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Mak PIM CoE Acquires Modern Video Conferencing Facility & Furniture Worth USD 77,000

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By Jane Anyango

Makerere University Centre of Excellence in Public Investment Management (PIM CoE) on 4th October, 2021 launched an assortment of IT equipment and furniture worth USD 77,000 (approximately UGX 277million) funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The WB and FCDO supported the university with a grant of USD 810,000 to undertake a number of activities including training, research and capacity building at the School of Economics. Part of the capacity building is the procurement of IT equipment and furniture.

The equipment was commissioned by the Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Prof. Eria Hisali on behalf of the University Management witnessed by representatives from the Government of Uganda and the World Bank online.

Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali addresses participants before commissioning the equipment.
Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali addresses participants before commissioning the equipment.

The equipment launched includes a state-of-the-art video conferencing facility theVivitek86” collaborative and interactive flat Novo touch screen that cost USD 34,000. On the screen, you can teach, split and have different people connected to it wirelessly. You can also demonstrate and annotate your presentation on this screen.  The smart board has an inbuilt camera that can zoom in and reset videos at any time.

Other IT equipment launched include12 Computers, 4 laptops, 2 LCD projectors, and an all-in-one printer scanner copier all procured at USD 27,000.

The centre also procured office furniture comprising 5 office desks and 5 office tables, 40 training chairs and 20 training tables and a 20-seater boardroom table all worth USD 16,000.

Interim PIM CoE Manager Dr. Willy Kagarura (L) unveils some of the procured equipment at the PIM CoE as Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali (R) witnesses.
Interim PIM CoE Manager Dr. Willy Kagarura (L) unveils some of the procured equipment at the PIM CoE as Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali (R) witnesses.

Launching the equipment, Prof. Eria Hisali appreciated the support received from the World Bank, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. He emphasized that this should not be looked at as the end but rather, an ongoing process of strengthening the collaborations for the mutual benefit of all the participating institutions.

Dr. Hisali reported that the university has made progress in terms of inputs into this exercise of establishing the Centre of Excellence and had started taking huge steps away from looking at inputs to focusing on certain outputs and outcomes.

In terms of outputs, the Principal said, there were ongoing studies and efforts to integrate PIM into the curriculum of the university, initiate a new master’s program in investment and economic modelling as well as the training and capacity building that has been undertaken both for staff and officials from other areas of government.

L-R: Dr. Willy Kagarura, Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali and the PI-Prof. Edward Bbaale tour the PIM CoE office space.
L-R: Dr. Willy Kagarura, Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali and the PI-Prof. Edward Bbaale tour the PIM CoE office space.

The Principal said, the Makerere has all it takes in terms of staff capacity to undertake studies and was now focused on making the PIM CoE more vibrant and planning for its sustainability.

“The challenge we want to focus on now is to go beyond the outputs we have and even ones that we have conceptualized up to this point.  We need to continue to develop this as a very vibrant centre of excellence, a centre that speaks to its name, actualizes research in other areas as well as contributes to computation of certain key parameters like the shadow prices etc.

But all these issues speak to one important subject of sustainability of our centre beyond the current support being given by the bank and they are going to be a number of ways we want to look at this. In our previous engagement, we started discussions with the bank on the possibility of additional support but we will also be looking at other avenues of ensuring that the activities of the centre continue”, Dr. Hisali explained.

Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali (C), Prof. Edward Bbaale (2nd L), Dr. Willy Kagarura (R) and other officials inspect some of the procured furniture.
Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali (C), Prof. Edward Bbaale (2nd L), Dr. Willy Kagarura (R) and other officials inspect some of the procured furniture.

He said the university has resources from the Government of Uganda through the Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) and a college scheme to support small studies that the centre can benefit from.

The Principal Investigator PIM CoE Prof. Edward Bbaale who is also Dean School of Economics described the day’s event as remarkable in the history of the school as well as the PIM CoE and extended gratitude to the World Bank, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Government of Uganda for the support.

Prof. Bbaale said the World Bank and FCDO extended a grant of USD 810,000 to establish the centre of excellence as a response to the fact that so much of public investments were going to waste.

He reported that for every dollar that was being invested, only 38 cents or less was realized meaning 60% was lost. As a result, Prof. Bbaale said many strategies were designed to make sure that when government invests, public resources will gain the maximum out of a very dollar invested.

The PI, Prof. Edward Bbaale (L) speaks during the unveiling of procured equipment.
The PI, Prof. Edward Bbaale (L) speaks during the unveiling of procured equipment.

One of the interventions according to the PI was to build capacity on a sustainable basis in a premier institution like Makerere University thus the establishment of the PIM CoE to undertake training in public investment management.

Prof. Bbaale explained that public investment management goes beyond financial analysis of projects to the complex economic analysis of projects.

The Professor said, the computations that are involved in the economic analysis of projects are not only very complicated but also lacking, due to limited capacity in government and universities.

He added that the ongoing intervention is to make sure that this work can be done not only by staff but also graduate students equipped with the required knowledge.

The PI, Prof. Edward Bbaale (L) said the PIM CoE would build capacity on a sustainable basis.
The PI, Prof. Edward Bbaale (L) said the PIM CoE would build capacity on a sustainable basis.

He said the World Bank and FCDO grant has been used for training staff and other stakeholders in impact evaluation methodologies and public investment management and many are lined up including university staff capacity building training slated for November in Ghana.

“What we have done today is one of those things the grant has enabled us to fulfill. We have acquired one of the newest video conferencing facilities at Makerere University that will go a long way in facilitating online learning, online conferencing and online research which is open to be used by the university community.

The World Bank in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has also facilitated us to buy laptops and computers and we have been able to furnish an office with an interim manager. We have a conference table and chairs for training participants and Wi-Fi-enabled projectors which do not need to physically connect to the laptop, but can pick the information on the laptop and project” Prof. Bbaale reported.

The Interim Manager PIM CoE Dr. Willy Rwamparagi Kagarura said, the project aim is to establish a centre of excellence as a training facility that can contribute towards strengthening public investment management in the country. 

An IT personel walks participants through some of the interactive smart board's features using an iPad.
An IT personel walks participants through some of the interactive smart board’s features using an iPad.

“Out of the USD 810,000, around USD 626,000 (77.3%) has been disbursed. Strategically, this was to sustainably build Capacity in PIM by addressing three areas namely training, research and advising government all aimed at improving returns on public investments.

We targeted to a PIM Centre of Excellence with a pool of experts both physically and structurally. We want to build capacity at the CoE and School of Economics. We are developing Curriculum and training materials to make this a reality.  We are to train technical staff at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies  and Local Governments, then we have an outreach program where we are doing research and studies after which mainstream PIM into University Economics Curriculum”, Dr. Kagarura said.

Besides the acquisition of the IT equipment and furniture, Dr. Kagarura said the centre has moved fast and trained 37 members comprising  staff, students and government officials in impact evaluation methodologies, and drafted the Strategic Plan ready for validation and final print.

PIM CoE Interim Manager Dr. Willy Kagarura presents the project achievements.
PIM CoE Interim Manager Dr. Willy Kagarura presents the project achievements.

Using local curriculum, Dr. Kagarura reported that the centre has trained 45 MDA staff in the first process of a project cycle on how to develop a concept, profile and how to put it in the Integrated Bank of Projects.

The centre according to manager has also trained 10 lecturers to increase capacity for long-term PIM training, drafted the curriculum in Masters of Economic Investment and Modelling submitted to University Senate for approval and onward submission to NCHE.

Dr. Kagarura further said the centre conducted two impact evaluations on Luweero Rural Development Program and on how the improved stoves affect the welfare of people while that final draft of the study on impact of Covid-19 on public investments was awaiting final comments before validation.

As a matter of preparation, Kagarura said 3 members are scheduled to attend training in Mbale in the Financial Analysis Module of PIAR (Economic Analysis due 10th – 23rd October) while at the beginning (8th Nov – 3rd Dec 2021)  4 core staff will be attending a  Training of Trainers  in Ghana.

Part of the procured furniture in PIM CoE Conference Room, CTF2, Makerere University.
Part of the procured furniture in PIM CoE Conference Room, CTF2, Makerere University.

The interim manager hailed the World Bank and FCDO for the funding saying, the startup grant has created a capacity building asset for the country which should be nursed to maturity.

Kagarura however noted that in order to nurture a sustainable capacity building framework or institutional arrangement for the country and the region,there is need for increased capacity among trainers through TOTs whose outputs will be in the areas of capacity building, research and outreach and Advisory Services.

The other need he said, is to lift capacity at the centre to professional levels both in project management professional and impact evaluation so as to completely cover the project cycle.

The centre he also said needs support and to be fully popularized and to work with government so that its collection of tuition from participants is appreciated.

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

Business & Management

Prof. Hisali, Prof. Yawe handover office to Prof. Bbaale, Prof. Wokadala

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In a vibrant ceremony brimming with nostalgia and optimism, College of Business and Management Sciences-Makerere University (CoBAMS) celebrated the transition of leadership from the accomplished hands of Prof. Eria Hisali and Prof. Bruno L. Yawe to the promising stewardship of Prof. Edward Bbaale and Prof. James Wokadala on Friday 31st May 2024.

The event, attended by esteemed members of the university community, including representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s office and members of the Central Management Team, was a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication that have come to define CoBAMS. The outgoing Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali, and Deputy Principal, Prof. Bruno Yawe, were lauded for their eight years of service, during which they significantly advanced the college’s academic and infrastructural capabilities.

A Legacy of Excellence

Prof. Hisali’s farewell address highlighted the numerous achievements under his leadership. He proudly noted the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations that have greatly benefited the college. “Our MoU with Stellenbosch University provided full PhD scholarships for four Academic Staff Members, while our partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands supported PhD training for two Staff Members. Additionally, the Republic of Korea’s embassy in Uganda granted three PhD scholarships,” he remarked.

Assoc Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) handing over to incoming Deputy Principal Dr. James Wokadala.

These collaborations extended to notable institutions such as ACCA, Prudential Uganda, Addis Ababa University, The University of Rwanda, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and the University of Dar es Salaam, reflecting CoBAMS’ commitment to internationalization and academic excellence. Prof. Hisali also mentioned the development of a Quality Assurance Framework and significant infrastructural proposals, including a new block pending government funding.

The outgoing Principal shared impressive statistics: a fivefold increase in publications from 30 in 2017 to 150 in 2023, expansion of wireless internet coverage to over 90% of the college, and a significant rise in PhD holders among the academic staff to 60%.

Prof. Yawe appreciated all the academic, administrative and support staff that supported his leadership throughout the 8 years of service.

Looking Ahead

Prof. Edward Bbaale, the incoming Principal, expressed his vision to elevate CoBAMS as a global leader in innovative teaching, research, and policy engagement. With over two decades at CoBAMS, including eight years as Dean of the School of Economics, he emphasized his commitment to continuing the progress made by his predecessors. He pledged to prioritize graduate training, faculty research, and the commercialization of innovations, alongside strategic financial initiatives such as the College Endowment Fund.

Prof. Eria Hisali receiving a token of appreciation from memebers of the Administrative Staff at MakCoBAMS.

Prof. James Wokadala, the new Deputy Principal, acknowledged the substantial achievements of the outgoing leaders and outlined his plans to build on their legacy. He aims to foster a supportive and engaging environment by establishing a gym for staff and creating a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).

Heartfelt Farewells and New Beginnings

The ceremony featured heartfelt speeches from various stakeholders, celebrating the contributions of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, representing the academic staff, praised the outgoing leaders for their unwavering support and urged the new administration to continue fostering a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Ms. Caroline Nanono Jjingo, on behalf of the administrative staff, echoed these sentiments, appreciating the open and inspirational leadership style of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. “Throughout their tenure, they have resonated the words of Henry Ross Perot, who said that “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”  She said.

Outgoing Principal Eria Hisali and outgoing Deputy Principal Bruno Yawe cut cake.

The Deputy University Secretary, Mr. Simon Kizito, provided sage advice to the incoming leaders, emphasizing the importance of openness to feedback, leading by example, and maintaining accountability. He reminded them that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and encouraged them to learn from it while prioritizing self-care.

On their part, the support staff appreciated the outgoing leadership for their open door policy and willingness to support all staff especially those experiencing life challenges. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Mr Joseph Ikarokot said there was a season for everything and staff were privileged to have worked with the duo.

A Promising Future

As the new leadership team embarks on their journey, they carry forward a legacy of excellence and a vision for a brighter future. With their extensive experience and commitment to innovation and collaboration, Prof. Bbaale and Prof. Wokadala are well-positioned to steer CoBAMS toward greater achievements and global recognition.

The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting, gifts from the administrative staff, and a reaffirmation of the college’s enduring spirit of unity and progress. The new era at CoBAMS promises continued growth and success, building on the solid foundation laid by Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe.

Some of the staff memebers who were present at the handover ceremony.

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Business & Management

CoBAMS Annual Report 2023

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Professor Eria Hisali, Principal College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS). Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The overall objective of our operations and strategy is to position the College as a relevant and sustainable institution of international standing with high caliber staff, an active presence in public policy research and formulation, and contribution to the community. This report highlights the main activities that have taken place over the year 2023 in fulfillment of the College’s objective.

Strategic initiatives

The College continued to pursue plans to expand and remodel its infrastructure facilities. The Feasibility Study for the proposed infrastructure expansion and remodeling project got approval of the Development Committee of the Government of Uganda in March 2023. A budget code for the project was assigned to the project shortly afterwards. Engagements are underway to secure funding for the project starting the 2024/2025 financial year.

The College also continued to strengthen its Endowment Fund. Fifty million shillings was added to the Fund over the course of the year and an exercise to reconcile the amount of money held on the Main Endowment Fund of the University was embarked on. We still await an opportunity for the formal launch of the Fund to pave the way for a more structured capital campaign.

Teaching and learning

The College took steps to strengthen its quality assurance framework. The College established a Quality Assurance Committee to oversee the quality of its operations across the Board. It also embarked in automation of workflow processes in the administrative and support functions. The College also continued to support student led discussion groups and engaged Graduate Fellows at each of its Departments.

Three thousand new students took up programs at the College in the course of the year while the College presented one thousand six hundred sixty eight candidates for graduation.

The CoBAMS Library continued to subscribe to The Economist & Harvard Business Review magazines – both the print & electronic versions. The Library also acquired 366 Titles and 395 copies of textbooks purchased and delivered from the Book Bank; and 26 titles & 41 copies of textbooks purchased by the College.

Brand visibility

The quality of programmes and staff are ranked highly. Students on the Master of Arts Degree in Economics emerged the best performing of the seven premier universities on the continent at the Joint Facility for Electives (JFE). This program is run on a collaborative arrangement where students take core courses at their universities for one academic year after which the elective courses are taught jointly. Staff from the College served as visiting lecturers and external examiners at other institutions. Staff from the college produced over 200 new publications and facilitated at various panel discussions and policy dialogues.

Collaborations, partnerships and grants

The College concluded a Memorandum of understanding with the Human Resource Management Association of Uganda (HRMAU), which aims to train prospective HR practitioners on professional conduct to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

The School of Economics collaborated with the University of Oxford to host the 2023 workshop on Economic Development in Africa. The four-day workshop brought together scholars across Africa, Europe, and North America. Thirty one frontier papers on Economic Development in Africa were presented cutting across, Trade, Health, Natural Resources and Environment, Political Economy, Poverty, Productivity, Fiscal & Monetary Policy, and Agriculture among others. Staff and graduate students had parallel training sessions on Survey Design and Data Collection for Gender Analysis (Lead by Cheryl Doss, Tufts University), Introduction to Structural Transformation and Growth (Lead by Douglas Gollin, University of Oxford and Tufts University, and Joe Kaboski, University of Notre Dame), and Randomised Control Trials (Lead by Clare Hofmeyr, J-PAL Africa). Faculty from the University of Tufts and the University of Notre Dame are exploring the possibility of teaming up with faculty at MakSOE to support Macroeconomics at the PhD level. This could extend to supervising PhD research within the space of structural transformation. The funding is likely to be from Structural Transformation and Economic Growth (STEG) of which the two persons I met are the principals behind STEG. The CSAE committed to partnering with MakSOE to offer demand-driven policy advice to GoU and to continue mentoring young faculty and graduate students who are keen to climb the research radar.

The College also collaborated with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Uganda to undertake consultations for 2023 Human Development Report.

The College also got additional exemptions from ACCA Global for the Bachelor of Commerce students. Going forward, students graduating with the Bachelor of Commerce Accounting Option will get nine of the 13 courses required for full ACCA qualification.

The College hosted a breakfast meeting with a section of government agencies to deliberate on areas of mutual interest. This has resulted in MoUs with the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association, the Uganda Revenue Authority and the Kampala Capital City Authority. These initiatives will create platforms through which the parties will among other things:

  • pursue joint research, publishing research findings, write background policy papers, and promote outreach to the relevant state and non-state actors;
  • collaborate on knowledge transfer & staff exchange programs to impart more practical skills on both parties;
  • organize and participate in joint activities such as seminars, workshops and conferences aimed at imparting practical skills, knowledge transfer and re-tooling; and,
  • collaborate on the review and development of the CoBAMS curriculum to reflect more practical/workplace content for students.

This was in addition to a number of outreach activities that were undertaken by various Centers housed at the College. The Entrepreneurship and Innovations Center for example equipped PDM beneficiaries in Makerere North and Katanga with a range of skills in the areas of bookkeeping, marketing, financial management, etc. The Public Investment Management Center has over the course of the year trained over 120 public officials in various aspects of public investment management ranging from ideation and conceptualization to the more advanced economic and financial analysis of public investment projects. The Environment for Development Center undertook seven outreach activities in different parts of the country and organized three policy dialogues on climate change and the environment. The School of Statistics and Planning also cohosted an international conference on “Aging and Health of Older Persons in Sub-Saharan Africa’ in February 2023.

Researchers at the College won six new institutional research grants, and one staff member developed a new academic concept, which is currently under the process of patenting and copyrighting at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. The College is also leading the process of the PDM Policy Labs and there are ongoing discussions with the Office of the Prime Minister to convert recommendations of the studies into policy actions.

Human resources capacity development and strengthening

Seventeen Colleagues were promoted to various ranks in the University service in the course of the year 2023. The College provided seven (05) in-house capacity development programs for the support and administrative staff and an orientation of newly appointed staff. Fifteen academic staff members are currently pursing doctorate degrees. Seven staff members acquired PhD qualifications while ten were promoted to various ranks in the University Service. The College also received eight new staff in the course of the year.

Team building sessions were organized for the Schools of Economics and Business, but at which strategic direction of the schools was deliberated. The College leadership organized a retreat to deliberate on the strategic human resources and quality assurance issues as a basis for shaping the future of the College.

Financing

In as much as resources are insufficient and a number of facilities require improvement, all outstanding financial obligations were offset in a timely manner.

Conclusion

I want to thank all my colleagues at the College, and the Management and Council, and indeed all our stakeholders. These milestones have been only possible because of all of you. We look forward to maintaining an environment where we can continue to aim higher and do more together.

Eria Hisali (PhD)
PRINCIPAL

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Makerere signs MoU with Leading Universities in East Africa

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In a historic move aimed at revolutionizing postgraduate education and research across East Africa, Makerere University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with five prominent universities. The agreement, formalized on May 24, 2024 brings together the University of Addis Ababa (AAU), the University of Rwanda (UR), Makerere University (Mak), Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Jönköping University, Sweden.

The newly established collaboration seeks to address critical institutional constraints that have hindered the development of high-quality postgraduate programs. These constraints include a shortage of senior researchers and professors available for supervision, as well as limited funding for research. By pooling resources and expertise, the partnership aims to overcome these challenges and significantly improve the quality of postgraduate education and research output within the member institutions.

While signing the MoU on behalf of Makerere University, The Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Umar
Kakumba emphasized the importance of leveraging collective strengths to enhance academic
excellence and research impact. He also expressed optimism that the collaboration will create
new opportunities for faculty and students to engage in cutting-edge research and contribute to addressing pressing societal challenges.

In Makerere University, the MoU will be implemented by the Departments of Policy and
Development Economics, School of Economics. The signing was witnessed by the Director of International Development Collaboration, at Jönköping University, Lars Hartvigson. He said his institution had been collaborating with the different universities and now sought to make this collaboration a joint venture between the six institutions.

Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Umar Kakumba(3rd L) handing over the signed agreement to Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, Head of Department -Policy and Development Economics. Extreme Left is Prof. Ibrahim Okumu Mike, the Dean of School of Economics.

Goals and Expected Outcomes

The overarching goal of this partnership is to enhance understanding of management and
economic sciences, equipping leaders in public and private sectors with the skills necessary to
drive national and regional growth and development. Specific objectives include:

  • Improving the quality of teaching and supervision in postgraduate programs.
  • Increasing research output among faculty members.
  • Enhancing the utilization of research findings by policymakers in both the public and private sectors.

To achieve these objectives, the partnership has outlined a series of activities, including:

  • Staff exchanges for teaching and supervision roles in postgraduate programs.
  • Student exchanges to participate in training offered by the member universities.
  • Joint research projects and publications.
  • Collaborative research dissemination through conferences and workshops.
  • External examination of PhD and master’s courses by faculty from partner institutions.
  • Capacity-building seminars for staff.
  • Development and delivery of customized short courses.
  • Information exchange on research opportunities and publications.
  • Joint grant proposal writing aligned with the partnership’s objectives.

A Unified Vision for Regional Development
Prof. Eria Hisali, the Principal Of the College of Business and Management Sciences, emphasized the significance of this partnership: “This MoU marks a pivotal moment for higher
education in East Africa. By leveraging our collective strengths, we aim to create a robust
educational framework that not only elevates academic standards but also fosters socio-economic development across the region.”
The partnership is poised to create a dynamic and integrated educational ecosystem, promoting excellence in research and higher education. As the universities embark on this collaborative journey, they set a precedent for regional cooperation and intellectual advancement, ultimately contributing to the broader goals of national and regional development.

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