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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
Call For Nominations for the Position of Chancellor Makerere University
Makerere University invites nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University.
Purpose of the position
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presides over all ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University.
Please see Download below for details.
The deadline for submission of nominations is 11th January 2024 at 5:00 p.m. East African Time.
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.
General2 weeks ago
Application Forms for Admission to Public Universities 2024/2025
General2 weeks ago
African Universities urged on developing comprehensive safeguarding policies with critical elements of safety & protection
Agriculture & Environment2 weeks ago
Soybean Breeders Deliberate Strategies for Improving Productivity
General7 days ago
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
Engineering, Art & Tech1 week ago
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled