The 72nd graduation ceremony of Makerere University has kicked off today, 23rd May 2022 with the Colleges of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) and Health Sciences as well as the School of Law presenting students for the award of degrees and diplomas in various disciplines.
The graduation ceremony presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma was graced by the President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni and the First Lady, also Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni.
During 72nd graduation ceremony that ends on Friday, 27th May 2022, a total of 12,474 graduands will receive degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, 100 will graduate with PhDs, 1,236 with Masters degrees, 10,998 with Bachelor’s degrees and 140 with undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas. 52 % of the graduands are female and 48 % are male. Forty of the 100 PhD graduands and 492 of the 1,236 Masters graduands are female, representing 40% in each category.
The College of Natural Sciences has presented a total of 268 students including 17 PhDs, 22 Masters (4 female,18 male) and 229 undergraduates (72 female, 157 male). Of these, a total of 5 students (1 female, 4 male) graduated with First Class degrees. Eight students attained PhD in Mathematics, the highest number of PhD graduates from a single department in the 100-year history of Makerere University. The students were sponsored by the SIDA Bilateral Programme, 2015-2022, project 316 ‘Capacity Building in Mathematics and its Applications. Since 2015, the Project led by Prof. John Mango has sponsored 21 PhD students.
Presenting the graduands, the Principal of CoNAS, Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta commended Prof. Mango for his invaluable contribution towards research and training in the Department of Mathematics.
The 17 PhD graduates include; Adaku Christopher, Anywar Godwin, Buttibwa Mary, Eneku John Paul, Inuwa Badamasi, Kito Luliro Silas, Kyomuhangi Annet, Mayanja Edison, Mukisa Ambrose, Ochen William, Opio Peter, Nabawanda Olivia, Nanfuka Mary, Nalule Rebecca, Okello Joseph Omwonylee, and Wamono Felix.
Remarks by the President
Speaking at the ceremony, the President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni who attended virtually re-echoed the importance of science in development. “The trigger of social change is science. I appeal to Ugandans and social scientists to understand this. When Africa was colonized, it was not that we lacked Kings, Magicians, Priests, we lacked science. Science was not emphasized. What was emphasized was these other actors. We want to emphasize science because it is the basis of socioeconomic transformation,” he explained, recommitting to facilitate government scientists better. “We have insisted on giving good salaries to Government scientists including science teachers in public Universities and secondary schools. This is not because we have forgotten the social scientists and arts people. This is because we cannot handle all at a go,” he noted. Additionally, the President emphasized the need for collaborative research. Commenting on security on Campus, he pledged to facilitate the completion of the University Perimeter wall.
Remarks by the Minister of Education and Sports
Delivering her remarks, the First Lady, also Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni who also attended virtually congratulated the graduands and their parents for the success registered. She thanked the University Management for their commitment in ensuring students attain quality education. “Together with our partners in development, we are still struggling to improve the working conditions, revamp the university infrastructure and to have new curriculum. We are grateful to our partners who have stood with us but most of all the government. We are specifically grateful to the NRM government because it shepherds the Ugandan child from childhood by providing basic health and education services. Government hope is that the Parish Model will empower the family to support the other education requirements of children. As we celebrate 100 years, we thank God for where He has brought us from. From 14 students, the University now has over 3,8000 students. This is no mean achievement. We must stand together. Let nothing divide us in our pursuit to transform the University and country. We should learn to embrace dialogue in conflict resolution,” she noted. The First Lady appreciated the Government for the enormous investment in research at the University. “Through government processes, we received funding for the construction of a 300-bed teaching hospital. This will greatly improve the teaching infrastructure at the University.”
The Chairperson, Makerere University Council
Addressing graduands, the Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated the Vice Chancellor for the great service rendered to the University for the years he has held the Office. She presented an award to Prof. William Bazeyo, for his exemplary service as Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration. During his tenure, Prof. Bazeyo played a tremendous role in soliciting for funding for the University, leading to a reduction of the University debt from UGX120 billion in 2017 to less than UGX 10 billion currently.
Remarks by the Chancellor
The Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma appreciated the President and the First Lady, for their exceptional leadership and persistent determination in managing the Covid19 pandemic. “Despite the enormous economic, social and political pressures that you faced, you refused to relent in the face of the havoc of covid19 upon the world in general and Uganda in particular. I believe that your firm stand on vaccination and on preventive lockdown helped to save thousands of lives of Ugandans who would probably have died.” The Chancellor also appreciated the Government of Uganda for the commitment towards advancing research and higher education in the Country.
In his address, the Chancellor congratulated the graduands and paid tribute to the parents and guardians for the sacrifices made to ensure their children attain quality education. “I plead with the graduands to never forget to cherish and to honour your parents, guardians and sponsors who have sacrificed so much to help you reach this graduation day. As they become older, they will increasingly need your love and financial support. Whenever I meet someone I assisted and he or she tells me how they cherished my support I feel greatly uplifted. But whenever I remember someone I assisted but who has never bothered to send even a message of greetings, I feel discouraged. Please endeavor to cultivate an attitude of gratitude,” he advised.
The Chancellor appreciated Makerere University Management and faculty for the commitment and time invested in delivering quality education to the students.
The Vice Chancellor’s address
The Vice Chancellor congratulated the students and professors on the achievement. He thanked the parents, guardians, Government, and other sponsors, for supporting the students. “A total of 254 of this week’s graduands have been supported under the Government of Uganda Students’ Loans Scheme under the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB). Since 2014, the Students’ Loan Scheme has supported 1,816 Students to study different Science Programmes at Makerere University, making it the single biggest supporter of private students at the Institution. These students would otherwise never have achieved their higher education dreams if it was not for the Students’ Loan Scheme. I wish to congratulate you the beneficiaries and appeal to you to use the skills and knowledge you have acquired to serve your country but also remember to pay back such that more students can be supported.”
Similarly, the Vice Chancellor appreciated all development partners who have supported many students to attain quality education at Makerere, including the Mastercard Foundation, Sida, Norad, The Madhvani Foundation, the Inter-University Council of East Africa, as well as Government Ministries and Agencies.
The Vice Chancellor thanked the University Council for expanding the Female Scholarship Scheme to support 40 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, with special attention to Uganda’s ethnic minorities, including the Ik, the Dodoth, the Batwa, and the Jie. “It is also my pleasure to report that the University Council policy on affirmative action for girls in STEM is already bearing fruit. Because of that policy, the enrolment of girls in STEM has increased from 35% to 42% over the last two academic years.”
Regarding research and innovation at Makerere, the Vice Chancellor appreciated the Government for the allocation of UGX 30 billion annually for the last three years towards the Research and Innovation Fund, commonly referred to as RIF. “This fund has transformed Makerere tremendously. Out of 1,200 applications received, more than 700 research grants have so far been allocated and more than 500 innovations have been recorded, many of them with potential for commercialization, and a number of policy briefs and manuals have been developed. The Government of Uganda is now the single largest funder of research at Makerere University and we are obliged to respond by increasing our efforts to find solutions to our Country’s development challenges. Our potential for innovation came out during the COVID-19 pandemic when more than 200 innovations to fight that disease were realized. I congratulate the Makerere researchers for their patriotism and zeal.”
He also appreciated the Government for the considerable investments in improving Makerere University infrastructure. “Last week the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports came to Makerere to commission some buildings and lay foundation stones for others, including the reconstruction of our iconic Main Administration Building, for which Government has already availed all the UGX 21 billion required. The new building for the School of Dentistry has enabled us to equip the biggest dental hospital in East Africa. The Central Teaching Facilities have greatly alleviated the shortage of teaching and office space, and the new building for the School of Law will enhance research and graduate training in the discipline of Law. All these projects will cost the Government more than UGX 60 billion and we thank you very much indeed.”
The Vice Chancellor equally thanked the President for the pledge to support the construction of a perimeter wall around the University campus. He also appreciated the President for his directive for the allocation of funds to renovate student halls of residence and facilities of the College of Health Sciences. “These facilities are central to student welfare and the quality of our teaching and training. With these investments, I want to assure Your Excellency that we shall give our best to build the human capital of this country and enhance research and innovation to drive the national development agenda. The grant of USD 300 million negotiated by the First Lady and Minister of Education for the construction of a teaching hospital at Makerere University will greatly revolutionise teaching and research at Makerere. Makerere will never be the same again,” he noted. He also extended gratitude to the government for the pledge of UGX 800 million to support activities to mark 100 years of Makerere University. This year, Makerere is celebrating 100 years of excellent service to humanity. The climax will be on 8th October 2022.
Full speech by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Two Nutrifish-sponsored PhD students win awards of best oral presentations at ICAFA
Two of the NutriFish-sponsored PhD students, Nakiyende Herbert and Julliet Nafula Ogubi won the awards for the best and second-best oral presentations in the young scientists’ category at the International Conference on Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (ICAFA) held in Jinja, Uganda from 1st-3rd September 2022. The conference was organized under the theme “Breaking new grounds to recognize and celebrate the contribution of small-scale fisheries towards food security and nutrition”.
Supported by the International Research Development Centre (IDRC) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) through their joint programme, Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAF), NutriFish aims to address the nutritional needs of vulnerable groups that cannot afford expensive commercial fish but are in critical need of high quality nutritious diets. The Project is coordinated by Dr. Jackson Efitre, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University.
The title for Nakiyende Herbert’s presentation was: “Are small pelagic fisheries a blessing or curse? Understanding fisher community perceptions towards light fishing on Lake Albert, Uganda”.
Light fishing, the technique of catching fish by light attraction was introduced to Lake Albert, Uganda around early 2000s, to target two small pelagic species (SPS), Engraulicypris bredoi (muziri) and Brycinus nurse (ragoogi). The introduction of light fishing coincided with a period when stocks of large-bodied fishes, such as Tilapia spp, Lates niloticus, Bagras bajad, Alestes baremose, and Hydrocynus forskahlii in the Ugandan waters of Lake Albert had started to decline. Although Lake Albert is shared by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), light fishing is prohibited in DRC waters. This study evaluated socio-ecological consequences of light fishing on the fisheries and lakeside communities of Lake Albert in Uganda, to inform sustainable management. Data was collected in April 2021 from three landing sites (Ntoroko, Kaiso, and Dei), through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Light fishing has transformed the lake’s annual fish catch from < 60,000 tonnes (t) in early 2000s, mainly of large species to about 330,000 t, dominated by SPS (60 – 80%) by 2021. The SPS light fishery currently engages over 30% of total fishing boats and 60% of fishers in the Ugandan waters of the lake. The technique has also led to conflicts with fishers targeting the large-bodied species, the main concerns being: i) excessive light fishing effort; ii) competition for fishing grounds; iii) high by-catch (~10%) dominated by juveniles of the large species; and iv) destruction of passive fishing gears used in the large-bodied species fisheries. To ensure co-existence in the multi-species fishery and continued livelihood benefits (employment, income, and food) of the SPS light fishery, resting and closed periods and light-fishery effort control were proposed by 95.4% of respondents. Detailed scientific investigation of the light fishing methods is recommended, to guide on the proposed closed season and fishing effort controls.
Julliet Nafula Ogubi’s presentation was on: “Spoilage mechanisms and associated drivers in post-harvest loss management in freshwater small pelagic fishes in Africa”.
Small pelagic fishes (SPFs) are steadily being recognized for their contribution to livelihoods, food and nutritional security especially in developing countries. The SPFs are schooling fishes with a total length of 20 cm, preserved mainly by open sun-drying. Despite the bulk harvests, post-harvest losses associated with spoilage continue to hamper their availability, accessibility and consumption. A review of available literature on similar marine species revealed that spoilage commences immediately after harvest and progresses through three cascading but overlapping processes: autolytic (enzymatic), microbial and chemical reactions causing physical, quality, nutritional and economic losses. Spoilage in SPF is accelerated by i) their large surface to volume ratio; ii) the reliance on fluctuating sun radiation for drying which depends on prevailing weather condition; c) limited drying spaces for large quantities landed. With regard to magnitude of losses, spoilage-related quality deterioration and nutritional changes in fish are rarely evaluated, hence associated economic value is lacking. The magnitude of losses attributed directly to the spoilage mechanisms have not been determined in freshwater SPFs, yet cost-effective interventions target significant processes. Handling practices, especially stacking and mixing of different fish hauls as drivers of spoilage mechanisms have not also been evaluated. In addition, the effect of prolonged trips and lack of controlled temperature on-board, are less understood. Therefore, an urgent in-depth assessment of quality and nutritional losses and the associated economic value; the contribution of each spoilage mechanism to the magnitude of losses and the effect of handling practices on the rate of spoilage among freshwater SPFs is needed.
Dr. Perpetra Akite wins British Ecological Society Marsh Award for Ecologists in Africa
Dr. Perpetra Akite has been awarded the Marsh Award for Ecologists in Africa. This prize aims to celebrate the significant scientific achievements of African ecologists and raise their profile in the UK. It is provided by the Marsh Charitable Trust and administered by the British Ecological Society.
Dr. Akite is one of Uganda’s leading entomologists and experts in butterflies. She has made important advances in improving knowledge around insects in Uganda, contributing to assessing and mapping key ecologically sensitive species in the country. She has even had a moth named after her.
Dr. Akite is also passionate about passing on her knowledge to younger generations and takes part in a great deal of outreach activities at both school and university level. Her goal is to encourage more young people – especially African girls – to begin a career in science.
The winners will be presented with their prizes during a ceremony held at the BES Annual Meeting which runs from 18th – 21st December in Edinburgh. The meeting will bring together over 1000 ecologists (in person and online) to discuss the latest advances in ecological research across the whole discipline.
PESCA Call For Applications: Short Courses Training in Aquaculture
PROVISION OF TRAINING SERVICES TO THE PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE COMMERCIAL AQUACULTURE IN UGANDA (PESCA) PROJECT
ADVERT FOR SHORT COURSES TRAINING IN AQUACULTURE
The Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University was awarded a contract under the European Union-funded PESCA project implemented by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) for the provision of training services. The overall objective of the assignment is to support training that will improve knowledge, skills, and practices that enhance aquaculture production and productivity in Uganda. This will be achieved through the following specific objectives:
- Support the placement of undergraduate students to work (internships) with fish farmers or other suitable aquaculture value chain (AVC) actors;
- Conduct inclusive customized short-term training with gender considerations (women, men, youth, people with disabilities) including farmers, Producer Organizations (POs), feed & seed producers, service providers, and other aquaculture stakeholders; and
- Support MSc. research and training.
The expected outputs from the short-course trainings are:
- Trainees (farmers, Producer Organizations, feed & seed producers, service providers etc.) with job-demanded competency skills & knowledge;
- Increased engagement of AVC actors in the training of students & review of university curricula;
- Orientation of tertiary Fisheries and aquaculture training institutions’ curricula to practical thematic areas; and
- Compendium of different modules compiled and shared with partners.
A certificate of attendance will be issued to trainees who successfully complete the training.
B. THE SHORT COURSE TRAINING OPPORTUNITY
Applications are invited for 180 fully funded bursaries for six (6) trainings covering relevant modules specified in (C) below. Each course is expected to be conducted within seven (7) days jointly with the Aquaculture Research and Development Center (ARDC), Kajjansi, National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NAFIRRI).
C. SHORT COURSE MODULES
|TARGET GROUP(S)||RELEVANT MODULES||TRAINING DATES|
|1.Hatchery operators and managers||Introduction to commercial aquaculture; Fish seed production and hatchery management (including fingerling transportation; early stock management in grow-out pond); Fish diseases and health management; Aquaculture business planning and organisation.||9th-14th October 2022|
|2.Fish farmers and farm managers||Introduction to commercial aquaculture; Establishing a commercially viable aquaculture enterprise; Aquaculture business planning and organisation; Aquaculture production systems.||23rd-28th October 2022|
|3. Producer groups||Introduction to commercial aquaculture; Aquaculture production systems; Fish diseases and health management; Aquaculture business planning and organisation (including group dynamics, resource mobilisation for group self-sustenance; fish marketing skills).||6th-11th November 2022|
|4. Feed producers||Introduction to commercial aquaculture; Fish feeds production; Fish feeding and feed management; Aquaculture business planning and organisation||13th-18th November 2022|
|5. Aquaculture Extension workers||Introduction to commercial aquaculture; Aquaculture production systems, Fish diseases and health management; Aquaculture business planning and organization; Aquaculture Extension workers (including service delivery; aquaculture extension methods and tools).||7th November – 2nd December 2022|
|6. Food and Fish Processors||Introduction to commercial aquaculture; Value addition for farmed fish; Aquaculture business planning and organisation.||11th-16th December 2022|
|Target groups||Selection requirements for admission|
|Hatchery operators and managers||Ability to read and write|
|Fish farmers and farm managers||Ability to read and write|
|Producer groups||Ability to read, write and presentation of a registration certificate as a CBO or cooperative society|
|Feed producers||Ability to read and write|
|Aquaculture Extension workers||Minimum is a certificate in Fisheries and aquaculture|
|Food and Fish Processors||Ability to read and write|
E. APPLICATION PROCESS
Application form should be electronically filled and submitted here: https://forms.gle/52JWCEaDH1ADcbVk7. In addition, a signed recommendation from your District Fisheries Officer or Leader of Producer Organisation should also be sent to the Head of Department (email@example.com), with a copy to the Team Leader, Dr. Jackson Efitre (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the short courses Coordinators, Juliet Nattabi Kattabi (email@example.com) and Rosemary Nalwanga (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the deadline of 30th September, 2022 at 5:00PM.
The advert is linked below.
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