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EfD-Mak Centre in Strategic Plan Retreat to Ensure Proper Environmental Management in Uganda

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The EfD-Mak Centre has gone into  a three day strategic plan retreat (February 15th -18th 2022) to write the strategic plan  for the next five years to ensure that there is proper environmental management in Uganda.

Officials from the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, environmental economists from Makerere University colleges of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) and that of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), selected officials  from the Makerere University Planning Directorate, representatives from  Civil Society Organisations and the Private sector will participate.

The meeting was officially opened by the Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali at Ridar Hotel in Seeta.

Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali delivering the opening remarks
Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali delivering the opening remarks

The EfD-Mak-Centre was established in 2018 at the EfD Global Hub’s annual meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam and is among the newly established Centres making up 15 centres of the EfD Global network.

The Centre was launched at Makerere University on 29th August, 2019 under the joint management the CoBAMS, and CAES. It is mandated to build capacity in environmental economics through capacity building and sponsoring action-oriented research projects to find solutions to the most pressing environmental and development challenges such as climate change for sustainable development.

While opening the meeting, the Principal CoBAMS congratulated the centre leadership upon achievements so far recorded noting that since its inception, it has remain on course and continued to do a commendable job.

Some of the participants attending the meeting.
Some of the participants attending the meeting.

Assoc. Prof. Hisali said, the work that the centre is set out to do is central to the future of not only Uganda, but also, the future of humanity.

“There is very little that we are going to be able to do going forward without harnessing and learning how to co-exist with the different aspects of the environment and this is something that we better take very seriously, otherwise, the growth and prosperity that we see today across the globe will be very quickly wiped away without taking due consideration to environmental concerns.” he said.

Assoc. Prof. Hisali congratulated the EfD-Mak centre leadership for  mobilizing the team and coming  gather to discuss raising key issues of interest to the participants in the course of the discussion for the strategic plan .

Some of the participants attending the meeting.
Some of the participants attending the meeting.

He implored participants to consider the issue of  visualization of  the centre taking care of whether they need to expand the institutional capacity in terms of administrative structure, how the structure should look like and how to align the activities of the centre into the mainstream activities of the university.

“Are we going to remain focused on research, training and outreach or there is a possibility of doing a few other things that would be part of the visualization that we need to take into consideration as we develop the strategic plan.

Once we finish the visualization, the next thing is the outlook, how to operationalize it, steps and resources that are required for the next five years”, The Principal advised.

Epiaka William from the National Planning Authority (L) and other participants  during the strategic plan meeting.
Epiaka William from the National Planning Authority (L) and other participants during the strategic plan meeting.

Hisali also implored participants to appreciate in greater detail what the status quo currently is, the gaps there between and the implementation plan itself, noting that the strategic plan is just part of the process.

“There will be an annex called  implementation matrix and in doing this, you benefit from experience, what you know, but avoid as much as  possible putting in things that are clearly not achievable because you are going to be evaluated on the basis of what you have put down.

But good reporting also now entails capturing other things and achievements that you did that are outside the plan. So you should not constrain yourself to including everything in the plan, and  also hope that at some stage we would be able to cost what  we are think about so that we get a sense of what is possible and what it might take to deliver this plan,” the Principal advised.

Some of the participants attending the meeting.
Some of the participants attending the meeting.

The other important consideration according to Prof. Hisali was the alignment of the mandate of the centre with the interventions and objectives so that they speak to the input indicators and outputs which must come from the conceptualization.

The Director EfD-Mak Centre Prof. Edward Bbaale noted that although natural resources constitute the primary source of livelihood for the majority of the people in Uganda, they have come under increased pressure arising from high population growth rates with its associated high poverty levels, limited public knowledge on environmental functions, and poor governance.

“Due to high poverty levels, many people are still engaged in charcoal burning, hunting, and farming in environmentally risky areas like wetlands. As a consequence, many forests, wetlands and their associated biodiversity have been heavily destroyed.” the Director noted.

EfD-Mak Centre Director, Prof. Edward Bbaale making his remarks during the opening session.
EfD-Mak Centre Director, Prof. Edward Bbaale making his remarks during the opening session.

The Director pointed out that, Uganda’s natural resources and environmental challenges pose serious threats to realizing the country’s sustainable development agenda and therefore, the establishment of the EfD-Mak Centre is timely and provides an opportunity to work on practical solutions to reverse the current trends.

Together with the relevant stakeholders, Prof. Bbaale said, the Centre is committed to provide the much-needed evidence, capacity development, policy outreaches and advocacy.

Bbaale said the strategic plan will focus on capacity development in managing Uganda’s natural capital to the relevant officials and practitioners, and will strive to ensure demand driven trainings that serve the real purpose.

Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other participants attending the meeting before the official opening.
Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other participants attending the meeting before the official opening.

In addition, the professor said, the strategic plan seeks to address the existing governance and institutional gaps in managing environment and natural resources in Uganda and the persistent disaggregation of empirical research and policy engagement.

“The Centre is currently priding in an experienced mass of Research Fellows at all levels with diverse research interest from energy, transport, agriculture, climate change, forestry, wildlife and others. These together with the support from the global hub and partners are strong to bridge the research-policy gap.

 Currently, the Centre is running a number of research projects with support from the global hub and this is evidence that the Centre is set and ready to face and address the above challenges together with partners.”, Prof. Bbaale asserted.

Epiaka William from the National Planning Authority participating during the strategic plan meeting.
Epiaka William from the National Planning Authority participating during the strategic plan meeting.

The Director also reported that since its launch, the Centre has grown its wings away from being typical Makerere-based and created partnerships with some District Local governments and some Universities with regional coordinators for the both local governments and Universities. With these strategic partnerships, Bbaale said the Centre will strengthen the policy engagements with stakeholders not only at the centre, but also across the country. This will be good for the research disseminations and policy engagements on environment and natural resources.

Prof. Bbaale further said, the Centre has also created functional working relationships with a number of government ministries and agencies, the civil society, private sector, international agencies and academia. These strategic working relations according the Director will position the Centre to spearhead policy discussions in the space of Environment and natural resources and inclusive green economy with the ability of uptake of the resolutions.

The Centre according to the Director is having strategic working relations with sister EfD-Centres in the region including EfD-Tanzania and EfD-Kenya. This he said, is very crucial in conducting joint research activities that yield policy discussions that benefit the entire region thereby contributing to the East African Community Policy Agenda on environment and climate change for the EAC Vision 2050.

Prof. Bbaale also reported that the Centre is establishing the Advisory Board which will provide the strategic direction and guidance to the centre. This he said, is very critical in realizing the strategic objectives of the Centre as highlighted in the strategic plan and the annual plans.

Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer, EfD-Mak Centre Uganda.

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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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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