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Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

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The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

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Dissolution of the 2020/2021 GRC and Guild Executive

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) hands over an assortment of Mak souvenirs to the 86th Guild President Mr. Ssempijja Ivan (L) after their meeting, June 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

To All Students

Communication from Dean of Students

This is to inform you that the Guild Representative Council and Guild Executive were dissolved on 08th October, 2021 by the Rt. Hon. Guild Speaker in accordance with Article 17(4) (e) to pave way for the Guild Presidential and Guild Representative Council elections for 2021/2022.2. The Electoral Commission was elected and begun its work.

Following the dissolution,- the guild matters are under the Care TakerGovernment provided for by Article 50 of the Guild Constitution.

The composition of the Care Taker Government is:

a) Dean of Students

b) Guild Speaker

c) Guild Advisor

d) Deputy Guild Speaker

e) Guild Legal Advisor

Winfred Kabumbuli
DEAN OF STUDENTS

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Call for Applications: PhD Thesis Completion Grants

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The Director DRGT, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi interacts with some of the 80 PhD Candidates attending the Training in Scholarly Writing and Communication Skills on 19th August 2019 at the Main Library, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

From the University’s annual budget allocation FY 2021/22, the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) established the PhD Thesis Completion Grants Program to support outstanding doctoral candidates on the verge of finalizing their thesis/dissertation, who have no other source of funding for the requested period.

The scheme is intended to help candidates make significant progress toward the completion of their thesis/dissertation and/or substantial improvement in the quality of their dissertation. The scheme is designed to enable candidates to focus full time on the writing of their theses, improving the quality of the dissertation and shortening the time required to complete the doctoral degree.

In effect, the grant is intended to decrease time to degree and to support higher quality outcomes among students nearing graduation where relatively modest resources will make a large difference.

Applications from PhD candidates who demonstrate a clear ability to impact mainstream academia and whose projects reflect, and contribute to, the aims of the DRGT are welcomed to apply.

  • Applicants should review the eligibility criteria specified below as those not meeting these criteria will not be considered.
  • No grant will be awarded for a Thesis/dissertation which has already been submitted for preliminary examination.

Awards:

A total of 10 grants will be awarded during the period of July 1 to December 31, 2021 to Fully Admitted and Registered students.

The total budget support will depend on the strength of the application but in any case not exceeding Shillings Ten million (UGX 10,000,000/=), which will be disbursed upon submission of a realistic activity-based budget.

Application Procedure

  1. Electronic submission of application with supporting documents saved under one file using the following format: last name_PhDgrant2021.doc
  2. Submit to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University; Email: conference[at]rgt.mak.ac.ug Copy to: director[at]rgt.mak.ac.ug
  3. Three (3) Hard copies should be addressed to:
    The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training,
    Senate Building Level 4, Room 410, Makerere University; P.O.BOX 7062, Kampala.
  4. Application Deadline: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 5TH, 2021; 5.00PM East African Time

NB: Only Successful applicants will be contacted.

Applications submitted to any other Email address other than the one above will not be accepted.

Inquiries:

For further information, please contact Mr. Nestor Mugabe, Research Grants Officer, DRGT Makerere University, via e-mail: nestor.mugabe[at]mak.ac.ug; Cell: +256-782-770032

Please Download below for the eligibility criteria and other details

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Mak Leadership Commends MURBS Fund Value Growth ahead of 11th AGM

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Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali (5th L) who represented the Chairperson Council with Members of Council, US-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (6th L), URBRA's Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (4th L), Chairperson MURBS BoT-Dr. Godwin Kakuba (7th L), MURBS Trustees, Representatives of Management as well as the Chairman MUASA and Representatives of Staff Associations at the presentation held on 19th October 2021, Senate Building, Makerere University.

The University Council and Management have commended the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) Board of Trustees (BoT), Service Providers and Secretariat on the Scheme’s fund value growth from UGX 209 Billion to UGX 255 Billion during the Financial Year 2020/21. The commendations were delivered on Tuesday 19th October 2021 in the Telepresence Centre, Senate Building at the presentation of MURBS’ performance for the aforementioned period ahead of the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to take place on Thursday 21st October 2021.

“The Chairperson of MURBS has told us that the Scheme now has assets worth UGX 255 Billion and has shown a rising trend of members’ benefits over the last few years. It is quite remarkable that 200 University employees have crossed into the group having over UGX 200 million in a space of one year!” exclaimed the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in his remarks.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks.

Earlier, Dr. Godwin Kakuba the Chairperson MURBS BoT had in his communication shared that the Scheme recorded two (2) members whose benefits crossed into the UGX 350-400 Million range, while four (4) members’ benefits crossed into the UGX 300-350 Million range within the period 30th June 2021 to 30th June 2021. Furthermore, within the same period, members with benefits in the UGX 250-300 Million range grew from six (6) to seventy eight (78), while those in the UGX 200-250 Million range grew from seventy three (73) to two hundred seventy three (273).

“These are good performance indicators and I am sure members of MURBS are pleased about them. We too welcome these results and hope that they will result into something positive for the University” said Prof. Nawangwe.

The Chairperson Board of Trustees, Dr. Godwin Kakuba presents the Statement of MURBS' Performance for the FY 2020/21.
The Chairperson Board of Trustees, Dr. Godwin Kakuba presents the Statement of MURBS’ Performance for the FY 2020/21.

On this note, the Vice Chancellor urged members of MURBS to serve the University with dedication and contribute generously towards the reconstruction of the Main Building. He equally appealed to staff to actively participate in celebrations to mark 100 years of Makerere University’s existence. The year-long celebrations were launched by the President H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 9th October 2021 during the 59th Independence Day commemorations at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.  

The Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara who was represented by Council Member and Dean School of Women and Gender Studies, Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali in her remarks thanked God for MURBS’ notable achievement despite a Financial Year characterized by lockdowns and COVID-19 infection waves.

“These (performance indicators) are well above the objectives of the scheme and have added real growth to every individual member’s funds. I also congratulate the Trustees on this achievement” lauded Mrs. Magara.

Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali represented the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara.
Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali represented the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara.

At 77.79%, Treasury Bonds form the largest Asset Class in MURBS’ investment portfolio. This is followed by Investment property at 7.96%, Quoted shares (East Africa Equities) at 5.58%, Guaranteed Fund at 4.45%, Fixed Deposits at 2.15%, Treasury Bills at 2.01% and Corporate bonds at 0.07%.

The Chairperson congratulated MURBS upon winning an additional two accolades at the Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards in November 2020. Earlier, the Chairperson Board of Trustees reported that MURBS had emerged winner in the retirement benefits category of the FiRe Awards for four consecutive years.

Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali (3rd L), URBRA's Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L), University Secretary Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (C) and Chairperson MURBS BoT Dr. Godwin Kakuba (3rd R) with Trustees R-L: Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi, Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema and Mr. Joseph Ikarokok.
Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali (3rd L), URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L), University Secretary Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (C) and Chairperson MURBS BoT Dr. Godwin Kakuba (3rd R) with Trustees R-L: Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi, Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema and Mr. Joseph Ikarokok.

“That is something that brings me, and Makerere University Council as a whole, lots of joy. I am confident that those awards testify about the strength of the Scheme and the level of transparency that you put into this work. Please keep it up” complimented the Chairperson.

Mrs. Magara thanked the Government of Uganda for creating an investment climate that is conducive to good performance of retirement benefits schemes, as well as continuing to pay the salaries of Makerere University Staff from which the scheme receives monthly contributions to invest. She equally thanked the University administration for supporting MURBS by paying most of the staff benefits on time.

Members of the MURBS Secretariat led by Principal Pensions Office (PPO) Ms. Susan Khaitsa (C), and L-R: Assistant PPO (APPO) Mr. Patrick Sempijja, APPO Mrs. Juliet Nabukeera Kitaka, Office Administrators Ms. Rhona Asingwire and Mr. Marvin Kakuba.
Members of the MURBS Secretariat led by Principal Pensions Office (PPO) Ms. Susan Khaitsa (C), and L-R: Assistant PPO (APPO) Mr. Patrick Sempijja, APPO Mrs. Juliet Nabukeera Kitaka, Office Administrators Ms. Rhona Asingwire and Mr. Marvin Kakuba.

The Chairperson concluded by reiterating Council’s support to MURBS as a model scheme in the country and commitment to ensuring that the balance of the In-house debt is cleared.

“I am satisfied that the University Council is achieving the objectives of setting up MURBS. I would like to again advise the Trustees to continue exercising due diligence in all matters of the Scheme” she summed up.

URBRA's Director Legal Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa represented the CEO Mr. Martin Nsubuga.
URBRA’s Director Legal Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa represented the CEO Mr. Martin Nsubuga.

Representing the CEO Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) Mr. Martin Nsubuga, the Director Legal-Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa commended the Board of Trustees on the timely submission of financial statements, application for Trustee licences, quick responses to queries raised by the regulator and general adherence to the legal framework that governs the sector.

“URBRA is working tirelessly to support all licensed schemes in the promotion of good governance and overall management of the schemes’” added Mrs. Wasswa.

The URBRA representative thanked MURBS Trustees for working with the regulator to facilitate the development the Trustee Training and Certification Programme. Launched by URBRA in 2021, the programme is aimed at improving and enhancing professionalism of trustees.

Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali (2nd L) with L-R: URBRA's Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa, University Secretary Mr. Yusuf Kiranda and Chairperson MURBS BoT Dr. Godwin Kakuba at the presentation of MURBS’ performance for FY 2021/21 held on 19th October 2021 in the Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University.
Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali (2nd L) with L-R: URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa, University Secretary Mr. Yusuf Kiranda and Chairperson MURBS BoT Dr. Godwin Kakuba at the presentation of MURBS’ performance for FY 2021/21 held on 19th October 2021 in the Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University.

She commended MURBS on its new status as the mandatory retirement benefits scheme of Makerere University. “Given the new status of the scheme, we implore the Trustees to ensure strict compliance with the law, scheme trustee deed and the rules.”

The Chairperson Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Godwin Kakuba while presenting the Scheme’s performance reiterated MURBS’ commitment to ensuring that all practices of good governance are adhered to.

“For the Financial Year 2020/21, and in accordance with the Board Charter, the BoT engaged Profiles International Uganda Limited to evaluate its performance. This is the fourth time such an evaluation is being done and the results show that on the whole, the Board was rated very highly with an overall performance rating of ‘Excellent’.

The Secretary MURBS Board of Trustees Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi.
The Secretary MURBS Board of Trustees Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi.

“The Trustees will continue to work towards the realization of MURBS’ medium to long-term targets, such as, individual member holding reaching the UGX 500 Million band by 2024 and achieving 100% income replacement ratio by 2027” remarked Dr. Kakuba.

The Chairperson concluded by thanking the Chairperson and members of the University Council as well as the Vice Chancellor and members of Management for supporting MURBS to become a fully-fledged Employer Mandatory Scheme.

The presentation was moderated by Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi MURBS Secretary BoT and Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango.  

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