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72nd Graduation Ceremony: CoNAS presents 268 graduands with a record 17 PhDs

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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.

The Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma delivers his remarks at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony on 23rd May 2022
The Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma delivers his remarks at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony on 23rd May 2022

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.

The Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni addressing the graduands. Courtesy Photo: Twitter/@JanetMuseveni
The Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni addressing the graduands. Courtesy Photo: Twitter/@JanetMuseveni

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. 

Mak Council Chairperson Mrs. Lorna Magara (R) hands over a framed certificate to Prof. William Bazeyo (C) in appreciation of his service to Makerere University, during the First Session of the 72nd Graduation on Monday 23rd May 2022 at the Freedom Square. Left is the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawagwe.
Mak Council Chairperson Mrs. Lorna Magara (R) hands over a framed certificate to Prof. William Bazeyo (C) in appreciation of his service to Makerere University, during the First Session of the 72nd Graduation on Monday 23rd May 2022 at the Freedom Square. Left is the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

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.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivering his speech
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivering his speech

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 Principal of CoNAS, Prof. Tumps Winston Ireeta presents PhD graduands at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony held on 23rd May 2022
The Principal of CoNAS, Prof. Tumps Winston Ireeta presents PhD graduands at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony held on 23rd May 2022

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.

Dr. Godwin Anywar, one of the PhD graduates, also a Lecturer at CoNAS
Dr. Godwin Anywar, one of the PhD graduates, also a Lecturer at CoNAS

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.

Dr. Godwin Anywar (L) receiving his doctorate from the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma (R)
Dr. Godwin Anywar (L) receiving his doctorate from the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma (R)

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.

Dr.  Nabawanda Olivia graduated with a PhD in Mathematics at the age of 31 years
Dr.  Nabawanda Olivia graduated with a PhD in Mathematics at the age of 31 years

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.”

Dr. Nalule Rebecca also graduated with a PhD in Mathematics
Dr. Nalule Rebecca also graduated with a PhD in Mathematics

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.”

Dr. Mukisa Ambrose from the Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science was one of the PhD graduands
Dr. Mukisa Ambrose from the Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science was one of the PhD graduands

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.”

The CoNAS Leadership poses with one of the PhD Graduands, Dr. Godwin Anywar (L)
The CoNAS Leadership poses with one of the PhD Graduands, Dr. Godwin Anywar (L)

 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.”

Another PhD graduand from CoNAS
Another PhD graduand from CoNAS

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.

Prof. Esezah Kakudidi (2nd R) prepares to embrace one of the PhD Graduands from CoNAS (L).
Prof. Esezah Kakudidi (2nd R) prepares to embrace one of the PhD Graduands from CoNAS (L).
Dr. Denis Okello, Head, Department of Physics (R) congratulates one of the PhD graduands
Dr. Denis Okello, Head, Department of Physics (R) congratulates one of the PhD graduands
Prof. Juma Kasozi, Deputy Principal CoNAS presents students for the award of Master of Science in various disciplines 
Prof. Juma Kasozi, Deputy Principal CoNAS presents students for the award of Master of Science in various disciplines 
Standing: Some of the students who graduated with MScs during Day 1 of the 72nd Graduation Ceremony on 23rd May 2022.
Standing: Some of the students who graduated with MScs at the first session of the 72nd Graduation Ceremony on 23rd May 2022.
The Dean, School of Biosciences, Prof. Arthur Tugume presents graduands at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony
The Dean, School of Biosciences, Prof. Arthur Tugume presents graduands at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony
Some of the BSc graduands from CoNAS at the first session of the 72nd Graduation Ceremony on 23rd May 2022
Some of the BSc graduands from CoNAS at the first session of the 72nd Graduation Ceremony on 23rd May 2022
The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (Centre Black Cap) congratulates the PhD graduands at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony
The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (Centre Black Cap) congratulates the PhD graduands at the first session of the 72nd graduation ceremony

 Full speech by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqh6gbUssJo

Natural Sciences

Call For Applications For Masters Scholarship Under The Biosorption For Sustainable Small-Scale Gold Mining In Uganda (BioGold) Project

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The JICA Building, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) as approached from the Mary Stuart Road Roundabout, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

BioGold Project is a three-year collaborative project among five academic institutions including, Kyambogo University, Makerere University, Gulu University, University of Pretoria and University of Continuing Education, Krems, Austria funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation under the APPEAR Partnership. The project will combine principles of biosorption and chemical remediation to treat contaminated wastewater, tailings, rehabilitate contaminated soils so as to protect vulnerable ecosystems surrounding artisanal gold mining (ASGM) areas in Uganda. This study will design biochar composites from locally available biomass to enhance mercury removal from wastewater and tailings as well as rehabilitate mercury-contaminated soils making them fit for agriculture. The project envisages to train and build capacity of young researchers in Uganda. As such the project has been allocated an MSc. position under Component II, to support to full-time student to undertake studies in Austria. The successful MSc candidate is expected to undertake research on characterizing, optimizing biochar and modify the biochar to improve the sorption capacities.

The project consortium is now inviting qualified and interested persons to apply for nomination for the award of the scholarship. The project has strong preference for female candidates, therefore strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility criteria

In addition to APPEAR requirements https://appear.at/en/implementation/embedded-scholarship-application, the applicants should:

  1. Not be older than 30 years (women not older than 35)
  2. Demonstrate interest and capability to work in the priority themes
  3. Present a concept note to provide understanding of the subject
  4. Have a minimum of second- upper class bachelor’s degree in any of the following programmes: BSc in Chemistry, BSc in Environmental Science, & BSc in Environmental Engineering

Benefits

The successful applicants will receive a full scholarship (up to 24 months) which includes;

  1. Return air ticket and visa costs to Austria
  2. Monthly stipend of €1000 while in Austria to cater for personal welfare, accommodation and local movement
  3. Research related expenses.

Application process

  1. A complete application form
  2. A one-page motivation letter
  3. Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  4. A completed Master Scholarship Application Form for Embedded APPEAR Projects
  5. Copies of Academic documents
  6. Photocopy of the passport and/or ID
  7. Recommendation letters from two academic referees.
  8. All applications must be sent electronically to Dr. Mary Kaggwa (marykaggwa@kyu.ac.ug) and copied to Dr. Peter Akoll (peter.akoll@mak.ac.ug) and Dr. Denis Nono (d.nono@gu.ac.ug) not later than 5.00pm East African Time on 20th June 2024.

Members of staff with former students interested in biochar technology and its use in heavy metal removal are requested to share the advert with them.

Full Advert and Application form may be accessed below.

Note: Only successful applicants will be contacted.

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Natural Sciences

Mak Researchers Set Out to Address the Challenge of African swine fever in Uganda

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Professor Charles Masembe, CoNAS, Makerere University. Image:ASF

The Project is supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Overview

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs; and has recently spread to new areas including Eastern Europe and in Asia as far as Papua New Guinea. This disease has neither vaccine nor treatment and is currently a big challenge to many smallholder pig farmers in Uganda. In Uganda, ASFV genotype IX has been reported to cause outbreaks on a regular basis and is an impediment to development of the swine industry. The disease was previously reported with a mortality of 100%. However different forms of the disease have recently been observed in domestic pigs. Indeed, some studies have shown that pigs that survive ASF become resistant to the same viral isolates although they do not produce classical neutralizing antibody. These observations could have the key for vaccine development strategies.

The Principal Investigator of ASF-RESIST, Dr. Charles Masembe; an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), CoNAS, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda
The Project Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Charles Masembe.

The research project

Through a project titled “African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda”, a team of researchers led by Prof. Charles Masembe from the Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences at Makerere University registered the need to correlate clinical studies of ASF virus with full genome sequences and virus structural data to identify potential candidate genes for vaccine development. The team set out to isolate and characterise highly virulent and low virulent ASF viruses circulating in the swine population in Uganda using next-generation and Electron Microscopy to inform the development of ASFV vaccines and other therapeutic strategies. The team also set out to sequence the whole genome of low and high-virulence African swine fever viruses circulating in the domestic pig population in Uganda; compare the whole genome sequences of low and high-virulence ASF viruses in Uganda, and to find genomic variations and their effects on the virulence and viral evolution. Whole blood and organ tissue samples together with clinical-epidemiological information, were collected from acute and chronic cases of pigs in reported ASF outbreaks in the districts of greater Masaka, Greater Gulu, Mukono, Wakiso, Kakumiro, and additionally in other districts were outbreaks were reported during the study period. The project was supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere Research and Innovations Fund (MakRIF). Other members on the project are; Assoc. Prof. Vincent Muwanika (Co-PI), Dr. Rose Ademun (Scientist), Dr. Mathias Afayoa (Scientist), Dr. Tony Aliro (Field Scientist), Mr. Peter Ogweng (Field Scientist),  Mr. Mayega Johnson Francis (Lab Technologist), Okwasiimire Rodney (Lab Technologist), and Mr. Bright Twesigye (Administrator).

The Project team at the research dissemination workshop in Gulu District. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
The Project team at the research dissemination workshop in Gulu District.

Dissemination of the research findings

On 15th May 2024, the project team held a workshop at Doves Nest Hotel in Gulu District to disseminate the research findings, and to fact check by mapping pig farms, abattoirs, slaughter slabs, and pork restaurants in both Gulu District and Gulu City for on-going and future research.

The workshop was officially opened by the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Gulu District, Mr. Okidi Cosmas James on behalf of the CAO. In his remarks, Mr. Okidi appreciated the project team, noting that the workshop was timely since piggery as a poverty alleviation programme had been embraced by most farmers as a replacement for cattle. Sharing his experience, he expressed concern over the increasing threat of ASF, a factor he said was undermining the growth of the swine industry in Uganda.

Prof. Masembe interacts with the participants during the workshop. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Masembe interacts with the participants during the workshop.

During the meeting, the Project PI, Prof. Charles Masembe presented the status of ASF research in Uganda and globally, highlighting the complexity of ASF, dangers of ASF, ASF diagnostic advances, importance of keeping pigs and scientific efforts to control ASF, including the advances in the development of the ASFV vaccine. 

Other presentations focused on ASF control and prevention mechanisms, potential role of production systems in ASF transmission, community involvement in disease control, spatio-temporal spread of ASF at the wildlife-livestock interface, the role of carrier pigs in ASFV transmission and maintenance, biosecurity implementation and challenges. All these presentations evoked discussion points from the participants. Participants expressed the need to understand how ASF is transmitted, and the extent to which farmers can trust veterinarians since they are considered to spread the disease. They highlighted the need to institute quarantine during ASF outbreaks and called for sensitization on the acceptable methods for disposing off infected pork. Another concern arising from the meeting was the need to understand if ASF is zoonotic and if not, why ASFV infected pork should not be eaten. Participants also sought guidance on why farmers should continue to keep survivor pigs if they spread ASFV, and why the government has not constructed slaughter slabs in all villages to control the spread of ASFV.

Participants in an exercise to map out pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants in their respective sub counties to support the research process. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Participants in an exercise to map out pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants in their respective sub counties to support the research process.

Recommendations by participants;

  1. Strengthening community awareness through different production departments in the district and city by organizing workshops as closer to the farmers as possible for example at every parish or ward.
  2. Makerere University ASF research team should collaborate with Gulu University, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Studies so that ASFV diagnosis and research is jointly done at the University which is nearer to the farmers for quick response to ASF outbreaks.
  3. City, District, and sub-county leaders should formulate a by-law to enforce the implementation of ASF control and prevention methods.
Mapping pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Mapping pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants.

During plenary, participants were tasked with mapping pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants in their respective sub-counties in Gulu District and Gulu City, in addition to generating a comprehensive farm/farmer list in the two areas. Mapping was successfully done and presented for purposes of clarity by each team representing a particular sub-county. The participants were then given a template to populate on the farm/farmer list since they could not recall all farms/farmers name and their mobile phone contacts.

Participants pose for a group photo. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Participants pose for a group photo.

Remarks by Gulu District RDC

In his closing remarks, the RDC of Gulu District, Mr. Oryem Auric thanked the research team for choosing the district for the workshop, noting that the feedback from the participants indicated that the workshop was very beneficial to them. He pledged to dedicate some of the free airtime offered to his office on Radio Mega, a popular FM Radio Station in Gulu City affiliated to Radio Uganda, towards the popularization of the project activities. He reiterated that the objectives of the project were in line with the current Government of Uganda programme on wealth creation through the Parish Development Model and the 4 acre model of which piggery is one of the means recommended for poverty alleviation by the President of Uganda. He called on the farmers to embrace and utilize the knowledge acquired to improve their farms and increase their household incomes.

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Natural Sciences

CoNAS Annual Report 2023

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Cover page of the CoNAS Annual Report 2023. College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) is one of the 10 constituent Colleges of Makerere University with over 2,000 students and 153 members of staff spread across 2 schools and seven departments namely: School of Physical Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Geology and Petroleum Studies) and School Biosciences (Departments of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology; Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences; and Department of Biochemistry and Sports Sciences). The College is the cradle of basic sciences at Makerere providing a foundation for all applied sciences offered at the University. This report is a presentation of the performance of the College in 2023.

Key highlights include performance of the College at the 74th graduation of Makerere University, the award of an Honorary Doctor of Science to Prof. Leif Abrahamsson for his contribution to the development of Mathematics in the East African region, the development of an E-Supervision Web Portal (https:/mastersresearch.ug/) to support the tracking of Masters Research supervision processes, the formation and operationalization of the Biology Society of Uganda (BioSU), support rendered towards the development of aquaculture in the country, the development of five high-value nutritious products (baby food, sauce, maize meal, snacks, and seasoning) using Mukene through the NutriFish Project, the development of an application for tracking fish catches as a measure to prevent overfishing, development of solar tent driers – greenhouse-like structures that reduce the risk of contamination – provide clean and efficient storage and drying, especially during the wet season subsequently reducing post-harvest losses, equipping students and members of the general public with skills needed in the installation and maintenance of solar energy Photovoltaic systems and biogas plants, the Joint African- Nordic Conference in Mathematics, as well as the 2023 Eastern Africa Algebra Research Group and Women in Sage workshops. The report also highlights the research grants received in the course of the year, conferences held, community engagements, activities by students, awards received by the different members of staff, staff publications, and matters of Human Resources at the College.

Management conveys appreciation to all development partners and the Government of Uganda for the support extended towards the different projects at the College. We also thank the University Council and Management for creating a conducive environment for both staff and students to explore their full potential.

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