The Makerere@100 Lecture Series got off to an exciting start on Wednesday 9th February, 2022 with an eminent alumnus and Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka delivering an excellent exposition of the theme “A Legal perspective on the role of Governing Councils in the Management of Higher Education Institutions”.
Delivered to a packed but SOP-observant audience in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2) Auditorium as well as hundreds online, the first series could best be described as historic; the first to be delivered by a sitting Attorney General of Uganda.
“It is therefore a privilege for me to moderate this public lecture not only as a lawyer but also as the Principal, School of Law” remarked the Event Chairperson, Prof. Christopher Mbazira. “We know and the Attorney General knows that his role as Head of Bar comes with various responsibilities, key among which is to mentor lawyers and ensure that the law is practiced according to professional standards and codes of conduct,” he added.
Prof. Mbazira thanked the Attorney General for using the lecture as an opportunity to discharge part of his duties as Head of Bar and informed the audience that as Principal, he had made a conscientious decision to cancel morning classes at the School of Law so that his students could attend the lecture, “because as I Law Student I never got that opportunity.”
The Principal invited the Attorney General to take keen interest in the quality of legal education offered at the School of Law, particularly the unique innovation of offering of Legal Aid services.
“We invite you to take interest in that as we wait for the promulgation of the Legal Aid Bill, as well as use your offices to ensure sustainability of that innovation by having that particular aspect of the School of Law incorporated in the Justice Sector” added Prof. Mbazira.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in his welcome remarks noted that in addition to being the first Makerere@100 Lecture Series, it was the first time the Attorney General was delivering a lecture at his alma mater.
“The Lecture is on a very important subject to Makerere University and all other Higher Education Institutions because the Council is the supreme governing body of the institution. We therefore thank Honourable Kiryowa Kiwanuka for accepting to come and deliver this lecture despite his very busy schedule” added the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Nawangwe noted that the First Lecture would be followed by others in the lead-up to the climax of the Centenary Celebrations in October 2022. He thanked Prof. Mbazira for enabling his students to attend the historic lecture delivered by one of their own and Senior Counsel.
The Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara in her motivational statement prior to the lecture noted that there was no better person to deliver the First Makerere@100 Lecture Series than Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka.
“He has experienced firsthand the intricacies involved in the Governance of an educational institution of the magnitude of Makerere University” said the Chairperson, before adding that “Makerere University significantly benefited from Honourable Kiryowa Kiwanuka’s extensive legal experience, his willingness to lead; his quick incisive thinking and relentless ability to find solutions to multifaceted issues.”
Mrs. Magara further stated that the Lecture would double as an opportunity to officially bid farewell to Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka who served the Council from December 2018 to October 2021, as well as Her Worship Doreen Nyanjura who served from July 2016 to January 2022.
“As Chairperson, it’s been one of those bittersweet moments bidding farewell to two extremely resourceful Council Members, and yet at the same time, finding great joy in seeing them take on greater responsibility to serve our Nation and our City. I heartily congratulate you Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka and Your Worship Doreen Nyanjura both upon your respective appointments” she added.
Quoting Barry Posner and James Kouzes’ book “The Leadership Challenge” wherein they state that the domain of leaders is the future, Mrs. Magara emphasised that Makerere as it celebrates 100 years of achievements must leverage its wealth of intellectual and human capital to profer leadership in transforming Uganda, “and it starts with good governance, undergirded by a proper legal framework.”
‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ is an idiom more popularly used in sport to describe the sportsman/woman that turns the tide of what hitherto seemed like an impossible score to recover from. Although no stranger to sport, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka in this case had to deliver on a theme that was not only broad but also largely dependent on a legal framework; The Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001, that is in desperate need of amendment.
So palpable was the immensity of the task at hand that the Attorney General admitted “It’s not business as usual to deliver a public lecture like this, our business is normally behind the desk writing documents, so I’m really honoured to receive this recognition… it’s also interesting that I hear today, that this is the first lecture of the series, that I didn’t know, because if I had been told, maybe I would have had an excuse to take the second.”
He nevertheless noted that although the day’s theme sounded legal, what he was going to discuss was education, which would hopefully help the audience plan for a lifetime. He observed that “new” knowledge will be very instrumental as the country seeks to achieve Middle Income Status, which further underlines the importance of Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning, and their need to observe good governance.
Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka noted that the University Council derives its mandate from Sections 38(1) and 40(1) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 and its functions from Section 40(2) of the same. He added that although the broad nature of the Council’s functions occasionally makes it hard to draw a line between its roles and those of Management, Council, being the Trustee of the Government wields overall responsibility to ensure effective and efficient management and functionality of the University.
“The role of the university council is not simply to manage the institution but to manage change. We are surrounded by an ever changing environment. We are in the age of computers, social media, IT, artificial intelligence etc.” explained the Attorney General.
In this regard, he commended the University for adapting to the changing world. “Makerere University has identified the changing circumstances and the need for research in order for us to find homegrown solutions to our challenges and has decided to make this its primary goal. To become research led!”
After delving deeply into the specific and routine responsibilities of Council such as: Making recommendations for the appointment of the University’s top leadership; Establishing the University Senate and other Academic Bodies; Establishing Boards of Faculties, Institutes and Colleges; Appointing Committees of the University Council; Management of University Property; and Submitting University Budget Estimates, Hon. Kiryowa summed it up by saying there is no point in the management and running of the University where Council does not have a direct role.
“University business is not ordinary business. The rationale of this is that the purpose of a University is for the greater good. The greatest stakeholder at least in Makerere University, is the people of Uganda; alumni, students or not. What you do here affects all of Uganda” cautioned the Attorney General.
University Councils face a number of challenges largely due to their size and flouting the Chatham House Rule. After enumerating these, Hon. Kiryowa concluded on a cautionary note, reminding his audience of the need to achieve a good balance between the Council and the Vice Chancellor/Management for the good of the university.
The risk, he noted, was in a proactive Chairperson and a proactive Council limiting the scope of activity for a Vice Chancellor. He nevertheless commended, “I have had the privilege of working with both a dynamic Chairperson and proactive Vice Chancellor.”
The well-received public lecture was followed by a lively one-on-one with the Attorney General, moderated by Assoc. Prof. Sarah Ssali a Council Member and Dean, School of Women and Gender Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS).
Pertinently raised were the need to: amend the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act to move beyond the era in which Makerere was the only Public University in Uganda; and cater for affirmative action and minimum qualifications in the constitution of Council. Other burning issues touched on stifling academic freedom, losses to public universities arising out of litigation and the growing presence of the military in academic spaces. MakererePertinently raised were the need to: amend the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act to move beyond the era in which Makerere was the only Public University in Uganda; and cater for affirmative action and minimum qualifications in the constitution of Council. Other burning issues touched on stifling academic freedom, losses to public universities arising out of litigation and the growing presence of the military in academic spaces.
The Attorney General in summary concurred with the urgent need to amend the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act as it governs a very dynamic era, proposing it be subject to amendment every ten years. He called for the adoption of a more inclusive “Ugandans in uniform” reference to the military, and offered to create a space for the public and academia to debate their growing presence in spaces outside their usual domain. Finally, he urged his audience not to use academic freedom to trample upon the freedoms of other members of the public.
As hinted on by the Chairperson of Council during her motivational statement, the lecture was crowned by the presentation of eminent service awards to Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka and Her Worship Doreen Nyanjura.
In her acceptance speech, Her Worship acknowledged that although she did not know what the future held as she journeyed from Nyamabuga village in Kyenjojo district to commence her undergraduate studies at Makerere in 2009, she carried in her heart a burning desire to make her surroundings a better place than she had found them. She went on to serve on the Students Guild and in 2016, became Councillor for Makerere University at the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
Nominated by KCCA to sit on the Makerere University Council in 2016, Her Worship was at the time of her departure in January 2022 serving her second five-year term.
“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to this Council and its members with whom I served. This University Council has groomed me, it has trained me and sharpened me to be a better leader. The Council has taught me that every single decision we take affects so many people and their families, a single decision could destroy a career or build it, it could shut out a whole section of our society from attaining an education or enable them to attain education” she said.
Please click the embedded video below to view proceedings of the First Makerere@100 Lecture Series
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.
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