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Mak Launches Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence

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The Public Investment Management (PIM) Centre of Excellence, housed at the College of Business and Management Sciences was on March 10, 2022, launched during the Public Investment Management Open Day held at Makerere University. The launch and Open Day were presided over by Mr. Ashaba Hannington, the Commissioner Projects Analysis and Public Investment Department, who represented the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija.

The center, with funding from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK government (FCDO) through the World Bank, is expected to build capacity of officers involved in management of public investments. The launch of the center was preceded by an Open Day themed “promoting good practices in managing public investments to raise returns”.

The Centre of Excellence awarded certificates to 26 trainees from various government agencies, following a rigorous training in Financial and Risk Analysis.

Prof. Eria Hisali, the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University.
Prof. Eria Hisali, the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University.

In a quest to strengthen public investment management, the government of Uganda through the World Bank Group and Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK Government (FCDO) Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), have supported Implementation of the National Development Plans with interventions carried out through at least seven government institutions. The interventions aimed to strengthen institutions, build technical capacity for relevant government officers, and develop decision making tools including relevant strategies, policies and guidelines, in line with the theory of change and having more efficient and effective systems for public investment management that will ultimately increase the returns on investments and thereby promoting faster growth and the country’s capacity to manage its debt. 

In his opening remarks, Professor Eria Hisali the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) who represented Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe the Makerere University Vice Chancellor highlighted how 0.6 of every dollar invested is lost hence the need for capacity building and research amongst government institutions to maximize returns. “Having done this we shall have created a huge data bank for policy makers, it is our sincere hope that then all government projects will be subjected to public scrutiny of our center so that we enhance productivity of our public investment”, added Prof Hisali. He extended the University’s appreciation to the World Bank and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK Government (FCDO) through UKaid for the tremendous financial support rendered in establishing the PIM Centre of Excellence.

Ms. Mukami Kariuki, the World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
Ms. Mukami Kariuki, the World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.

On behalf of the World Bank, Ms. Mukami Kariuki, the World Bank Country Manager for Uganda said that such policies help to provide economic stimulus and enhance the stock of public assets even in the times of crisis like the Covid 19 pandemic, which can contribute to the achievement of the long-term development goals of growth and development and poverty reduction.

Ms. Kariuki reiterated how clear it is that high levels of investment cannot yield returns if the quality of projects remains poor and that it should take government and stakeholders high efforts in combating such a big challenge through favorable policies and considerable reforms.

She commended the Government of Uganda for aiming at building capacity of government officials and other stakeholders, and developing decision making tools to increase return on investment thereby promoting more rapid growth.

Dr. Willy Kagarura (L) receives Prof. Eria Hisali at the PIM CoE Exhibition Booth during the Open Day.
Dr. Willy Kagarura (L) receives Prof. Eria Hisali at the PIM CoE Exhibition Booth during the Open Day.

“We are happy to witness the progress made on strengthening the ‘gate-keeping’ role of the Ministry of Finance. Through tapping into technology, the Government of Uganda has developed the Integrated Bank of Projects, an online information portal to streamline preparation, appraisal, and monitoring of execution of public projects,” said Ms. Kariuki. “The World Bank will further engage the government on its Public Investment Management (PIM) agenda, especially on strengthening its PIM policy and regulatory framework, and a financing strategy to manage public debt and ensure a return on investment”.

She closed off by asking government to focus on demonstrating value for money of public investments, building capacity of ministries and its officials and other implementing agencies in project preparation, reserving resources to facilitate implementation of feasibility studies during the pre-investment stage and   formulating a policy framework for public investment management to allow the public scrutinize such investments.

Jordan Martindale who represented FCDO and the British High Commission.
Jordan Martindale who represented FCDO and the British High Commission.

Jordan Martindale who represented the FCDO and British High Commission highlighted the importance of Public Investment scrutiny as a business to every tax payer. She said the systems underlying the appraisal, implementation and monitoring of these projects need to be strengthened.

“It has been great partnering with Government with Uganda as they increase their ability to effectively deliver improved Public Investment Management.  Delivering government’s investment pipeline in a manner that offers value for money, timely delivery and the attainment of development outcomes is crucial for achieving the National Development Plan III goals. The UK’s investment of Ush 42.3 billion over the past 5 years has led to evident efficiency gains including an improvement in the capital spending absorption rate which has risen from 60% in 2017 to 86% in 2021, a 4-fold increase in the use of Cost Benefit Analysis to assess projects submitted for approval into the Public Investment Plan, and the successful leveraging of about $600 million in additional development finance,’’ Jordan Martindale, said.

While launching the Public Investment Management (PIM) Center of Excellence, Mr. Ashaba Hannington on behalf of Hon. Matia Kasaija said the theme for the open day was in line with the government strategy for Economic Development through strengthening the country’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and  hopes to achieve it all through the implementation of the Nation Development Plans.

Mr. Ashaba Hannington cuts the ribbon to ribbon to mark the launch of the PIM CoE at the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2), Makerere University.
Mr. Ashaba Hannington cuts the ribbon to ribbon to mark the launch of the PIM CoE at the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2), Makerere University.

“Through this reform agenda, the Government has improved her processes including improvement on screening projects before admission in the public investment plan, decrease in number of non-performing projects, accountability on finances through verifiable output and improvement in mechanism of entry and exit of projects from the public investment plan” he said.

Commissioner Ashaba thanked the funders, implored them for more support and pledged government’s support for the Center to ensure successful implementation of government interventions including the newly launched Parish Develop Model.

Professor Edward Bbaale, the Dean School of Economics and the Principal Investigator of the Center of Excellence said the center looks at building capacity amongst trainers to effectively deliver standardized PIM content, and conducting short courses to improve the country’s capacity in PIM. The Centre also aims at offering professional support as an independent external evaluator to the development committee of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and carrying out research towards improving the PIM framework in Uganda.

Prof. Edward Bbaale, Dean School of Economics, CoBAMS and Principal Investigator of the PIM Centre of Excellence.
Prof. Edward Bbaale, Dean School of Economics, CoBAMS and Principal Investigator of the PIM Centre of Excellence.

He therefore thanked the World Bank and the UK government for the grant, and the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Department of Project Analysis for the support. Prof. Bbaale equally thanked the Makerere University Management particularly the Office of the Vice Chancellor for offering space to house the PIM center of Excellence, as well as CoBAMS fraternity and Cambridge resources international for the support and collaboration.

About eight government institutions showcased innovations and research findings from the grant given by the World Bank and FCDO among which included the PIM Center of Excellence that disseminated research findings on the impact of Covid-19 on public investment management in Uganda and the impact evaluation of the Uganda clean cooking supply chain expansion project that focuses on households’ access to cleaner cooking technologies and the Impact of the Luwero Rwenzori Development Program. The National Planning Authority exhibited their building planning capacity for spatial data and greater Kampala metropolitan Area while the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PDDA) showcased the Electronic Government Procurement system that enables disposal and procurement of public supplies, works and services through the internet.

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) showcased its contact center upgrade with voice and chat infrastructure containing interactive video response and incident management to enhance simplicity to clientele and innovations in revenue mobilization. The Uganda Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development exhibited its program that focuses on readying the country for actualization of shared infrastructure corridor and physical development plans operationalization.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries exhibited the UgIFT Micro-scale irrigation program, an intensified solar sprinkler system offered at a subsidized price to empower farmers while the Office of the Prime Minister showcased its Enhancement of Productivity, Accountability and Knowledge Systems for Improved Public Investment Outcomes in Education and Health Project.

The newly launched PIM Center for Excellence is equipped with high-tech IT equipment and videoconferencing technologies to support training.

Business & Management

Business owners trained on social media usage in business operations by Makerere University Researchers

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Dr. Kasimu Sendawula (L) shakes hands with one of the officials after the research dissemination workshop at St. Joseph’s Inn Virika-Fort Portal on 29th September 2022.

On Thursday 29th September 2022, happened a research dissemination workshop at St. Joseph’s Inn Virika-Fort Portal that presented a policy debrief on social media technology as a feasible strategy in catalyzing Sustainable growth of small businesses in Uganda. A case study of Mbale and Fort portal by Makerere University’s Business Management expert and Lecturer Dr. Kasimu Sendawula.

The research project themed “Strengthening the Social Media Competencies of Business Owner Managers for Sustainable Growth of Small Businesses in Uganda” objected at equipping business owner-managers with social media competencies that are relevant in boosting productivity, marketing and promoting business operations for sustainable growth.

The project team first conducted a needs assessment before training where it was revealed that 195 (92%) of the business owner-managers in Fort Portal and Mbale had never obtained training on social media usage. The research team engaged the project participants in a hands-on social media training and eventually social media platforms were integrated into the functionality of their businesses.

Uganda being the most entrepreneurial country in the world, it is unfortunate that 64% of businesses started do not live to see their first birthday and those that do, 30% collapse before their 3rd anniversary, this all has been made worse by the covid 19 pandemic.

This research further revealed that 85% of the participants demonstrated readiness to use social media in the operations of their business and 77% of Business owner-managers have smartphones. On the other hand, 87% of participants were concerned that social media platforms may make it easy for Governments to spy on their businesses hence Privacy and Security threats.

Dr. Kasimu Sendawula the project Principal Investigator reported that after engaging the Business owner-managers in a hands on training; they appreciated social media and opened up social media platforms, channels, and pages that were suitable for their businesses and that the project team used the training materials to develop social media digital training modules that can be adopted by institutions of higher learning to equip nascent entrepreneurs with social media competencies relevant for sustainable business growth.

Dr. Mercy Amayo the Representative of the Grants Management Committee (GMC), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund applauded the project team for the job well done and also congratulated them upon winning such a prestigious grant.

Mr. Ssekyondwa Augustine a Business Process Analyst and National Information Technology Authority Uganda Directorate of E-Government Services added his voice to appreciate and congratulate the research team on doing such an impactful study. He encouraged the trained business owners to exercise their marketing goals in respect to computer ethics and patent rights of businesses to avoid falling culprits of plagiarism and offensive communication.

The research recommends that government of Uganda amends the current social media guide by integrating issues concerning social media usage by the business community as it will guide business owner-managers on the requirements and guidelines for social media usage, potential risks, security, transparency and the legal considerations of using social media in business operations, for small businesses will trust social media platforms and fully utilize them with a goal of fostering sustainable business growth in Uganda.

Further recommendations highlight that government integrates social media technology training in the skilling Uganda program to enable nascent entrepreneurs to acquire competencies needed to successfully integrate social media technology into the functionality of their startups for sustainable growth.

The Ministry of Education and Sports should encourage academic institutions to adopt the social media training modules developed from this project to equip learners with practical soft and technical social media skills to enable future entrepreneurs to acquire competencies relevant in launching social media platforms, selling and marketing online.

This study was spearheaded by Dr. Sendawula Kasimu, Professor. Peter Turyakira, Professor Grace Kibanja, Dr. Saadat Kimuli Nakyejwe, Ms. Najjinda Shamirah, Mr. Ashiraf Mutagubya, Mr. Muhsin Mutagubya and Ms. Betty Tuhaise: funded by the Government of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RiF).

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MBA Shortlist for Graduate Admission Test (GAT) 2022/2023

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An aerial photo of L-R: The Main Library, Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2), School of Economics and School of Business (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, invites all shortlisted candidates who applied for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme offered at Makerere University Main Campus; College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) for academic year 2022/2023 for a Graduate Admission Test (GAT).

The test is scheduled to take place on Saturday 27th August, 2022 starting 9:00 AM at CoBAMS.

Further information can be accessed by following the link:

Shortlist for Graduate Admission Test (GAT) 2022/2023

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Hon. Baryomunsi Launches Book with Pledge to continue Supporting Research

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Hon. Chris Baryomunsi signs a dummy of the Book "Academics, Research and Leadership in Institutions of Higher Learning: Experiences from Makerere University" signifying its launch on 29th July 2022.

The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, the Hon. Chris Baryomunsi today July 29, 2022, launched a book authored by 20 researchers of Makerere University.

The book titled “Academics, Research and Leadership in Institutions of Higher Learning: Experiences from Makerere University” details the research and training experiences of some academic units in Makerere University. The programs analyzed in the book include training of statisticians, population scientists, quantitative economists among others. The book documents past, present and emerging issues in training and research in the above fields. The book, according to Prof. Ben Kiregyera who gave the keynote address, makes the case for strengthening the infrastructure for training and research including technical and administrative leadership. The book also looks at the acquisition of new knowledge, strategic skills and competences in different disciplines to meet the 21st century development and data challenges.

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, also a former lecturer in the department of population studies said the government would continue to support research and innovation because they drive development of the economy. “What we need to do better is engage policy makers in our research processes,” Dr. Baryomunsi advised. “Your research needs to inform government but you also have a role of simplifying statistics to the public”. He challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, who represented the Vice Chancellor, applauded the authors of the book, saying they are greatly contributing to the research agenda of the university. He said the book will go a long way in informing decision making in the university, as the university moves into becoming a research led university.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe delivers the remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
Prof. Henry Alinaitwe delivers the remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The Principal of the College of Business and Management Science, Prof. Eria Hisali, who was represented by the Deputy Principal Prof. Bruno Yawe, congratulated the authors and editorsfor a job well done. “This is yet another reminder that a lot can be achieved when we are determined and when we choose to work closely together,” the Principal said.

The Principal told the authors, most of whom were drawn from CoBAMS that the college will be launching a special purpose vehicle for policy engagements called the Policy Labs. This will bring together policy makers, implementers, private sector actors, development partners and the academia to engage on topical policy issues. It will enable researchers to share the recommendations with a wider audience of policy makers and implementers.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd L), Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other officials at the Book Launch.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd L), Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other officials at the Book Launch.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi also congratulated the authors and reemphasized the university’s commitment to supporting research geared at finding home grown solutions to society challenges.

The coordinators of the book project, Prof. Abel Nzabona, shared with the audience the 5-year journey of writing the book.

The journey started in June 2018 when Prof. Ronald Wesonga (in the company of Dr. Fred Maniragaba) mentioned that he had a book idea and wanted Prof. Nzabona to coordinate the writing process. Prof Ronald Wesonga’s idea of the book was an academic document that was researched, evidence-based, informative, marketable and interesting to read. The team then set out on a journey or writing, vetting, peer-reviewing and manuscript writing, identifying editors and publishers. 

Part of the audience at the Book Launch.
Part of the audience at the Book Launch.

“We started off with just 4 chapters but never gave up. We intensified the popularization of the book idea and eventually reached the 15-chapter mark,” Prof. Nzabona said. The team was delighted to have been joined by colleagues from the College of Education and External Studies namely Dr David Onen and Prof. Fred Bakkabulindi.

The vision bearer and funder of the publication, Prof. Ronald Wesonga, in his remarks highlighted the objectives of the book which included:

  1. To Share evidence-based, data-driven experiences pertaining academics and research leadership at Makerere University.
  2. To Infer how leadership shapes academics and research outputs at universities
  3. To Provide viable recommendations based on findings from different studies
  4. To Contribute to the Mak@100 celebrations

The book Prof. Wesonga shared addresses the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of leadership on excellence in academics? Addressed in seven chapters: {4,5,6,7,9,10,12}
  2. What is the effect of leadership on research outputs? Addressed in six chapters: {2,3,8,11,13,14}
One of the Book Authors, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana.
One of the Book Authors, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana.

The book employed the following methodology:

  1. Teamwork and networking
  2. Primary and secondary data sources
  3. Literature Search
  4. Mixed Methods
  5. Descriptive and Inferential Approaches
  6. Quality Standardization and Flow (Abstract, KW, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion & Recommendations)

According to Prof. Wesonga, the book’s unique attributes include:

  1. First ever in the history of Mak to demonstrate impeccable teamwork and network with 20 contributing authors
  2. Pioneering book in Mak history that focuses on leadership audit
  3. Proven data-driven scientific approach
  4. Baseline for various monographs, yet to come soon
  5. First book to be internationally demanded before its launch
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (5th R) poses with officials and some of the authors at the Book Launch on 29th July 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (5th R) poses with officials and some of the authors at the Book Launch on 29th July 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

THE AUTHORS

  1. Anthony Tibaingana
  2. Abraham Y. Owino
  3. Mwanga Yeko
  4. Fred Maniragaba
  5. Ronald Wesonga
  6. John Mushomi Atwebembeire
  7. Abel Nzabona
  8. John Paul Tugume
  9. Christian Kakuba
  10. Charles Lwanga
  11. Ishmael Kalule-Sabiti
  12. James Ntozi
  13. Edward Musoke
  14. Richard Tuyiragize
  15. Fabian Nabugoomu
  16. John Bosco Asiimwe
  17. Yeko Mwanga
  18. Paulino Ariho
  19. Fred Edward K. Bakkabulindi
  20. David Onen

EDITORS:

  1. Fredrick Ruguma Tumwine
  2. Fred E. K. Bakkabulindi
  3. James Ntozi

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