dieting
  • Good personal hygiene
  • A health body is the primary tool of work
  • A healthy rider attracts more customers

The riders’ representatives nevertheless asked that the learning materials be adapted into simpler English and make use videos/illustrations that are relevant to the Ugandan setting.

In her remarks, Ms. Nazziwa Sharifah who represented the Permanent Secretary (PS), MoGLSD expressed her Ministry’s gratefulness at being part of the project. She said the Ministry under its Department of Occupational Safety and Health inspects workplaces for safety standards and investigates accidents, occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences. She noted that though informal, the Boda-Boda industry, was an asset to the National workforce.

“I therefore encourage Boda-Boda riders as assets in our workforce to always ensure that they wear their helmets and maintain good personal hygiene and health practices” she said.

Ms. Nazziwa reassured participants of of her Ministry’s readiness to protect the rights and safety of all workers, the majority of whom are youth. She equally recommended that since the majority of the Boda-Boda riders were either illiterate or semi-literate, the EBoML project should translate learning materials into local languages so as to reach more beneficiaries.

The MoGLSD representative also shared that the Green Jobs and Fair Labour Market Programme under her Ministry is tasked with, among other objectives, providing support to youth and women in form of affordable credit and grants at both individual and group levels. She therefore urged the Boda-Boda riders to always value their group schemes.

Mr. Katunguka James represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) at the workshop.
Mr. Katunguka James represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) at the workshop.

Representing the PS, MoWT, Mr. Bageya Waiswa, the Senior Road Safety Officer in the same ministry, Mr. Katunguka James commended CEES for the EBoML innovation that is going to tremendously address behavioural change among Boda-Boda riders and improve road safety. Pointing to the over 3,500 lives lost per year due to road traffic accidents, the PS said there was need for a multi-sectoral approach to influence the behaviour of road users in order for Uganda to achieve the 50% reduction in road traffic fatalities target by 2030.

“Riding competence and discipline is a key foundation for road safety that demonstrates the rider’s abilities to use the road without endangering his/her life or other road users” he explained.

He added that findings by the EBoML project findings would go a long way in helping Government to develop scientifically proven evidence-based interventions aimed at improving behavioural change of Boda-Boda riders in Uganda.

Mr. Bageya in his speech read verbatim by Mr. Katunguka equally pledged his Ministry’s support and continued partnership with CEES and promised that MoWT would spearhead the implementation of project findings.

He challenged every participant to play to play their part in sustainable road safety enhancement, concluding that “Road safety begins with you, with me and road safety is a shared responsibility.”

Please see Downloads for the detailed presentations


Research shows need for training of staff and students on online learning



Prof. Henry Alinaitwe (5th L), Dr. Pius Achang (3rd L), Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga (6th L), Mr. Arthur Mugisha (2nd L), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda (L) and other officials at the CEBL Project Dissemination Workshop, 29th September 2022, CEDAT Conference Hall, Makerere University.

Learners were found to be unsatisfied with Blended learning pedagogy

Education is no longer just about putting pen to paper and memorizing facts. Today, innovative educators in higher education are improving learning through technology, as evidenced by the rapid adoption of technology-assisted teaching methods and blended learning (BL) models.

Blended learning integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities, giving students more flexibility to customize their learning experiences.

Although Blended learning has existed in Makerere University since 1991 in the Department of Open and Distance learning, this mode of teaching only recently became common place owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe.

Following the Covid-19 lockdown, which resulted in the closure of the education sector, Makerere University was forced to adopt emergency Online and Distance e-learning (ODeL). The university since 2019 has adopted blended learning across all disciplines in the university.

The power of blended learning methods, however, lies in their ability to improve the student experience. It is against this background that a team of researchers set out to evaluate blended learning at Makerere University.  Led by Arthur Mugisha, the Principal Investigator, the team set out to study how students understood the blended learning pedagogy, how they used BL during the pandemic, how respondents found BL, peer’s opinions on BL excitement and how BL could be made more exciting.

The study conducted for from December 2021 until July 2022 showed that 66% of the students/ respondents claimed to have a clear understanding of BL pedagogy to be a mixture of face to face and online modes of teaching and learning.

The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.
The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

However, only 36% of the respondents found BL to be exciting due to:  the flexibility and convenience it brings in the learning, the opportunity to be exposed to new learning technologies like zoom, reduced transport-accommodation-meal costs and disease spread, self-paced learning through downloaded materials, act of bringing the University closer to the communities and competence-based learning leading to promotion at places of work and unfortunately the ability to cheat exams.

The other percentage of 64% was not excited about BL because of the challenges it posed such as; consumption of data, poor network connectivity, length of exams (more than 24 hours), absence of a clear timetable, system failures and technology illiteracy among other things.  

The students made some suggestions which they hope will make BL more exciting. These include a zero-rated system, upgrading the MUELE system (Makerere University E-learning Environment) and training for lecturers and students among other things.

The CEBL Project Principal Investigator, Mr. Arthur Mugisha.
The CEBL Project Principal Investigator, Mr. Arthur Mugisha.

The research team also evaluated the readiness of learners for BL pedagogy as well as the forms of learner support received. Only about 42% reported to have received training on the use of online platforms while 19% reported having received financial assistance, data/Wi-Fi and study gadgets from friends and relatives.  

Research also showed that 51% of the respondents were and are ready to take on BL for continuity while 49% were skeptical and critical making them reluctant to embrace BL

An evaluation of the use of MUELE showed that 82.5% of the respondents found it difficult to navigate the teaching platform. About 98.5% could not join a group on MUELE. The students reported that they did not find the platform user friendly. This, Mr Arthur Mugisha said, calls for some changes on the learning platform.

A chart showing suggestions by students on how to make Blended Learning more exciting.
A chart showing suggestions by students on how to make Blended Learning more exciting.

Learners were found to be unsatisfied with Blended learning pedagogy.

  Over 90% of the students reported not to have received guidance from their lecturers while also feedback on coursework submitted was also slow. It was also noted that majority of the students that required practical/ clinical experiences never received them during the online learning. Results showed that about 80% of the students were disappointed with the online examination system.

Some of the challenges identified with Blended learning are listed in the table below.

BL challenges during Covid-19FrequencyPercentage
High cost of data23129.6%
Poor network21827.9%
No or little practical sessions425.4%
Acquisition of learning devices and their functionality415.2%
Other interruptions in environment415.2%
Difficulty in accessing MUELE405.1%
Limited screen sharing by lecturers374.7%
System inefficiencies334.2%
Unreliable power/electricity supply303.8%
Lack of a clear timetable to follow212.7%
Poor communication/misinformation192.4%
Unnecessary movements-staggered reporting with associated costs101.3%
Disruptions from unmuted Microphones81.0%
Virus leading to jamming and hanging40.5%
Less time during exams/inconsistencies in timing30.4%
Low motivation for online study20.3%
Phishing or frequent adverts10.1%

The learners also identified some possible solutions to the challenges. These include;

Potential solutions to BL challengesFrequencyPercentage
Reduce data costs16631.9%
Go back to face-to-face10720.5%
Stabilise internet or network connectivity6913.2%
MUELE system improvement/upgrade509.6%
Provide compliant learning gadgets275.2%
Lecturers should fully be available online244.6%
Improve learner support systems224.2%
Provide more flexible time tabling132.5%
BL is good except for practicals122.3%
Explore other platforms beyond MUELE61.2%
Create central information repositories61.2%
Provide reliable alternative power sources61.2%
Host should regulated unmuted microphones40.8%
Consult students during decision making40.8%
Provide more time to submit online exams30.6%
Create BL regional centres of Excellence20.4%

The research study recommended BL must be practiced but also improved. Other recommendations include;  

  1. Once practiced, BL should cut cross both academic and non-academic units of the University.
  2. Top Makerere University management needs to take interest in adequately financing and staffing the Institute of Open, Distance and eLearning
  3. On ensuring number 3 above, there is need to attach ODeL specialists (champions) to each of the University units with clear terms of reference.
  4. It is hoped that in the near future regional BL centres of excellence will be created and specialists attached to support off-campus BL activities.
  5. In regard to regional BL centres of excellence, subsidising players who provide alternatives to hydro power to ensure that the remotest of learners is able to participate in BL.
  6. Introduce a basic BL course for both lecturers and learners
  7. Promote the Bring-Your-Own-Device approach for sustainability. Communicate it to the students’ community, parents and/or sponsors
Dr. Pius Achang represented Prof. Mary Okwakol.
Dr. Pius Achang represented Prof. Mary Okwakol.

While speaking during the dissemination workshop, NCHE director of Quality Assurance, Dr Pius Achang who represented the Ed of NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol, called on Makerere University to extend support to other institutions of learning because “while NCHE rolled out e-learning, acceptability has been hard”. He hoped that the findings of the research will inform policy on blended learning.

On his part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and administration) Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, who represented the VC called for continued training of both staff and students in an effort to improve BL uptake. He called on CEES to offer training to all staff inform of teacher training for many lecturers have no teacher training experience.

The Principal of CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, called on the government to fund the evaluation of blended learning across the country. The government called on the College of education to support e-learning during the lockdown so it is important that an evaluation of that mode of teaching be done. He thanked the government of Uganda for its continued support to research as the university moves towards becoming a research-led institution. Prof. Mugagga called on the Ministry of Education and Sports to support the collect with ICT equipment as well as support he IODEL centre so that it can offer training in BL across the country.

Dr. Stephen Wandera, represented the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).
Dr. Stephen Wandera, represented the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

He called for uptake of digital technologies but also warned against its dangers such as spread of pornographic materials.

The Director of IODel, Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, noted that a similar evaluation among teaching staff had been done so it was important for the team to evaluate the students’ uptake and affordances of blended learning.

Dr. Stephen Wandera, from MakRIF congratulated the project team upon winning the grant and successfully disseminating the findings. He called on the improvement of MUELE to make it for interactive for both staff and students. He encouraged the PI to offer some policy guidance on Blended learning.


  1. Arthur Mugisha
  2. Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda
  3. Dr. Joshua Bateeze _ KCCA
  4. Dr. Harriet Najjemba
  5. Dr. Robert Ayine- NCHE
  6. Prof. Jessica Norah Aguti – Busitema University

Project Admin

Rose Akanya

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Gone but still lives on: Makerere University celebrates Prof. Kajubi’s legacy



H.E. Natalie Brown (C) flanked by the Chairperson of Council-Mrs. Lorna Magara (3rd R) and Deputy Chairperson-Rt. Hon. Daniel Kidega (3rd L) and L-R: DVCAA-Prof. Umar Kakumba, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, Mr. Wasswa Kajubi and Dr. Michael Pippenger at the Memorial Lecture on 22nd Sept 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

Professor William Senteza Kajubi, the first African to receive a Fulbright scholarship in 1952 and a renowned educationist who diversified and chaired a committee to review Uganda’s Curriculum in 1990 was remembered and celebrated by Makerere University College of Education and External studies (CEES) in a public lecture that happened on 22nd September 2022 at the Yusuf Lule teaching facility Auditorium at Makerere University.

Part of the audience at the Professor Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture included Prof. Eriabu Lugujjo (L) and Prof. Ikoja Odong (2nd L).
Part of the audience at the Professor Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture included Prof. Eriabu Lugujjo (L) and Prof. Ikoja Odong (2nd L).

The ceremony themed “Internationalization of Higher Education in the next Century” presided over by the United States’s Ambassador to Uganda Her Excellency Natalie Brown brought together many academicians, educationists and students across the world to celebrate the life and achievements of the person of Professor William Senteza Kajubi. In attendance were Vice Chancellors from Ugandan universities e.g. Soroti, Muni, Bishop Stuart, Bugema, Ndejje and Busitema.

Besides remembering the life of Prof. Kajubi, this public lecture also happened to be marking the Makerere University’s 100 year anniversary, Uganda’s 60 years of independence and its fruitful relationship with the United States that has paved way for the Fulbright Scholarship program and many other partnerships that have impacted lives of Ugandans.

The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.
The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

While addressing the congregation, the Principal College of Education and External Studies (CEES) Professor Anthony Mugagga hailed Professor Kajubi for the 1989 report on Education which the National Resistance Movement government incorporated into its 10-point program.

“In 1954 when Pope Leo the 10th appointed Ben Kiwanuka as the first African Bishop, he cautioned him to be successful so that he can inspire more African theologians. Kajubi never got lost in the States, neither did he do drugs but he clang to studies and paved way for other scholars of the Fulbright Scholarship program,” added Professor Mugagga who concluded his remarks cautioning the congregation to emulate Prof. Kajubi, and also thanked all staff who participated in seeing this event a success.

Mr. Wasswa Kajubi speaks on behalf of the Senteza Kajubi family.
Mr. Wasswa Kajubi speaks on behalf of the Senteza Kajubi family.

On behalf of the Senteza Kajubi family, his son Wasswa Kajubi expressed their deepest gratitude and honor to Makerere University and CEES administration for always remembering their loved one even when he passed on long time ago.

The Chairperson Makerere University Council Mrs.Lorna Magara highlighted how the Late Prof. Kajubi’s life symbolized hard work, persistence and courage to pursue excellence and greatness. She added that Prof. Kajubi’s passion for education at Makerere and the University of Chicago resulted into a lot of phenomenal education reforms that saw admission of private sponsored students to Makerere.

The Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara.
The Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara.

“Prof. Sentenza Kajubi’s life symbolized hard work, passion for the profession,
creativity, innovation, and courage to pursue and carry out a vision”. This hard work ethic, Mrs. Magara informed the gathering, was reinforced daily by a family motto in the Kajubi sitting room, “OMULIMU LYE LINNYA LY’OMUNTU,” which may be translated as ONE’S WORK IS ONE’S NAME.

The Deputy Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Rt. Hon. Daniel Kidega.
The Deputy Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Rt. Hon. Daniel Kidega.

The late Prof. Kajubi’s passion and pursuit for knowledge can be traced through his education journey, from Mengo Junior Secondary school to Kings College Budo, to Makerere University, and on to the University of Chicago on a Fulbright Scholarship graduating with an MSC. with a concentration in Geography. Upon return, he embraced the privilege and honor of serving as a teacher, and Administrator. His dedicated service saw him rise through the ranks to serve as Director, National Institute of Education (1964- 1977) and twice as Vice Chancellor, Makerere University (1977-1979; 1990-1993).

Her Excellency Natalie Brown the United States Ambassador to Uganda said,” Professor Kajubi is a shining star among Fulbright alumni, in Uganda and beyond.  He traveled to the U.S. in 1952 as a Fulbright student to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Chicago.  He returned to make great contributions to the education sector in Uganda and the region.  His two-time tenure appointments at the helm of this university demonstrate his outstanding leadership ability”.  Professor Kajubi did not limit himself to education alone, he went on to serve as a delegate to Uganda’s Constituent Assembly which created the new constitution in 1995, among other things.  His legacy of service to his country remains an inspiration to generations of faculty and students alike”.

The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Natalie Brown.
The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Natalie Brown.

Ms. Brown said the US Mission in Uganda are proud to manage the Fulbright program in Uganda where 12 Ugandan Fulbright grantees were sent this year to academic programs for Masters, PhD and research in the United States, and in exchange Uganda welcomed nine U.S. Fulbrighters to conduct research.

Makerere University and the people of America have had great partnerships that have seen America’s public Health enthusiasts and other specialists come to Uganda to conduct research. They include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and so many others.

H.E. Natalie Brown, dignitaries and part of the audience applaud during the proceedings.
H.E. Natalie Brown, dignitaries and part of the audience applaud during the proceedings.

The keynote speaker of the day and the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Michael Pippenger challenged African Universities to ensure solidarity, commitment and transparency if they actually want to internationalize since it not only helps them realize weaknesses, strengths and potential areas of collaboration but also builds transformative and global minded students.

“It is not the MOUs and agreements we sign that show internationalization, but rather the work we do while together on ending pandemics, fostering rule of law and other community impactful engagements. Surprisingly Prof Kajubi knew all this”. Concluded Dr. Pippenger who urged universities to stick to their visions and missions which should reflect on the communities they serve.

Dr. Michael Pippenger delivers the keynote address.
Dr. Michael Pippenger delivers the keynote address.

Prof. William Senteza Kajubi served as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University at two different intervals 1977 – 1979 and 1990 – 1993. He was also a member of the constitutional Assembly that drafted Uganda’s constitution of 1995. He devoted his life to Academics and impacting communities until his death on May 1st, 2012.


Prof. Senteza Kajubi was born in 1926, in Singo county (modern day Mityana District), to Yoweri Bugonzi Kajubi and Bulanina Namukomya. His family later moved closer to the capital and settled in Busega, a suburb in the outskirts of Kampala, where he began his long journey with, or rather in, education at the Mackay Memorial Primary School in 1933. He then attended Mengo Junior School from 1941 to 1943 before transferring to King’s College Budo for his Advanced Level, finally making it to Makerere College in 1947 where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma in Education. 

Shortly after he graduated, Prof. Kajubi taught at Kako Junior Secondary School before going to the University of Chicago for a Master of Science in Geography. Later, in 1955, he went back to his alma mater, King’s College Budo, and taught Geography. It was during this period that he taught other notable personalities in Uganda’s history such as Mathew Rukikaire and Prof. Apolo Nsibambi in a predominantly white environment. The only other native teachers at Budo, then, were the Deputy Headteacher, Mr. Sempebwa and Erisa Kironde, an English language teacher. 

As one of the few Protestant members of a predominantly Catholic Democratic party (DP), Senteza Kajubi was a member of the National Symbols Committee which was tasked with selecting the national anthem, flag and coat of arms. 

The Moderator-Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha (L) and Panelists (L-R): Dr. James Nkata, Prof. Umar Kakumba and Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.
The Moderator-Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha (L) and Panelists (L-R): Dr. James Nkata, Prof. Umar Kakumba and Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.

His political acumen propelled him to chair a number of government boards over the years until he directly participated in electoral politics in 1994 as a delegate of the Constituent Assembly representing Kyadondo North.

Two years after Uganda got independence, now a lecturer at Makerere University, Prof. Senteza was appointed the Director of National Institute of Education. He served there until 1977 when he became Vice Chancellor for the first time. 

Education Policy Formation in Uganda

As the Secretary General of the Uganda Teachers’ Association from 1959 to 1962, Prof. Senteza Kajubi was a member of the famed Castle Commission on Uganda’s post-independence education policy framework.

Instituted and appointed in January 1963, the Castle Commission had been tasked with examining the content and structure of education in Uganda in light of the approved recommendations of the International Bank Survey Mission Report, Uganda’s financial position and its future manpower requirement. 

In the execution of its mandate, the commission dealt with a dilemma; if the formulated policy disproportionately focused on universal primary education and adult literacy while neglecting secondary, tertiary and higher education, it would fail to produce high level manpower which was required to staff government and teach in schools. However, on the other hand, the country did not have the resources to make improvements across the board and had to prioritise one option to the detriment of the other.

Since Makerere was still under the University of East Africa and higher education was still an inter-territorial responsibility, the commission instead focused on prioritising teacher-training, expanding secondary school enrolment and improving relevance, quality and access of primary education in remote areas.

In 1977, during his first tenure as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Kajubi went on to chair the Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) which was appointed by Idi Amin’s Minister of Education, Brig. Barnabas Kili.

Dr. Michael Pippenger (R) joins members of the Panel on stage during the interaction with the audience at the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture.
Dr. Michael Pippenger (R) joins members of the Panel on stage during the interaction with the audience at the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture.

Owing to the political climate at the time, the education system was facing even dire problems. The gross human rights violations had led to a mass exodus of highly qualified professionals from civil service, teachers and university faculty into exile. Imploding diplomatic relations rendered external assistance with regard to education inexistent and the government had to deal with shortages from personnel to instructional material.

Prof. Senteza Kajubi was then tasked with the responsibility of leading an effort to circumvent some of these challenges and therefore keeping the education system in Uganda alive. Unfortunately, the findings and recommendations of the report, from its members and constituent sub-committees were overtaken by events in 1979 when war broke out and the Idi Amin regime was overthrown. The report was shelved and never formally presented to cabinet.

In 1987, after the ascendancy of the NRM government into power, another commission, once again headed by Prof. Senteza Kajubi, was appointed. Still under similarly unique circumstances, this commission too had to work within the socio-economic confines of a post-war society riddled with scarcity of resources. Eighteen months later, the commission’s report was produced in January 1989.

The Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF), Makerere University puts on a show during the musical interlude.
The Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF), Makerere University puts on a show the musical interlude.

The most notable outcome of this committee report was a government white paper which brought to life the famous Universal Primary Education. This recommendation alone, for all its limitations, has contributed significantly to literacy levels in Uganda and to the education system as a whole.

After chairing the second Kajubi commission, he then became the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University for the second time, from 1990 to 1993, preceded by Prof. George Kirya and succeeded by Prof. John Ssebuwufu.

The Fulbright Program

In 1952, Prof. Senteza went on to the University of Chicago, on a Fulbright Scholarship, to pursue a Master of Science in Geography, making him the first African beneficiary of this scholarship program.  

The student exchange scholarship program, which was started shortly after the Second World War by an act of Congress, was named after the American Senator J. William Fulbright, its framer. He made the case that “educational exchange could turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanising of international relations.” 

Through his notable achievements and illustrious career, it is clear that this initiative to bridge cultural gaps through an international education exchange program had Prof. Senteza as one its successes.

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CEES to host Prof. Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture



Makerere@100 Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture, 22nd September 2022, 2:00-5:00PM, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

The College of Education and External Studies (CEES) is set to honour Prof. William Senteza Kajubi with a public lecture as part of the Makerere@100 celebrations.

The public lecture is scheduled for Thursday September 22, 2022 at 2pm in the Yusuf Lule Auditorium (Former CTF2).

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Michael Pippenger, the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization at the University of Notre Dame, under the theme “Internationalization of Higher Education in the next Century”.

The panel discussants are drawn from various places and come with a wealth of experience. These include; Dr. James Nkata, the Director General of Uganda Management Institute, Associate Professor Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs and Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize, the Superintendent-Industrial Value Chains Development at the Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat, Office of the President.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Nambi Rebecca, a Lecturer in the Department of Humanities and Language Education at CEES. 

About William Senteza Kajubi

Prof. William Senteza Kajubi, a Ugandan, was remarkably an accomplished academician, educationalist, administrator, consultant as well as a community leader.

Upon completing his Bachelor of Arts with Diploma in Education, at Makerere University, in 1950, Kajubi enrolled for a post-graduate course, Master of Science in Geography, at the University of Chicago, and graduated in 1955.

Professor William Senteza Kajubi gives his acceptance speech during a ceremony to unveil a bust in his honour on 20th December 2010 at the School of Education, CEES, Makerere University.
Professor William Senteza Kajubi gives his acceptance speech during a ceremony to unveil a bust in his honour on 20th December 2010 at the School of Education, CEES, Makerere University.

Kajubi was the first African to be awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States of America in 1952. From the 1950s, Kajubi worked for different institutions in various capacities, including, as a secondary teacher; University Lecturer; Principal of Kyambogo Institute of Higher Education; Director of National Institute of Education at Makerere University; twice, as Makerere University Vice Chancellor; and Vice Chancellor of Nkumba, a private University in Uganda.

In 2010, Mbarara University of Science and Technology awarded Kajubi an Honorary Doctoral degree of Science. In other responsibilities, Kajubi was the first chairman of the Association for Teacher Education in Africa.

In addition, he served as the Vice-President of the International Council of Education for Teachers.

Lastly, he is also remembered for being a consultant for the Namibian National Education System upon Namibia’s independence in 1990.

The Keynote Speaker

Dr. Michael Pippenger
Dr. Michael Pippenger

Dr. Michael Pippenger was appointed vice president and associate provost for internationalization at Notre Dame in 2016. His major responsibilities include advising University leadership on global strategies and overseeing Notre Dame International, which leads efforts to broaden Notre Dame’s international culture, programs, reach, and reputation through study abroad, expanded international research, international collaborative projects, and strategic relationships with global partners.

Pippenger also leads the academic and operational work of Notre Dame’s Global Gateways and Centers. Additionally, he chairs the University Committee on Internationalization.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Pippenger was dean of undergraduate global programs at
Columbia University and director of scholarship programs in the College of Arts and Sciences
at New York University. A graduate of Carleton College, Pippenger holds an M.A. and a Ph.D.
in English literature from Indiana University.


Associate Professor Umar Kakumba

Prof. Umar Kakumba.
Prof. Umar Kakumba.

Associate Professor Kakumba is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of academic affairs at Makerere University. He is also the former Dean of the School of Business and Management Sciences, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS). He has served as a Member of the University’s Senate and initiated programmes such the Pan-African Capacity Building Programme and the Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx) project.

Prof. Kakumba holds a PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Pretoria, a Master of Public Administration & Management and a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences also from Makerere University).

Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize

Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.
Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.

Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize was appointed the Superintendent-Industrial Value Chains Development at the Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat, Office of the President in 2022. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating the implementation of strategic research, technology development and innovation to facilitate development of Uganda’s priority industrial value chains (Pathogen Economy, Mobility, Industry 4.0+, Aeronautics and Space, Infrastructure Innovations, Productivity Acceleration, Import Substitution and Export Promotion).

He is on secondment from Makerere University where he is a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

He obtained a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University-USA (2014-2019) with support from the Fulbright Junior Staff Development Programme. He also holds Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering from Rutgers and Makerere University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University. He has also previously undertaken industrial residency at Philips Research North America in the Ultrasound Imaging and Interventions group.

His research body of work focuses on biomedical instrumentation, applications of machine learning in medical image computing and computer-assisted interventions, and Internet of Things (IoT) device development. He has over 20 peer reviewed articles, 5 USPTO & WIPO patent publications, and numerous international awards.

Dr. James Nkata

Dr. James Nkata.
Dr. James Nkata.

Dr. Nkata is a specialist and Scholar in Higher Education management, Administration and Planning. He is also a specialist in management and administration sciences in public sector. He is the Director General of Uganda Management Institute. Prior to that he was a Senior Lecturer of Management and Administrative Studies in Makerere University and also Director of the East African Institute of Higher Education Studies and Research. He has taught management and administration studies in various Universities for the last 35 years of which 22 years have been in the management and administration of public education at different levels. Dr. Nkata is a holder of PhD in Higher Education Management, Administration and Planning, MSc. and Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Administrative Sciences. He holds several other postgraduate qualifications in administrative law and public sector administration and practice.

He has 20 years exposure and experience in both international and national consultancy work in the fields of his specialty. He has been specifically engaged in policy formulation, planning, designing, running, conduction, and evaluating public policies and management programs at both strategic and operational levels. He has traveled and had an exposure to policies and administration practices in more than 37 countries of the world. He has been involved in national and international financial support negotiations with local and international agencies. He has won a number of research grants through his innovative experiences. He has served as an External Examiner of management and public administration in several Universities. He is credited for successfully supervising 17 PhD candidates in the area of management and public administration. He has extensively published books and Journal Articles in the area of management and administration of organizations. He is also the Chancellor YMCA Comprehensive Institute and Chairman of YMCA National Executive Committee.

He served as the Vice President of International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA), in charge of Africa region from 2016 to 2022. He is also serving on several editorial boards of a number of International Journals.


Dr. Rebecca Nambi.
Dr. Rebecca Nambi.

Dr. Rebecca Nambi received her PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK (2013-2015) with
support from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Humanities and Language Education at the Makerere University’s School of Education.

She teaches and supervises Masters and PhD students and tutors on English language, Literature in English and Distance Education Programs. Dr. Nambi is the Coordinator of the PhD program in her faculty and also participates on a number of committees including the Anti-sexual Harassment committee and the Uganda Association of University Women.
Dr. Nambi’s areas of research and publication include the following themes: adolescents’ literacy, educational research, entrepreneurship skills for the youth, digital literacy in higher education and refugee students in higher education among others.

Update: Please click the link below to view the article from the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture

Gone but still lives on: Makerere University celebrates Prof. Kajubi’s legacy

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