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Prof. Edward Bbaale Delivers Professorial Inaugural Lecture

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Makerere University on Friday 17th December 2021 held a prestigious event at which Professor Edward Bbaale delivered his Professorial Inaugural Lecture under the theme Rethinking Growth in Africa, Firms and the Business Environment Quality.

The Lecture held during the year-long celebrations to mark 100 Years of Makerere University‘s existence came five months after Prof. Bbaale’s promotion from the rank of Associate to full Professorship.

Professor Edward Bbaale has for the last decade centered his research on firms and African economies, with one part of it looking at the dynamics and economic roles of firms in bridging productivity, export and employment gaps in Africa. His other research puts into perspective the quality of business environment necessary for firms in Africa to flourish.

Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba -Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)

Prof. Bbaale said the country has great potential of technological change, innovation, employment and skilling which can only be attained when the industrial sector is prioritized.

“The contribution of industrialization to GDP was rather higher in the 60s. Due to the volatile economic environment and following what happened in the 1980s and 1990s, we have had a decline in industrialization.

Uganda in the 1990s privatized most of the public enterprises at the urging of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Giving away control of key government parastatals to private individuals during the early days after Uganda had emerged from decades of political turmoil was a mistake, experts have said.

Prof. Bbaale’s parents Maama Nabukenya Bbaale and Edward Bbaale, were present at the inaugural lecture.

“We have seen a situation which I risk to call de-industrialization where the service sector has taken over industrial and agricultural sectors,” Prof. Bbaale said.  “Despite this, majority of our population is employed in the agricultural sector yet it contributes the least. This means poverty can not be escaped unless something is done about agriculture because that is where most of our people are.”

Overall, industrial sector growth in Africa continues to lag behind GDP growth from approximately 17% in 1981 to 12% in 2020. In Uganda for example, the share of the manufacturing sector to GDP continuously experienced weaker growth with a marginal contribution of 4% in 1980 increasing to only 5% in 1990, and to 16% in 2020. This figure is still far below the 20% target specified in NDP III, Prof. Bbaale said.

Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba presented a plaque to Prof. Elly N Sabiiti (L) in appreciation for his role as Chairperson Inaugural Lectures Organising Committee (2007-2021).

“The implication of this is that although the prudent macroeconomic policies managed to increase GDP growth in Africa, they have not been sufficient enough to spur growth in the industrial sector, which affects its potential for job creation,” Prof. Bbaale added.  

“What is required of African economies to revive and sustain their growth, particularly in the industry sector is to refocus on the micro-economic policy environment where business firms operate.”

Prof. Bbaale added that firms in Africa are predominantly small (close to 58%) with few medium and large firms and only 23% of the firms engage in exporting.

In Africa, Firm-level Gross Job Creation Rate (GJCR) stands at 13% while Gross Job Destruction Rate (GJDR) stands at 6%.

Small firms have a low chance of surviving and growing into large scale firms that are more productive. Therefore; low aggregate industrial productivity in Africa is to a greater extent attributed to a large fraction of small firms. Even with more domestic firms, domestic capital accumulation remains too low to boost adequate growth, he said.

Prof. Bbaale, pointed out some of the constraints to the potential of firms to achieve fast growth as the unreliable power supply, huge transportation costs, corruption, poor tax structures and weak laws among others.

One of longest serving professors of Makerere University Prof. Elly Sabiiti commended the great work done by Prof. Edward Bbaale and attributed this kind of achievement to formation of the Professorial Inaugural Lecture Committee in 2007. The Committee was established to guide newly-promoted professors on how disseminate the knowledge accumulated over the duration of their academic journeys for the benefit of the society.

He added that the theme of the Professorial Inaugural Lecture was relevant especially since it comes a at a time when Makerere is celebrating 100 years of excellent service with a milestone of over 90 professors.

 Prof. Barnabas  Nawangwe, the Makerere Vice Chancellor noted that the University contributes 70% of the research output in Uganda and 3% to the continent. He added that professors like Bbaale are expected to take the lead  in the economic development of the country through their comprehensive research.

Part of the audience who attended physically at Central Teaching Facility II Auditorium

“I am glad to note that the inaugural lecture topic on “Rethinking Growth in Africa: Firms and the Business Environment Quality” is in line with the current global economic challenges arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several business firms both local and international went into unprecedented decline. In Uganda, the informal sector has been greatly affected and livelihoods compromised,” the Vice Chancellor said.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba, congratulated Prof. Bbaale upon delivering his Professorial Inaugural Lecture, saying it is a prestigious and highly regarded public talk by an appointed Professor in an academic institution.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (with cap) together with members of academic staff in the College of Business and Management Sciences

Assoc. Prof. Kakumba said Professor Bbaale’s inaugural lecture theme was very relevant in today’s setting and has provided very important knowledge.

“Professor Bbaale has ably demonstrated the contribution of his academic exploits in economic development. Notably, his lecture is in line with the theme of the Third National Development Plan (NDP III), on “sustainable industrialisation for inclusive growth, employment and sustainable wealth creation”.”

Prof. Bbaale highlighted that overall industrial sector growth in Africa continues to fall behind GDP growth and that the manufacturing sector in Uganda has a marginal contribution to GDP at 16% as of 2020.

“He has argued for more focus on the microeconomic policy environment where business firms operate. This is expected to improve the success of the NDP III,” Assoc. Prof. Kakumba said. 

Prof. Edward Bbaale with family and friends after the inaugural lecture.

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ABOUT PROF. BBAALE

Edward Bbaale is a Professor of Economics and holds a PhD in Economics, M.A. Economic Policy and Planning and B.A. Economics among other qualifications. He is currently the Dean of the School of Economics at Makerere University and the Director of EfD-Mak Centre which is part of the Global Network of Environmental Economics Research Centres supported by Sida. With support from Sida, Edward is the Lead Person at Makerere University for the Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) Capacity Development Program for Senior Civil Servants and Policy Makers. With support from the World Bank, Edward is the Principal Investigator of a Project intended to establish a Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE) at Makerere University. Prior to that, Edward served as a Graduate Programmes Coordinator for the School of Economics from 2012 to 2013.  He has very rich hands-on experience in economics research with a bias towards development microeconomics for enterprises and households. He was in 2017 awarded a post-doc scholarship by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education & Research (OeAD-GmbH) to undertake research at the Vienna Institute of International Economic Studies (wiiw) in Vienna-Austria. He was in 2013 nominated as a Visiting Fellow for the Journal of African Economies, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, UK. He was in 2010 nominated for the Visiting Research Fellow Position at the Centre for Global Development in Washington D.C.  USA.  He was in 2019 appointed a Chairperson of the Governing Council of Kampala Polytechnic-Mengo. He was in 2021 appointed a Member of the University Council at Muteesa I Royal University. He was in 2021 appointed Member of the National Task Force on the Enhancement of Labour Productivity. He is an External Examiner at Kyambogo University, University of Malawi, University of Zambia, University of Namibia, National University of Lesotho, and University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He was an External Examiner at the University of Zimbabwe 2015/16-2019/2020. He is a Member of the Expanded Board of the Uganda’s National Planning Authority since 2015. He is a member of Senate of Makerere University and sits on the Admissions and Mature Age and Pre-entry Committees of Senate. He was a Chairperson of a Special Task Force that developed the Student Work and Employment Scheme Policy at Makerere University. He is a member of the African Economic Research Consortium Academic Advisory Board in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the Vice Chairperson of Makerere University Deans’ Forum (MUDF). He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Young Economists Network (ECA-YEN).

Edward has authored over 40 papers and, published in peer reviewed journals. Two of his papers were voted as Highly Commended Award Winners at Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012 and 2019 (<http://www.emeraldinsight.com/literati>). At national level, he has implemented a number of policy-relevant research projects with key Government Ministries and Agencies as well as the private sector.

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Advert: Mature Age Entry Scheme – Private Sponsorship 2024/2025

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Students sit for an exam in the pre-COVID era, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for the Undergraduate
Programmes under the Mature Age Entry Scheme only for Private Sponsorship for
2024/2025 Academic Year.
Non-Refundable Application fee of Shs. 50,000/= for Ugandans OR $75 Equivalent for
Internationals, plus bank charge should be paid in any of the banks used by Uganda
Revenye Authority after generating a Payment Reference Number (PRN).

  • Apply using the Institution’s Applications Portal URL:https: //apply.mak.ac.ug
  • Application is for candidates who passed the Mature Age Entry Examinations of December 17, 2022 and February 24, 2024 only.
  • Any candidate who passed the examinations in mentioned above and was not admitted on Government/ Private sponsorship for December 17, 2022 sitting, and for Government sponsorship for February 24, 2024 sitting, is eligible to apply for admission on Private Sponsorship for 2024 /2025 Academic Year.

The closing date for applying will be Friday 26th July, 2024.

Further details can be accessed by following this link.

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Diploma/Degree Holders Admission Lists 2024/25

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Main Library, Makerere University. Photo taken on 29th February 2016.

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released lists of Diploma/Degree Holder applicants admitted under Private/Self Sponsorship for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that admission is subject to verification of academic documents by the awarding institutions.

The admission list is displayed here below:

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African Futures Research Leadership Program: Cohort 5 – Call for Scholars

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Participants at the initial AAP convening participate in design-thinking exercises to help imagine the future of partnerships between MSU and Africa. Photo: AAP

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) is seeking applicants for the fifth cohort of the AAP African Futures Research Leadership Program. This competitive visiting scholar program supports early career researchers from the AAP consortium to work for one year under the mentorship of faculty members from MSU and their home institution, focusing on building skills in research for impact, writing scholarly and/or policy publications, disseminating of research results, and developing grant proposals for external support. Scholars will also participate in a structured professional development program while building bridges and lasting connections with MSU contacts and across their cohort. 

The main objective of the African Futures program is to strengthen the capacity of a cadre of African researchers to return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, establish long-term partnerships with MSU faculty, co-create innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of researchers. This program aims to address the gender gap in Africa, where only 30% of researchers are women, so scholars selected for the program will be women, or men who can demonstrate they are committed to support efforts towards gender equity in higher education institutions in Africa. The research areas that the scholars will engage in during the program should be aligned to AAP’s research priority areas

The AAP Management Team requests applications from early career researchers to participate in the next cohort, with work to begin virtually in February 2025. Scholars will spend September – December 2025 at MSU for the in-person portion of the program, followed by another period of virtual collaboration, ending in early 2026. The scholar and mentor team will receive a small grant for research and professional development activities including conference attendance and publication. Scholars will also receive a stipend during their time at MSU, visa application support, and round-trip travel from their home institution.

Eligibility

  • Citizen of an African country 
  • Completion of a PhD degree within the last 10 years 
  • Employed as an Academic Staff member at one of the AAP African consortium universities including Egerton University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Arts and Humanities, Bamako, United States International University-Africa, and University of Pretoria 
  • Have documented approval of leave or sabbatical to participate in the program for the in-person period 
  • Have a mentor at their home institution that will serve as a collaborator and mentor
  • Research must be in one of the AAP priority areas
  • Applicants may only submit one proposal to AAP in this round of funding. Prior scholars are not eligible to apply. 

To learn more about the program, including how to apply, click below

Learn more

Applications to be an African Futures scholar are due August 18, 2024

Additional program dates:

  • Program start date (virtual): February 2025
  • In-person program: Sept – Dec 2025
  • Program end date: February 2026

Please contact Jose Jackson-Malete at jacks184@msu.edu or +1 517-353-6989 with any questions.

Source: AAP

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