By Jane Anyango
Hundreds of mourners on Friday 2nd July, 2021 flocked social media platforms to pay their last respects to the Makerere University don and iconic Professor, the Late Noble Ephraim Banadda, who succumbed to COVID-19 on 1st July 2021 at CASE Hospital in Kampala after battling for his life for about one month.
The church service conducted physically and online at Makerere University’s School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall attracted 500 participants on zoom, 78 on Facebook, 80 on YouTube, 40 on Instagram and 100 on twitter.
The function was graced by Makerere University leadership including the Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma, Council Chairperson Mrs. Lorna Magara, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Dr. Umar Kakumba, Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) Dr. Josephine Nabukenya, Director Gender Mainstreaming Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine as well as Dean School of Women and Gender Studies Dr. Sarah Ssali and Chairperson Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) Grants Management Committee (GMC) Prof. William Bazeyo.
The service was also attended by the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Principal College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, the Dean School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Dr. Abel Atukwase and Makerere University Academic Staff Associaiton (MUASA) Vice Chairperson, Prof. Edward Mwavu. Others were staff, students, friends and family members and relatives to the deceased and members from the diaspora.
The Church service
The service was led by the Executive Secretary of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Uganda (SDA) Pastor Dr. Maka Moses accompanied by the Chair Makerere University SDA Students Association Dr. Milka.
In his summon, Pastor Maka told the congregation that as they mourn the departed pillar of Makerere University, they should remember that his is over and it is now about them.
In his key message, Pastor Maka told mourners that as they do research, go about their business and make investments, they should know that death can strike any time imploring them to do the best for every day they live and also build their spiritual capital as well.
“Psalms 90:12 teaches us to number and remember our days that we may gain the hearts of wisdom. The French philosopher Jack said, we are born crying, we go through life complaining and die unsatisfied”, the Pastor said.
Pastor Maka said the greatest fear for humans is death because no one will ever get used to it nor get experience in it.
Speech by Chancellor
The Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma described the death of Prof. Banadda as an indelible loss to the family and a huge loss to the country.
“Banadda was just born in 1975 when I had been a lecturer for 18 months and enrolled for my PhD. It is hard to accept that, that young man, has gone from us.
He stood out, invited me to officiate at a number of events and when he got the Vatican Award, he informed me.
He was on the special subcommittee of the economy on agro processing and the speed at which he responded to work assignments was remarkable. This loss to Uganda is unbearable but we have no choice, we have to submit to Gods will.
His life was gentle and elements well mixed, nurtured all over Uganda, a special man who touched, helped and worked for his family and country. Now he is gone, we pray that we shall be in heaven with him and will live with him in eternity”. Prof. Suruma remarked.
Speech by Chairperson Council
Mrs. Lorna Magara said it was a very difficult afternoon from the previous day when Makerere was filled with heavy hearts at the loss of Prof. Banadda that has left many speechless and depressed. On behalf of Council, Mrs. Magara conveyed condolence to the bereaved family and University fraternity.
“Prof. Banadda was one of those members that warmly welcomed me to council and pledged support. He was one council member that was assuring and very supportive. We became friends and even when he left council, he would send video clips and never failed to send a joke or two.
The loss of Banadda has been one of the most painful and difficult one I have ever faced. Noble has been a prolific academic in University policy space.
Banadda never shied away from responsibility. The somber mood that has swallowed the University demonstrates how he touched the lives of many people.
As we mourn, let us remember to celebrate his incredible achievements in 46 years. Let us celebrate a father, colleague, and countryman. Council commits him in the arms of the Lord. He will be dearly missed by all,” said Mrs. Magara.
Speech by Vice Chancellor
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said this was the time to celebrate a short, but great life urging the congregation to thank God for a life well lived.
He said at the time of Prof. Banadda’s death, the medical bills stood at 110 million shillings. Of these 34 million had been cleared by the Petroleum Authority while 50 million had been raised by staff.
Prof. Nawangwe on behalf of the university delivered a two paged message of condolence detailing the early life of the Late professor, his career growth and contributions Banadda made to the university, the country and the world and the distinct persona of Banadda the late that left many in somber mood.
Prof. Nawangwe conveyed a message of condolence to the bereaved family, friends, relatives and university community verbatim below:
“It is with the deepest regret and heavy hearts that Makerere University Management, staff and students extend this message of condolence on the shocking and sudden death of Professor Noble Banadda, I extend my deepest sympathies to his loved ones, for the loss of such a brilliant Ugandan bio systems engineer, researcher and academician. We mourn a dedicated member of the academic community who has been taken from us so unexpectedly.
Banadda was born in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city on May 14, 1975. 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.
Speech by Principal CAES
The Principal CAES Prof. Bernard Bashaasha described the day as a sad moment meant to condole with the bereaved family saying, they had all lost a life and love of a father, parent, friend and a good man.
“We have lost a good man, a true definition of our academic of the time. Looking at his research, academic, awards, I was touched. His teaching, internationalization and administrative foot print speak volumes for his achievements.
He joined university in January 2006 and quickly ran through the ranks to full professor. He has left a huge legacy with research, innovations on ground.
He built from scratch the Department of Agricultural and Bio systems engineering and led it to greater heights.
He was a friendly person, frank and down to earth in character and never hesitated nor shied away to take on responsibility.
He related with me as a friend not like his boss, worked hard to build his students and the university. Makerere has lost a pillar heading AICAD regional body, not only CAES and Makerere but also a loss to the global citizens.
He had many ambitions as a young man. We pray that God gives solace to the family to cope. We have many questions unanswered. May God provide the answers.” Prof. Bashaasha submitted.
Speech Chairperson Mak-RIF GMC
Prof. William Bazeyo said, it was a very sad moment for him to speak about Prof. Banadda who had been a very close friend. He sai,d the passing on of Prof. Banadda raises questions as to whether the country was losing the battle against COVID-19 or something else was happening.
Prof. Bazeyo implored the university to cherish what the fallen colleague Banadda had left behind.
“Banadda was a young man and has been staff for ten years but his impact on the university is more than many professors that have been here for over 30 years. The greatest loss is on Makerere University. We have lost many people but this time, we have lost one who would build the University when we are not here.
He had many friends in Makerere and outside, the ones that he has walked with every day and he would sit with them at Piato restaurant just to talk about work”, Prof. Bazeyo said.
On plans to establish a University ICU and oxygen plant
Prof Bazeyo said the demise of Banadda had left a big hole in the CAES. He however noted that the late professor was not selfish and shared his works and therefore should find means of filling this gap.
He said, the Vice Chancellor was doing all it takes to establish an ICU at Makerere University Hospital and also build an oxygen plant.
“For three months, we are going to make sure that we have an alternative place for Ugandans to access medical services” He said.
The recording of Live proceedings from the Service to Celebrate the Life of Prof. Noble Ephraim Banadda may be accessed by clicking the embedded video below.
Call For Nominations for the Position of Chancellor Makerere University
Makerere University invites nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University.
Purpose of the position
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presides over all ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University.
Please see Download below for details.
The deadline for submission of nominations is 11th January 2024 at 5:00 p.m. East African Time.
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
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