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CoBAMS Holds Training to Improve Investment Appraisal & Risk Analysis

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The Public Investment Management (PIM) Centre of Excellence at the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) has started a two-week training in Investment Appraisal and Risk Analysis. The trainees are drawn from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Works, Makerere University, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Education among other MDAs. The training taking place in Jinja, was opened on February 21, 2022 by the Principal CoBAMS, Prof. Eria Hisali.

Prof. Hisali commended the PIM team for fostering knowledge transfer and also encouraged the participants to take keen interest in the course, saying the skills they will get during the duration of the training will help improve the way the country does public investment.

The Principal CoBAMS, Prof. Eria Hisali.
The Principal CoBAMS, Prof. Eria Hisali.

It is envisioned that the capacity building will ensure that projects that are financed can meet the expected outcomes, hence maximize their returns of these investments to the country.

He said CoBAMS was committed to rolling out capacity building with the intention of starting a Masters in Public Investment Management. He called on the trainees to participate in the intermediary level training so that they too can become trainers. “As we embark on developing capacity in PIM, we need to look at forming an umbrella body which will help self-regulate, set and manage standards,” Prof. Hisali said.

The Principal thanked the World Bank for funding the PIM project and the Cambridge Resources International and the Ministry of Finance for partnering with CoBAMS.

Prof. Eria Hisali (C) and Prof. Edward Bbaale (R) with the Commissioner for Projects and Public Investments (PIMs) in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hannington Ashaba (R).
Prof. Eria Hisali (C) and Prof. Edward Bbaale (R) with the Commissioner for Projects and Public Investments (PIMs) in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hannington Ashaba (R).

The Principal Investigator of the project, Prof. Edward Bbaale also thanked the World Bank and all other partners for trusting the Centre with the training needs of the country.

Ms Rachel K. Sebudde a Senior Economist with the World Bank commended the government for its effort in improving management of public investments.

 “As World Bank, representing Development partners, we do commend the various actions government is undertaking to improve the way public investments are managed in the country,” Ms Sebudde said.  

Participants listen to Ms Rachel K. Sebudde (on screen).
Participants listen to Ms Rachel K. Sebudde (on screen).

The government has in recent years increased the amount of resources it allocates to capital investments. Despite the increase, the country still faces challenges of the quality of the infrastructure.

“If these constrained are removed, the country would no doubt accelerate economic growth and improve quality of life,” Ms Sebudde said. 

She warned that it will be difficult to maximize returns from oil and gas investments if the quality of projects is poor.

A section of the participants attending the training.
A section of the participants attending the training.

According to the World Bank study, quality issues arise from the poor design of projects, delays in implementation, cost escalations, time-overruns, contract disputes, abandonment of projects, substandard quality of some completed projects, and rapid depreciation of public capital stock.

The World Bank Officer advised that to make the public resources yield higher returns, and increase and sustain higher rates of economic growth, the government must aggressively improve its investment management capacity, so that projects are well selected, well prepared, transparently tendered and delivered on time and within budget. It then also needs to maintain its existing and new assets, she added.

Participants listen keenly to proceedings.
Participants listen keenly to proceedings.

She reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to supporting Uganda’s development agenda. “As a Development Partner, we appreciate the commitment and zeal that the country continues to demonstrate in exploring alternative and more efficient models for development,” Ms Sebudde said.

According to Mr. Hannington Ashaba, a Commissioner in the Ministry of Finance, the government recognizes the need to improve public investment management and has been training its officers in this regard. A few were trained abroad but government sort to reduce the cost of training by establishing the Centre of Excellence for Public Investment Management at Makerere University. This he said will also allow for training of more public service officers.

Dr. Willy Kagarura, the Manager to the PIM Centre of Excellence said the University was committed to providing capacity building to the government. He applied to the World Bank to continue to support the Centre for at least 5 years as it strategizes on being self-sustaining and generating income.

Dr. Willy Kagarura, Manager of the PIM Centre of Excellence, CoBAMS.
Dr. Willy Kagarura, Manager of the PIM Centre of Excellence, CoBAMS.

The Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence

The centre was established following a study done by the World Bank. The diagnostic done in 2016 revealed that there was low return on investment. Some studies revealed that the country was losing 60% of the investments it made.  To this end, the World Bank recommended the establishment of a PIM training centre. The centre offers capacity building in Public Investment management systems. The training offered by the Centre is at 3 levels.

  1. Basic training: It was recommended that this training be massive. It targets people working on government projects.  This involves identifying projects, concept writing, profile writing, feasibility studies and uploading the same on the Integrated Bank of projects (IBP)
  2. Intermediary level: This brings in technics of appraising projects before they are selected to go into the public investment plan.
  3. Advanced Level: Professional training- MSc and PhD.

The Centre got seed funding from the World Bank, having commissioned the study, which revealed the gaps.

Objectives

  1. Capacity building in public Investment management
  2. Research in PIM related fields
  3. Advisory services

Business & Management

UNCDF Officials Strengthen Collaboration with CoBAMS School of Business

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Prof. Godfrey Akileng (L), Ms. Fiona Luswata from UNCDF (4th L), Dr. Eric Nzibonera (5th L), Ms. Jennifer Bukokhe (5th R), Prof. Edward Bbaale (4th R), Dr. Mkhululi from UNCDF (3rd R), Prof. Bruno Yawe (2nd R) and other officials at the meeting. Visit by officials from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to bolster their longstanding partnership, 18th June 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Officials from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) recently visited the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to bolster their longstanding partnership. Led by Jennifer Bukokhe, Deputy Director of Local Transformative Finance at UNCDF, the delegation focused on enhancing joint research endeavors and capacity building initiatives.

Dr. Yusuf Kiwala highlighted the fruitful outcomes of their collaboration, including pioneering research in groundwater financing and the development of a corresponding framework, culminating in a published book chapter. The collaboration also yielded a public investment management calculator for small project appraisal, alongside presentations at prominent international conferences.

Further initiatives encompassed analyses on urban refugees’ economic impact and the establishment of the Masters in Development Finance (MSDF) program, aimed at equipping future leaders with critical skills for addressing financial challenges in developing nations.

Left-Right: Ms. Fiona Luswata from UNCDF, Prof. Bbaale, the Principal, Ms. Jennifer Bukokhe and Dr. Mkhululi from UNCDF during the meeting on June 18, 2024. Visit by officials from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to bolster their longstanding partnership, 18th June 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Left-Right: Ms. Fiona Luswata from UNCDF, Prof. Bbaale, the Principal, Ms. Jennifer Bukokhe and Dr. Mkhululi from UNCDF during the meeting on June 18, 2024.

During the visit, Prof. Edwards Bbaale, Principal of CoBAMS, underscored UNCDF’s pivotal role in advancing research and education within development finance. He expressed appreciation for the opportunities to showcase CoBAMS’ findings globally and emphasized the necessity of ongoing collaboration and investment in research to tackle evolving sectoral challenges. Prof. Bbaale highlighted the contributions of research centers like the PIM Center of Excellence and advocated for partnerships with industry experts and academic institutions to foster innovation and knowledge exchange. Prof. Bbaale appealed to UNCDF to consider sponsoring of individuals willing to pursue the MSDF.

Dr. Godfrey Akileng, Dean of the School of Business, emphasized the program’s responsiveness to industry needs, particularly in addressing Africa’s infrastructure challenges. He stressed the importance of practical training and partnerships for enriching student experiences and preparing graduates for industry demands.

UNCDF affirmed its commitment to supporting CoBAMS through continued research collaboration, capacity building, technical assistance, and staff exchanges. Ms. Bukokhe introduced Dr. Mkhululi Ncube, emphasizing his role in promoting financial inclusion and blended financing strategies in Uganda. Dr. Ncube expressed enthusiasm for future collaborations with CoBAMS, pledging UNCDF’s ongoing support through various initiatives. The partnership between UNCDF and CoBAMS continues to drive impactful research and educational advancements in development finance, positioning both entities at the forefront of sectoral innovation and positive change.

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Business & Management

Economics Students and Research Fellows from Environment for Development, Makerere University Donate 2,000 Tree Seedlings to Masaka District Local Government

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Dr. John Seruyange and Mr. Jordan Semwanga, with Ms. Juliet Najjumba, the Principal Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr. Kabugo Denis Paul, the Senior Assistant CAO, and Ms. Rose Nakyejjwe, the District Natural Resources Officer, Students and Research Fellows at Masaka District Local Government (DLG) headquarters. Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University, have today June 14, 2024 made a significant contribution to restoration of Uganda’s forest cover by donating 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka DLG. The submission of the trees was held at the district office premises and was attended by notable officials and School of Economics faculty members.

Leading the students were their lecturers, Dr. John Seruyange and Mr. Jordan Semwanga, who emphasized the importance of environmental stewardship. The tree seedlings were officially received by Ms. Juliet Najjumba, the Principal Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), along with Mr. Kabugo Denis Paul, the Senior Assistant CAO, and Ms. Rose Nakyejjwe, the District Natural Resources Officer.

Dr. John Seruyange with students and research fellows assist Mr. Kabugo Denis Paul plant a tree. Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

In addition to the handover, students participated in planting some of the trees at the district offices, symbolizing their hands-on commitment to combating climate change. This donation is part of the students’ annual campaign to promote environmental sustainability, an initiative strongly supported by the Environment for Development (EfD) Centre at the college.

Dr. Seruyange highlighted the dual purpose of the event: “Our goal is not only to provide tangible support to Masaka DLG forest reforestation efforts but also to inspire a culture of environmental responsibility among our students and the broader community.”

He added, “through this initiative, we aim to demonstrate the practical application of economic principles in addressing global challenges such as environmental destruction and climate change. It is a testament to our commitment to nurturing well-rounded graduates who are equipped to make a positive impact in the world.”

Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

Ms. Najjumba expressed her gratitude for the donation, stating, “These seedlings will greatly contribute to our efforts to enhance green spaces in Masaka. We are thankful to the students and faculty of Makerere University for their continued support and partnership.”

Mr Kabugo called on the students to do an annual monitoring and evaluation of the donations to see if the trees were indeed planted and what impact they are creating on the environment.

The students were also called upon to focus on eliminating the use of plastics. Ms Nakyejjwe explained the damage plastics cause to soils and the entire environment.

Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

The Environment for Development Centre at Makerere University plays a pivotal role in supporting initiatives like this. EfD is dedicated to the application of environmental economics to contribute to sustainable development. By integrating research, policy analysis, and capacity building, EfD aims to address environmental challenges and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

Uganda faces significant environmental challenges, with deforestation being a critical issue. According to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda loses approximately 122,000 hectares of forest cover annually. This deforestation contributes to adverse effects on climate, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Climate change exacerbates these issues, leading to more frequent and severe droughts, floods, and unpredictable weather patterns. These environmental changes threaten agriculture, water resources, and the overall well-being of the population.

This annual tree donation campaign by Economics students underscores Makerere University‘s dedication to fostering academic excellence alongside social responsibility. The initiative not only aids in environmental conservation but also serves as a valuable educational experience for the students involved. By addressing deforestation and climate change through such actions, the university contributes to the broader goal of sustainable development in Uganda. Last year, the students donated seedlings to Kiboga DLG.

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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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