The Makerere University Council Chairperson represented by the Chairperson Finance, Planning, Administration and Investment Committee (FPAIC) of Council-Mr. Bruce Balaba Kabaasa has called upon Unit heads to ensure a consultative and inclusive budgeting process that is aligned to the objectives of the Third National Development Plan (NDPIII) and Makerere University Strategic Plan (2020-2030). The call was made during the Annual Budget Conference held virtually on 14th October 2021.
“It is my pleasure to preside over the opening of the Makerere University Budget Conference 2021, for the financial year 2022/2023. I wish to thank the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara who delegated me to perform this duty on her behalf” remarked Mr. Kabaasa.
He noted that the Higher Education sector, just like many other sectors, has been severely disrupted by measures aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 and has as a result suffered from shortfalls in revenue.
“It turns out that we must rethink the methodologies for pursuing our set goals because the new normal demands an urgent shift from business as usual and therefore, the budget being the principal tool for executing the new normal must shift” he pointed out.
The Chair FPAIC added that this year’s budgeting process was more critical than ever before, calling for a balance between realizing the goals and targets of the University Strategic Plan, and ensuring that the planned activities are consistent with operational dynamics occasioned by COVID-19.
He therefore urged the College Principals and Administrative Unit heads to align their budgets to the Budget Call Circular issued by the University Secretary as well as the University Strategic Plan and NDPIII.
“I wish to emphasise that the budgeting must be consultative and inclusive. Consultations must go beyond conferences such as the one we are having today. All stakeholders in given budgeting units must have a chance to contribute towards setting the budget priorities and allocation of funds to those priorities in the respective units” Mr. Kabaasa highlighted.
The Chair FPAIC further requested the budgeting units to involve the relevant Council Committees in the budgeting process right from the onset, as a means of ensuring adherence to set guidelines. He concluded by urging the cost centres to go beyond receiving technical guidance from the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD) and identify peculiarities within their respective units that respond to the gender and equity requirement and qualify them so as to fit within the regulations while meeting their unique needs.
In her remarks, the Acting Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance & Administration) Dr. Josephine Nabukenya thanked all participants for sparing time to congregate and deliberate on how best to deliver a good budget based on the proposed roadmap. The roadmap for the budget process for Financial Year 2022/2023 is highlighted below.
- 14th October 2021 – Stakeholders’ Budget Conference and Sensitisation on the new Budget structure aligned to NDPIII
- 14th October 2021 – Communication of the Budget Call Circular and issue of Ceilings to all the Units
- 19th October 2021 – Budget Units/Cost Centres Submit their Draft Budgets
- 20th October 2021 – Consolidation of University Budget
- 22nd and 23rd October 2021 – The University Budget Committee Retreat
- 25th October 2021 – The University Central Management Finance Committee Approval
- 26th October 2021 – The University Central Management Committee Approval
- 28th October 2021 – The Finance, Planning, Administration and Investment Committee (FPAIC) of Council Approval
- 5th November 2021 – University Council Approval
- 10th November 2021 – Submission of the Budget Framework Paper and the Consolidated Draft Budget 2022/2023 to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).
“We have had several meetings in preparation to fulfill this cycle and so far we seem to be progressing very well. We are extremely grateful to the cost centre heads, who have put in time to ensure that they follow the almanac for producing this budget in time” remarked Dr. Nabukenya.
She extended sincere thanks to the Offices of the University Secretary and University Bursar as well as the Planning and Development Unit for all preparations leading up to the Budget Conference. The Acting Vice Chancellor equally acknowledged and thanked the Colleges and Administrative Units that had already made input into the budgeting process, and urged others to make theirs too.
“May I request through this conference that everybody who is supposed to provide input to have this budget process executed successfully do their part and in a timely manner” said the Acting Vice Chancellor.
Earlier while introducing the budget process, the University Secretary (US) Mr. Yusuf Kiranda shared that the University had since receiving the Budget Call Circular from MoFPED on 15th September been making internal preparations, which included sourcing for the figures that form the basis for budgeting.
“These include projection of student numbers, staffing figures, infrastructure requirements, revenue from various sources including tuition and others, which together guide us on how we will budget” he explained.
The US noted that the conference was organized in compliance with the requirement of Section 9 (i) of the Public Finance Management Act 2015 (as amended), which requires every accounting officer in consultation with relevant stakeholders, to prepare a budget framework paper for the vote, taking into account consideration of balanced development as well as gender and equity responsiveness.
Referring to the Budget Call Circular received from MoFPED, Mr. Kiranda shared the theme for FY 2022/2023 as “Industrialisation for Inclusive Growth, Employment and Wealth Creation”. He also mentioned the budget strategy and priority interventions for the Government of Uganda in FY 2022/2023 as;
- To mitigate the COVID19 impact on business activity and livelihoods to support the recovery of the economy back to normality by increasing access to capital, revamping health infrastructure and health systems; reducing vulnerabilities and ensuring access to education.
- To speed up recovery of the economy; to sustain economic growth for socioeconomic transformation through re-prioritizing and delivering impactful investments and restructuring resources/budget to areas with more value for money.
- To sustain macro-economic stability, peace and security as key foundations for growth and development by keeping exchange rate stability, inflation control, maintaining an adequate reserve of forex; and mitigating emerging internal and external security threats.
Using the Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) as an example, the US noted that the University can tailor its research to answer to some of the priorities that have clearly defined in the National Budget Strategy 2022/2023.
Presenting the New Budget Structure FY 2022/2023 and implications for budgeting Units, Mr. Kabuye Matia, the Acting Manager Planning and Development informed the conference that the Education Sector has now been designated as a sub-programme under the Human Capital Development programme.
“In the new budget structure, all colleges are going to have three budget outputs namely: teaching and training; research, innovations and technology transfer; and community outreach. When it comes to the support services sub-sub-programme, the new budget structure includes: governance, which entails business of Council and Senate with their sub-committees; general administration and support; academic affairs; library services; contributions to research and international organizations; ICT/e-learning; research, consultancy and publications; students welfare,” explained Mr. Kabuye.
He also noted that under the new normal, emphasis should also be put on how cost centres are to support safe delivery of services. “Every vote should assign a specific department to coordinate the two Government-funded projects i.e. Retooling and Infrastructure Projects.”
The University Bursar, Mr. Evarist Bainomugisha who presented the Budget Performance FY 2019/2020 shared that the University received 98.9% of its approved budget of UGX 363.736 Billion. The proportionate distribution of the University budget expenditure was Wage 58%, Non-wage 38% and Development 4%.
“Collections for last financial year were UGX 69.6 Billion, which was 72% of the budget, and the shortfall is attributed to COVID-19 and the closure of the University resulting in some of the students not paying tuition” explained the Bursar.
In terms of Retooling and Infrastructure Projects, the University completed renovations on the Senate Building, Main Library, Mathematics Building and University Hospital. Ongoing development works include; partitioning of Central Teaching Facility 1, School of Women and Gender Studies Building, the Indoor Stadium, School of Public Health, Department of Dentistry, School of Law, among others.
Delivering the closing remarks, the Conference Programme Manager and Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences, Dr. Eria Hisali thanked participants for sparing time to attend the conference. He urged unit heads to stick to the strategic direction of the University and NDPIII as they finalise the budgeting process.
“It is encouraging to note that all the units derived their own strategic plans from the University Strategic Plan. I wish to assure the Chairperson of Council that we will comply with your guidance as well as the requirements stipulated in the Budget Strategy Paper issued by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development” he concluded.
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.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
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