Connect with us

Business & Management

Academicians Retooled on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA)

Published

on

By Jane Anyango

Over 30 members of the academia comprising staff and graduate students from Makerere University School of Economics, Muni University and Makerere University Business School  on 28th September, 2021 converged for a training on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).

The blended seminar held physically and virtually was organized by the Environment for Development Initiative (EfD-Mak) Centre facilitated by the Makerere University don, who is also Research Fellow at the EfD-Mak center and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Nickolas Kilimani.

Dr. Kilimani streamed live from the USA on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting focusing on the Integrated Water Resources Management, Policy Analysis and Decision making.

Dr. Kilimani highlighted the recent developments in Environmental-Economic Accounting in Uganda, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting  and its objectives, Water resources accounting modules and the role of Water Accounting in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Dr. Kilimani observed that the national economic policy has been underpinned by macroeconomic theory and the necessary statistics are collected and arranged using the System of National Accounts (SNA) which covers all economic activity from production to consumption and accumulation, and all industries using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the key indicator.

He noted that the basic theoretical foundation of the SNA has not changed since 1953 even with the detail that has evolved with technological, economic and social change adding that, for more than 70 years, governments and business have used the information from the SNA as an information source in economic analysis and policy.

Dr. Nicholas Kilimani delivers his training on SEEA online
Dr. Nicholas Kilimani delivers his training on SEEA online

“The SNA does not adequately account for the environment and yet economic activity can adversely drive both observed and unobserved changes in it. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) aims to address the deficiency of the traditional national accounting (the SNA) by accounting for the environment and linking it to environmental information through common concepts, definitions and classifications” Dr. Kilimani stated.

Compared to the SNA, Kilimani said, the SEEA is not yet widely used in decision making, partly because, it has recently been adopted as an international standard.

Dr. Kilimani said the objectives of SEEA are to develop a consistent data system for economic and environmental data and provide a common system to derive indicators and measure sustainable development. 

He explained that the SEEA provides a better measure of national wealth to include not only produced capital but also natural capital,  and assesses availability of natural resources, their use in production and final consumption and the cost of depletion. In addition  Kilimani said, SEEA assess the level and cost of emissions and other waste from production and consumption and identifies monetary flows related to the environment which are already within the SNA (e.g., expenditures on environmental protection, environmental taxes and subsidies,etc.)

Dr. Kilimani underscored the role of Water Accounting in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) noting that the growing pressure on water resources and high uncertainty on future water availability have caused the urgent need for better planning and management.

He emphasized that water is not only essential to cover basic needs for humans and the environment that underpins them, it is also a key factor for the economic development of diverse sectors with conflicting interests as regard to its use.

A dual view of Physical participants in the Makerere University EfD Conference Room (L) interacting with Dr. Nicholas Kilimani (R) live from the US.
A dual view of Physical participants in the Makerere University EfD Conference Room (L) interacting with Dr. Nicholas Kilimani (R) live from the US.

“The IWRM paradigm is considered a good approach to deal with those complexities. It proposes a coordinated utilization of water and land resources to support economic and social development without compromising environmental sustainability.

It recognizes that water management is a key aspect since human intervention is the trigger for all trade-offs and conflicts around water. IWRM highlights the influence of catchment management on water resources quantity and quality, as well as the need to preserve the natural capital for future generations.” He added.

Dr. Kilimani said Water management is considered a social, economic, and political issue rather than just technical and therefore, stakeholder involvement in water management is needed and this translates into legal requirements for public participation and transparency in water governance.

“The value of water, the opportunity costs of its allocation, or the costs of making it available should be known and recognized in order to incentivize water use efficiency. The implementation of those legal requirements calls for making information about water publicly available in a clear and accessible way. In this sense, water accounting emerges as a useful tool to promote efficiency and transparency in water resource planning and management”, Kilimani stated.

The current and proposed framework for IWRM in Uganda

Dr. Kilimani said the existing institutional and policy framework shows the multiple institutions charged with the management of water resources in Uganda, but, there is a need for an explicit connection between water sector policies and those of the social-economic sectors, since water resources are a key input into the country’s economic and social sectors.

Participants pose for a group photo with EfD-Mak Centre Director Prof. Edward Bbaale after the seminar.
Participants pose for a group photo with EfD-Mak Centre Director Prof. Edward Bbaale after the seminar.

“The institutional framework in Uganda, provides for a key component such as Water for Production. Institutions in charge of managing the productive sectors of the economy, i.e., MoFPED, (MAAIF), and the MTTI need to link their development plans and policies with those of the water sector.  A sound national water policy should relate the different development plans of the social-economic sectors in an explicit manner”. Kilimani said.

In the (2015) paper, Dr. Kilimani and other researchers proposed a framework for policy analysis which relates the development plans for the different social-economic sectors to those of the water sector.

This framework he said is aimed at providing policy analysis of IWRM in a typical economy by linking e.g., agriculture, industry, households, hydro-electricity and navigation which are key sectors that primarily depend on water.

The don explained that development plans in these sectors involve several policy variables and inputs. Therefore, the interaction between the policy variables and their impacts are monitored through multiple indicators in the social-economic and ecological domains.

“Given the multiplicity of variables, the SEEA framework uses aggregated water data as do the existing approaches for analyzing the associated policy impacts.

Some of the female graduate students that attended the training listen to proceedings.
Some of the female graduate students that attended the training listen to proceedings.

Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models also use aggregation and hierarchical decomposition in order to simplify model development and data compression to manageable sizes.

While the aggregation hides some of the temporal and spatial variability, it still preserves the fundamental trends that help to provide needed answers by policy-makers”, Kilimani said.

SEEA, a new area of interest to academicians and the Government of Government

The Director EfD-Mak Center Prof. Edward Bbaale described  the seminar  as the most exciting because it brought on board a new area which is of interest to the Government of Uganda.

Prof. Bbaale said, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the National Planning Authority and other partners are trying to work on the system of Environmental-Economic Accounting away from the conventional system of National Accounting.

“Our System of National Accounting is deficient in incorporating Environmental aspects because as we produce and consume, then in one way or another, we are depleting the environment which we refer to as natural capital and this natural capital is all the time depreciating but there is no way in our conventional GDP measurements that, but now, this new system is solution to this”, Prof. Bbaale stated.

From the academic perspective, Prof. Bbaale commended the facilitator for showing participants   how to undertake the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting and ably bringing participants on board in terms of the key variables that are important in this new system specific to the water sector.

A section of staff and graduate students that attended the seminar
A section of staff and graduate students that attended the seminar

The  Director appreciated Dr. Kilimani for exposing  participants to the policy,  non-policy and  the output variables and giving tips on some methods such as the Computable general equilibrium (CGE) which can be utilized to understand the impact of a policy decision on the rest of the economy in terms of the social, economic and environmental outcome.

“The lesson here is that we need to invest our time into understanding this new System of Environmental-Economic Accounting as a way of incorporating new ventures in our research as economists and academicians. And to our graduate students, this is an area worthy of investing their time and I am glad that a number of graduate students attended this seminar”, Prof. Edward Bbaale said.

Prof. Bbaale said, a number of reports are already out and that SEEA is an area which is very virgin, where very limited research has been undertaken partly because of lack of numbers that incorporate the environment into the entire national analysis.

“But now, some strides have been taken, some milestones are being achieved and if our own, Dr. Nickolas Kilimani with a Fulbright Scholar in the US is having all these on his fingertips, it is a huge resource to Makerere University, to our country and it is a starting point of deeper analysis into how the environment is being affected when we are doing our production and consumption   activities”, Prof. Bbaale said.

He reported that the seminar was quite intriguing and important for national policy and pledged to arrange to involve policy makers from the Ministry of Water and Environment and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation in the next seminar.

Participants comment on the seminar

Makerere University PhD student from the School of Economics Alex Aliga, who is also a lecturer at Muni University Uganda said the seminar was timely.

“It has enriched many of the things that I had learnt in class and I had taken for granted. The System of Environment and Economic Analysis though new is very important and interesting because once you begin to understand Natural Resource Accounting and integrate it into GDP, then we get to understand the full value of our resources. In that case, it means that we may actually be richer than what we thought we are. Some of these things are not easy to bring to the GDP which is the measure of our national economy.

Some of the graduate students and staff from Muni University that attended the seminar.
Some of the graduate students and staff from Muni University that attended the seminar.

I got many lessons; – understanding how you can apply the theoretical things into practical and to influence policy is very important for our country. Given the fact that our resources are under attack, climatic change and environmental issues are real, we need this knowledge so as to be able to sustainably use our resources for a better future”, Mr. Aliga said.

Dr. Paul Edabu, a Senior Lecturer at Muni University said:

“The day’s seminar was an eye opener to the current situation in Uganda bearing in mind that we have two blocks of people who are in accounts and economics and there is no integration even in our ministries.

Our country is at a paradox, today people are restricted to cut trees from the forests and also carrying out farming in the wetlands and the next day, a factory is erected in the wetland. This seminar is timely and something I had yearned to learn because it incorporates the environment as a key resource into the national accounting system”,  Dr. Edabu commented.

SEEA and the Government of Uganda

Government of Uganda (GoU) is moving towards resource-led industrialization by developing a set of natural capital accounts under the Uganda Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) program. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), National Development Plan, and Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS) recognize the challenges of development planning without accounting for its effect on natural resources, many of which are non-renewable.

In cognizance of the above, GoU with her development partner UNEP with its World Conservation Monitoring Centre arm is working with the Darwin Initiative to develop  Natural Capital Accounts for Uganda.

The project is aligned with existing initiatives on natural capital accounting, i.e., the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainable Development in Africa, the UN project on Natural Capital Accounting, and the World Bank Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services programme.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Ministry of Water and Environment, and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development commenced with the development of land accounts and Water accounts in 2019.  Under the NCA program, the country launched the Wood Asset and Forest Resources Accounts.

Natural Capital Accounting effort is based on the international statistical standard, System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).

Jane Anyango is the Principal Communication Officer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

Business & Management

MBA Shortlist for Graduate Admission Test (GAT) 2022/2023

Published

on

An aerial photo of L-R: The Main Library, Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2), School of Economics and School of Business (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, invites all shortlisted candidates who applied for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme offered at Makerere University Main Campus; College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) for academic year 2022/2023 for a Graduate Admission Test (GAT).

The test is scheduled to take place on Saturday 27th August, 2022 starting 9:00 AM at CoBAMS.

Further information can be accessed by following the link:

Shortlist for Graduate Admission Test (GAT) 2022/2023

Continue Reading

Business & Management

Hon. Baryomunsi Launches Book with Pledge to continue Supporting Research

Published

on

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi signs a dummy of the Book "Academics, Research and Leadership in Institutions of Higher Learning: Experiences from Makerere University" signifying its launch on 29th July 2022.

The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, the Hon. Chris Baryomunsi today July 29, 2022, launched a book authored by 20 researchers of Makerere University.

The book titled “Academics, Research and Leadership in Institutions of Higher Learning: Experiences from Makerere University” details the research and training experiences of some academic units in Makerere University. The programs analyzed in the book include training of statisticians, population scientists, quantitative economists among others. The book documents past, present and emerging issues in training and research in the above fields. The book, according to Prof. Ben Kiregyera who gave the keynote address, makes the case for strengthening the infrastructure for training and research including technical and administrative leadership. The book also looks at the acquisition of new knowledge, strategic skills and competences in different disciplines to meet the 21st century development and data challenges.

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, also a former lecturer in the department of population studies said the government would continue to support research and innovation because they drive development of the economy. “What we need to do better is engage policy makers in our research processes,” Dr. Baryomunsi advised. “Your research needs to inform government but you also have a role of simplifying statistics to the public”. He challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, who represented the Vice Chancellor, applauded the authors of the book, saying they are greatly contributing to the research agenda of the university. He said the book will go a long way in informing decision making in the university, as the university moves into becoming a research led university.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe delivers the remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
Prof. Henry Alinaitwe delivers the remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The Principal of the College of Business and Management Science, Prof. Eria Hisali, who was represented by the Deputy Principal Prof. Bruno Yawe, congratulated the authors and editorsfor a job well done. “This is yet another reminder that a lot can be achieved when we are determined and when we choose to work closely together,” the Principal said.

The Principal told the authors, most of whom were drawn from CoBAMS that the college will be launching a special purpose vehicle for policy engagements called the Policy Labs. This will bring together policy makers, implementers, private sector actors, development partners and the academia to engage on topical policy issues. It will enable researchers to share the recommendations with a wider audience of policy makers and implementers.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd L), Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other officials at the Book Launch.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd L), Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other officials at the Book Launch.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi also congratulated the authors and reemphasized the university’s commitment to supporting research geared at finding home grown solutions to society challenges.

The coordinators of the book project, Prof. Abel Nzabona, shared with the audience the 5-year journey of writing the book.

The journey started in June 2018 when Prof. Ronald Wesonga (in the company of Dr. Fred Maniragaba) mentioned that he had a book idea and wanted Prof. Nzabona to coordinate the writing process. Prof Ronald Wesonga’s idea of the book was an academic document that was researched, evidence-based, informative, marketable and interesting to read. The team then set out on a journey or writing, vetting, peer-reviewing and manuscript writing, identifying editors and publishers. 

Part of the audience at the Book Launch.
Part of the audience at the Book Launch.

“We started off with just 4 chapters but never gave up. We intensified the popularization of the book idea and eventually reached the 15-chapter mark,” Prof. Nzabona said. The team was delighted to have been joined by colleagues from the College of Education and External Studies namely Dr David Onen and Prof. Fred Bakkabulindi.

The vision bearer and funder of the publication, Prof. Ronald Wesonga, in his remarks highlighted the objectives of the book which included:

  1. To Share evidence-based, data-driven experiences pertaining academics and research leadership at Makerere University.
  2. To Infer how leadership shapes academics and research outputs at universities
  3. To Provide viable recommendations based on findings from different studies
  4. To Contribute to the Mak@100 celebrations

The book Prof. Wesonga shared addresses the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of leadership on excellence in academics? Addressed in seven chapters: {4,5,6,7,9,10,12}
  2. What is the effect of leadership on research outputs? Addressed in six chapters: {2,3,8,11,13,14}
One of the Book Authors, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana.
One of the Book Authors, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana.

The book employed the following methodology:

  1. Teamwork and networking
  2. Primary and secondary data sources
  3. Literature Search
  4. Mixed Methods
  5. Descriptive and Inferential Approaches
  6. Quality Standardization and Flow (Abstract, KW, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion & Recommendations)

According to Prof. Wesonga, the book’s unique attributes include:

  1. First ever in the history of Mak to demonstrate impeccable teamwork and network with 20 contributing authors
  2. Pioneering book in Mak history that focuses on leadership audit
  3. Proven data-driven scientific approach
  4. Baseline for various monographs, yet to come soon
  5. First book to be internationally demanded before its launch
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (5th R) poses with officials and some of the authors at the Book Launch on 29th July 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (5th R) poses with officials and some of the authors at the Book Launch on 29th July 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

THE AUTHORS

  1. Anthony Tibaingana
  2. Abraham Y. Owino
  3. Mwanga Yeko
  4. Fred Maniragaba
  5. Ronald Wesonga
  6. John Mushomi Atwebembeire
  7. Abel Nzabona
  8. John Paul Tugume
  9. Christian Kakuba
  10. Charles Lwanga
  11. Ishmael Kalule-Sabiti
  12. James Ntozi
  13. Edward Musoke
  14. Richard Tuyiragize
  15. Fabian Nabugoomu
  16. John Bosco Asiimwe
  17. Yeko Mwanga
  18. Paulino Ariho
  19. Fred Edward K. Bakkabulindi
  20. David Onen

EDITORS:

  1. Fredrick Ruguma Tumwine
  2. Fred E. K. Bakkabulindi
  3. James Ntozi

Continue Reading

Business & Management

Makerere signs MoU with ACCA: CoBAMS students to get exam exemption

Published

on

The Principal CoBAMS, Prof. Eria Hisali (C) and ACCA Uganda Country Manager, Ms. Charlotte Kukunda (L) exchange the signed agreement as the Dean School of Business, Prof. Godfrey Akileng (R) applauds on 18th July 2022, Makerere University.

Makerere University, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which is set to benefit students of Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting major.

According to the Country Manager of ACCA Uganda, Charlotte Kukunda, Makerere University students, starting with the next Academic year 2023 will be exempted from 8 examination papers out of the 13 papers one is supposed to take before being certified as a professional accountant.

This means that of Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting students will be sitting for only 5 out of 13 examinations to attain full ACCA qualifications.

The accreditation is for five years effective 2023 to 2027.

This comes with a reduction in the years a student is scheduled to spend studying ACCA as well as reducing the money one is supposed to spend on the eight courses.

Ms. Kukunda said that it takes one about two years to complete the ACCA course if one is to do all the 13 courses. However, with the exception of the 8 examinations, one can finish the course in one year.

The team from ACCA joins Management and staff of CoBAMS for a group photo.
The team from ACCA joins Management and staff of CoBAMS for a group photo.

During the signing ceremony, the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Prof. Eria Hisali, who represented the Vice Chancellor said the exemptions are a stamp of quality of the curriculum and education that the school of Business offers. He said the college was dedicated to conducting quality assurance for her courses, service delivery and research. “We want to get to the level where all our flagship programs are internationally accredited,” Prof. Hisali said.  

The Dean School of Business, Prof. Godfrey Akileng, said before the accredidation was done, ACCA conducted an audit of the curriculum and examinations of the Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting course.

“This decision means that ACCA highly regards the quality of the curriculum, training and examination of Bachelor of Commerce and that students of Bachelor of Commerce-Accounting option will attempt only 5 examination papers to attain a full ACCA qualification,” Prof. Akileng said.

 This is because, in some course units, what the students will have studied and accomplished within their three years of Bachelor’s training will be similar to some of the post-business school content they ordinarily should have encountered as part of their ACCA training.

View on CoBAMS

Continue Reading

Trending