Makerere University – Mak and Somali National University (SNU) on Monday 21st November 2021) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will commence a collaboration between the two African Universities.
The signing ceremony took place at Makerere University between Professor Hassan Omar Mahadalle, the Rector of Somalia National University and his Ugandan counterpart Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. The Somali Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Ali Mohamud Mohamed witnessed the signing.
Professor Barnabas Nawangwe said the two institutions have agreed to collaborate in research and training.
The agreement will enable Makerere University through its School of Public Health (MakSPH) under the College of Health Sciences support Somali National University which is currently pioneering its public health training and research program at its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Makerere has since 1984 implemented training and research in public health and will through this partnership support efforts to enhance Somali National University’s capacity to provide high quality graduate and undergraduate training in public health and facilitate collaborative research by both students and faculty at both universities.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Professor Buyinza Mukadasi the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University said he was happy that Somali National University had chosen Makerere University as a potential collaborator.
“We are not the only University but we are an old University with very important lessons we can share with you. We are happy that now you have come to formally establish working relations with us,” said Prof. Buyinza.
He further expressed Makerere’s readiness to support SNU through this partnership and hailed Professor Rhoda Wanyenze, the Dean of MakSPH for initiating discussion with the embassy and University.
He cited that the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda had already interested Makerere University to work with and support universities in Somalia especially in areas of research.
“Makerere University is a very old institution and we want to really work together with institutions in the region that have the same vision and mission. Ours is not only to build research capacity but actually how do we inform national policy. I am happy that Rector has requested us to set up a research office and systems. We are very much willing and available, once you formally make that request to the Vice Chancellor,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor walked his visitors through a brief history of Makerere University and how it started as a humble technical institution in 1922, citing that it has trained thousands of people and impacted a lot of lives through edge cutting research.
“We currently have 37,000 students. We had actually reached 50,000 students a few years back but there was an outcry that we did not have the facilities to manage the numbers so we started reducing the numbers. And we are still reducing gradually because we want to reduce the number of undergraduates and increase the number of graduates. We think that the optimum number will be about 25,000,” said Prof. Nawangwe said.
According to Prof. Nawangwe, Makerere University wishes to collaborate with Somali National University in every area in order to learn from each other. “You have chosen to start collaboration in the area of public health which is a very important area for our region because of our very fast population growth and the challenges we are going to face, climate change and new diseases and so on. But we are open to collaborate in all the other areas,” he said.
Sweden through SIDA has supported Makerere University to develop capacity and research, supporting over 400 staff to acquire PhDs.
Prof. Hassan Omar Mahadalle, the Rector of Somalia National University requested Makerere University to support the university in establishing research systems
“We appreciate the hospitality. We look forward to working with Makerere University. Somali National University was created in 1950, about 28 years after Makerere University was created. We were one of the largest universities in Sub-Saharan Africa before a civil war broke out in 1991. At that time, we had about 11 schools. When war broke out, everyone who was involved in education left for overseas. The University was reopened in 2014 after relative peace and stability and since 2014, we have established 12 Faculties and I am here now six months as a Rector,” said Prof. Omar Mahadalle.
He added that; “We were very shy when we were asking for this MoU and we limited ourselves in public health but in fact we need help in every College. We need support in Medicine, we need support in Education, we need support in Engineering, we need support in general Sciences, all our faculties need capacity building support. We will appreciate”
The Somali Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Ali Mohamud Mohamed said Somalia has stabilized and the country is resuming to empower universities to continue training and research.
“Somalia is now a peaceful country courtesy of countries with troops under bodies like AMISOM, and one of them is Uganda. We thank President Museveni and all the Uganda government for the support. Now 80% of Somalia is peaceful. There is nothing to worry about if your teams wish to come to Mogadishu,” said H.E. Ambassador Mahamud Mohamed.
He also said it was a great privilege for Somali National University to partner with one of the best universities on the continent citing that it has produced several of the region’s leaders as well as those in currently under the Somali government.
“I am glad and privileged today to witness the signing of the MOU between two great institutions and I thank everyone who has been able to see this come through.”
Professor Rhoda Wanyenze said the School of Public Health at Makerere University is a founder member of the Association of School of Public Health in Africa, citing that it would be important for SNU to join as well.
She added that MakSPH is working towards integrating Sustainable Development Goals, being a member of SDG Cluster 3 of the International Association of Universities (IAU), created under the auspices of UNESCO.
“IAU has mapped out clusters for each Sustainable Development Goal and we are a set of universities that are doing this. We coordinate the Cluster and we represent Africa on that Cluster for SDG3. There are also other members from other continents like Western Sydney University, Karolinska Institutet several others. Each continent has a University,” said Professor Wanyenze.
The Somali delegation also had Dr. Mohamed Gedi Qayad, Dean Faculty of Health Science & Tropical Medicine, Mr. Abdulwahab M. Salad, Director School of Public Health & Research, Mr. Ismail Abdullahi Ibrahim, Director of Social & Student Affairs Office at Somali National University and Mr. Liban Hussein, the Educational Attache Somali Embassy.
Dr. Fredrick Makumbi, the Deputy Dean MakSPH said; “We are very excited about the MoU with you. The School of Public Health where you are is one of the 29 Schools in the 10 Colleges with nine academic programs with more than 800 students. We are proud of being part of public health research and innovations and we have extensive partnerships. We proud that you are going to be part of this amazing network of partners.”
In this three-day visit, the delegation of Somali National University paid a courtesy call to Principal, Deputy Principal, and other Deans in the College of Health Sciences, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, the Dean of Students Makerere University (Mak) and held talks with MakSPH Heads of Department to discuss way forward as well as interfacing with Somali Embassy and Makerere University Somali Students.
Article originally posted on MakSPH website.
The 19th RUFORUM AGM in Yaoundé calls for consolidated efforts towards transforming higher agricultural & tertiary education to contribute to sustainable development & food security in Africa
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 163 universities in 40 African countries held its 19th Annual General Meeting at the Palais De Congres in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 28th October to 2nd November 2023. The first of its kind in West and Central Africa, the RUFORUM AGM 2023 provided an opportunity for over 600 delegates from Africa and beyond including; Ministers, Development Partners, University leaders, students, private sector leaders; farmers and farmer representatives; emerging and early career researchers as well as other key stakeholders in agriculture and higher education to share experiences and chart a way forward for transforming higher agricultural and tertiary education to contribute to sustainable development in Africa under the theme: Transforming Higher Education to Sustainably Feed and Create Prosperity for Africa.
Officially opened by His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon, represented by Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo, Cameroon’s Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education, the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting in Yaoundé provided a platform for participants to deliberate on key strategies for transforming higher agricultural and tertiary education to contribute to national, continental and global development as well as building consensus among key stakeholders in agriculture and higher education on the actions required to strengthen the role and/or integration of universities in agricultural and national development processes in line with the aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063 ‘The Africa We Want’.
In a speech presented by Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo at the official opening ceremony, His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon stressed RUFORUM’s significant efforts to support the African Union Agenda 2063 when he said, “RUFORUM’s vision 2030, makes the body a significant contributor to transformation of Africa and vehemently seeks to harness the discovery, engagements and learning of vibrant transformative universities to catalyze sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa.”
According to him, it is worth indicating that agriculture in Africa should be understood in its broadest sense to include but not limited to animal and crop production, livestock, wild life, fisheries and forestry. Hence RUFORUM’s mission since its inception in 2004, of strengthening the capacities of universities to foster innovation responsive to demands of small holder farmers through the training of higher quality researchers, the output of impact-oriented research and maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers, national agricultural research institutions, the Private sector and government is worthy prioritizing.
He called upon participants to use the meeting forum to change the face and image of the African continent through constructive and fruitful deliberations on agricultural production, food safety research and better health food security. To him the RUFORUM AGM is a bigger opportunity to think and act, make proposals, formulate recommendations and necessary resolutions which if acted on can change the face of the African continent.
“This is the turning point for the African continent to think big and have the courage to dream big. This is our opportunity to make a difference in our world. This is the opportunity Africa needed to change the target of its demand of action. We have to mutualize and federate our actions and voices in the interest of a united, strong and prosperous Africa,” he said.
The 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting carried a unique vibrant turn as being the first to be held in West and Central Africa. The weeklong event broke the record as the most and well attended ever with over 600 participants across the region as well as international delegates. The colorful event was embroiled with informative, constructive, edutainment activities in form of pre-AGM events, side events, Business Meetings, capacity building and mentoring sessions, scientific conferences, poster sessions and exhibitions well aligned to key thematic areas as well as the AGM theme: Transforming Higher Education to Sustainably Feed and Create Prosperity for Africa.
Additionally, high-level policy dialogues with Ministers, Senior Government Leaders and Development Partners were held to review the finance and other resource mobilization strategies as well as following up on the actualization of the available national, regional and global policies geared towards higher education transformation and ensuring of food security in Africa.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji, the RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor University of Bamenda thanked His Excellence Paul Biya and the Government of Cameroon for accepting to host the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting and equally appreciated the financial support towards the same cause.
In a special way, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji thanked the Ministry of State for Higher education and all the sister ministries of Government of Cameroon that worked hard to see to it that the 19th RUFORUM AGM is a success. Equally, the Board Chair, extended her sincere gratitude to the people of Cameroon for the warm reception and support.
“My special tribute goes to the members of AGM 2023 Sub committees. You have indeed done a great job throughout the ten months of organizing this significant event. On behalf of RUFORUM Network, I thank you. To the RUFORUM Secretariat under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Patrick Okwori, accept our immense gratitude for your strong determination and dedication,” she gratefully said.
She recognized the tremendous achievements and developments aligned to RUFORUM’s nineteen years (19) of existence noting that the strong network has wisely selected its priority areas of focus to transform higher education and agricultural sector in Africa as;
- Reform the training agenda for Africa to meet the development needs
- Entrepreneurship and business incubation for wealth creation
- Research for Development and wealth creation
- Partnerships for scale and impact
“As African people, permit me to use the adage of a broom; it is easy to break a single broom piece but when you combine several small brooms together they then make a broom stack that will not be easy to break. The collective power that RUFORUM has put together through 163 universities from across 40 countries bears such strength. The Vice Chancellors gathered here today remain committed to the core values and foundations of the network. To illustrate this Your Excellency, each of the Vice Chancellors meet their own costs of participation.” She happy said.
In the same spirit the RUFORUM Executive Secretary Prof. Patrick Okori deeply thanked the host Universities that is, University of Bamenda, University of Ngaoundere, University of Dschang, University of Buea and University of Maroua under the strong and able leadership of the RUFORUM Board Chair, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji for successfully hosting the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting.
He also recognized the Former Vice Chancellor of University of Ngaoundere Prof. Florence Uphie Chinje Melo who heavily supported the AGM preparations. He was astonished with the presence of the Africa Development Bank, MasterCard Foundation, research international communities, RUFORUM for Agricultural Research in Africa, the Africa Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services, sub regional Agricultural organizations such as the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF).
“You have all provided support for this engagement, thank you very much. Together we will continue this journey of transforming Africa’s Agricultural and higher education to produce human resources and development solutions that Africa and indeed the world needs,” he said.
Reflecting on the AGM’s theme, Prof. Okori emphasized the need for Africa to become food secure when he said, “Africa must be an equal opportunity creator for the young generation, it must create wealth for its people and provide opportunities for the present and future and these are well summarized in agenda 2063. It is our collective duty therefore to turn these opportunities and actions into investment.”
According to him, the RUFORUM Network remains strong in building capacity and providing the necessary development solutions and opportunities. He noted that Africa generates about 10-12 million job entrants annually but the continent’s economy in its current configuration can only produce 3 million jobs. To him, for Africa to therefore reap from its demographic dividends, there is need to strengthen the paths to demographic transition of keeping young girls in school.
Prof. Okori also mentioned that RUFORUM is currently intensifying its inclusion and diversity targets. From 45%, the network has an ambitious target of at least 70%. “We must slow the rate at which girls give birth when young. It is the only way we are going to benefit from our population dividend,” he said.
According to him, the higher degree needs for Africa is pretty dire. The World Bank recommends 10,000 PhDs to Africa. This can be compared to India whose signal population of 1. 4 billion registers 24000 PhDs a year. The pressure therefore on Africa’s side to intensify graduate training is real.
“Our graduate training in sciences therefore is one of the drivers to achieve this and it is the immense reason as to why in this meeting we have social and development partners. We are launching a journey with the Africa Development Bank that will bring us together as apex organizations in Africa to work together and solve our own challenges. However, as we do all these, we need to celebrate Africa. We should be recognizing and celebrating people who made what Africa is today,” he said.
Africa is informed by a number of important mutually interacting factors that collectively, are affecting the growth and progress of the continent. The economic outlook of the African continent in 2023 by the African Development Bank and other global apex development financial institutions was positive. However, Africa’s economic growth has since then decelerated, and is now projected to be lower than the previously projected rate of 4.1%.
Agriculture a key sector, continues to be affected by both natural and human induced factors. It continues to face serious threats from climate. Studies by the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification show that Africa accounts for 44% of severe droughts recorded globally in the last 50 years, causing economic losses of more than USD 70 billion. In 2022, an estimated loss of US$ 8.5 billion in economic damages was experienced due to climate change. Clearly, climate change and weather variability, remains one of the grand challenges of the 21st century for Africa and the World, because it affects key livelihood and strategic areas of emerging economies.
Unemployment facing Africa’s dominant demographic-the youth, raises questions about education, skilling and jobs creation while inclusion and diversity, the underpinning for an equal society, remains challenging. The question then to academia, researchers, development practitioners and policymakers is, “what step must we take right now to address the challenges to our current and future generations?”
“Our resounding response as RUFORUM is in line with what Malcolm X said many years ago, “Education and research for development are the passports to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Prof. Partick Okori.
According to the Deputy Minister for Education in Malawi, Her Excellence Mdooko Nancy Chawola who represented the visiting ministers of RUFORUM partner countries, African countries should put in place vibrant resource mobilization mechanisms to collectively finance Africa’s education and support governments that are battling with competitive budgetary demands.
“For the universities to offer solutions for the challenges the continent is facing, there is need to rebuild the curriculum that responds to our current needs and not what we needed yesterday. Our respective countries are grappling with higher levels of unemployment, can investors assist by producing graduates with entrepreneurial skills so that they are able to employ themselves and others. Of course there will be need to put in place support mechanism for such graduates to take over,” she said.
She equally acknowledged the national regulatory frameworks such as the Malawi Regulation Framework 2063 developed inline with the African Union Agenda 2063 the Africa we want, in which the continent aspires to be prosperous by 2063 through various means such as modernizing agricultural for increased production and productivity there by making people food secure.
She applauded RUFORUM’s efforts towards zero hunger in Africa through its vision 2030. According to Mdooko Nancy Chawola, food security is supposed be prerogative as well highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) that is geared towards ending hunger, attaining food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable development.
In Cameroon, Agriculture and Education have been prioritized as drivers for economic growth and transformation. Through an agricultural flagship program initiated by His Excellence Paul Biya, science programmes and financial services as well as favorable ways of accessing market have been introduced in the country with the aim of transforming agricultural sector into a value added industrialized and integrated system engine of economic growth.
According to Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga- Vice Chancellor, University Buea, the government of Cameroon has resolved to grant its people with education that can help them manage their personal, national and Africa’s present and future economic destiny. In 2022, His excellence Paul Biya endorsed the recruitment process of 2000 lecturers in universities to ensure the quality of higher education in Cameroon.
“Collectively these education reforms and investment actions affordably can transform the people of Cameroon into a strong emerging market. Cameroon carries the highest science female adoptive rate in sub-Saharan Africa at 73%. This is a strong result of government delivery of United Nations SDG 5 of achieving education and build human capital for the country,” he noted.
The Opening Ceremony for the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting unlocked the floor for critical discussions and meetings throughout the week. At the same function, RUFORUM presented a contemporary painting to His Excellence Paul Biya, President of the United Republic of Cameroon in recognition of his outstanding, selfless and patriotic services s to the people of Cameroon and Africa at large.
On 25th October 2023, the RUFORUM Network equally participated in the Cameroon Higher Education Day, the first of its kind in the country.
2nd Issue of Mak-Research & Innovations Fund Bulletin
Welcome to the 2nd Issue of the Mak-RIF Bulletin. Makerere University has continued to receive funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support faculty members to conduct high impact Research and Innovations that contribute to national development.
In this issue of our Bulletin, we share about how the Mak- RIF Research Agenda and themes highlighted there in are guiding and contributing to our operations, awards made in the past financial years, a highlight of the research achievements, impact to-date, and a flash back to some of the fund activities among others.
Dates for 74th Graduation Ceremony
The Academic Registrar wishes to inform the public that the 74th Graduation ceremony will be held from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th January 2024.
DATES FOR THE DIFFERENT COLLEGES/SCHOOLS
DATE: MONDAY, 22nd JANUARY, 2024
- College of Natural Sciences (CONAS)
- College of Health Sciences (CHS)
- School of Law (SOL)
DATE: TUESDAY, 23rd JANUARY, 2024
- College of Education and External Studies (CEES)
- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 24th JANUARY, 2024
- College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS)
- College of Computing and Information Sciences (COCIS)
- College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (COVAB)
DATE: THURSDAY, 25th JANUARY, 2024
- Makerere University Business School (MUBS)
DATE: FRIDAY, 26th JANUARY, 2024
- College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT)
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS)
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