Career Stereotypes and Aspiration as Predictors of Students’ Independence in Career Choice at Education Transitional Levels in Uganda
Ms. AMPAIRE Anne examined the extent to which career stereotypes and aspirations predict students’ career choice at education transitional levels in Uganda. This was motivated by the continued challenges that impact on students’ independence in career choice and the extent to which career decisions are based on the available facts. This has led to students taking up careers that are not in line with their interests, value system, and skills, thereby compromising the outcome expectations. Overall, the results revealed that reliance on personal independence and career choice facts, is decreased by the prevailing career stereotypes, across the education transitional levels. This has resulted into an increase in the number of students who pursue careers that are inconsistent with their career aspirations and interests, and there is need for measures aimed at addressing those prevailing career stereotypes. The study was co-funded by myself and Makerere University and was supervised by Dr. Mayanja Kajumba and Prof. Anthony M. Mugagga.
The Representation of Women in Selected Plays of Euripides and Selected Ghanaian Playwrights
Ms. ANTWIWAA Stella employed feminist and postcolonial theories to interrogate the representation of women in selected classical Euripidean plays and selected Ghanaian playwrights to examine the ‘universalist’ view that the Classics are models for others to learn from. The research questions the hegemonic elevation of the Classical/Western values to examine African experiences. The study reveals that in terms of gender representations, the Classical Greek, through Euripides’ writings, does not provide examples for the Akan (Ghanaian/African) societies. The study recommends that African scholars need to adopt Afrocentric epistemology to examine African experiences in order to shift and balance the centres of knowledge production and circulation. Africa’s classics in history, art, myths, folktales and indigenous knowledge need to be foregrounded in scholarship to address the pedestal placement of the Western Classics as a yardstick to evaluate African artefacts. Granted the Classics continue to be valuable, scholars need to interrogate them when applied to different cultural experiences. This critical and comparative study challenges the ideology of the superiority of Western Classics over other cultures. This study was funded by Gerda Henkel Stiftung Foundation, and supervised by Prof. Dominica Dipio and Dr Danson Kahyana.
Kiswahili at Crossroads: Cultural Politics and Language Policy in Uganda.
Ms. ARINAITWE Perpetua studied historical narratives of different language policies and factors that impacted Kiswahili growth across the different historical periods; the pre-colonial period (1840-1894); the colonial period (1894-1962); and the post-colonial period (1962-2019). A blend of three approaches to language policy and planning (LPP); the Historical-structural model, the Neo-classical Model and Language Management Theory (LMT). A narrative technique enabled the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data. Findings revealed that Kiswahili growth has been dependent on numerous language policies stretching from the pre, during and post-colonial epochs. Constant shift in cultural and political leadership meant that whoever held power determined the language policies that favoured their leadership ideology. The study was funded by the GERDA HENKEL STIFFTUNG and was supervised by Dr Saudah Namyalo and Dr Gumoshabe Gilbert.
Female survivors’ Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and access to justice in Uganda
Ms. ASIIMWE Stedia investigated female survivors’ experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and access to justice in Uganda, with a focus on relationships involving male police officers. The study was carried out in Jinja police barracks in Eastern Uganda. Methodologically, qualitative approach was employed, using case study design. Findings indicate that female survivors of IPV experienced physical, sexual, economic and psychological violence. Factors that triggered IPV against women in police families included: shared accommodation, poorly managed transfers and daily deployments, alcoholism, low salaries, refusing women to work outside the barracks and work related stress. Access to justice by female survivors of IPV was constrained by alien referral pathways to justice, abusers’ possession of a weapon, long procedures, laxity by authority to punish fellow officers, sexual harassment, women’s lack of information about their rights and Government’s failure to decentralize some services. The study argues that the arm of the law is too short to reach civilian female survivors of IPV, because the abusers are at the same time the vehicles through which justice is supposed to be delivered. The study recommends that police management should construct more houses for officers, include a module on Gender based violence in police training syllabus and use mult-professional teams to handle IPV cases. The study was funded by Makerere-Sweden Bilateral Research Program, and was supervised by Dr. Victoria Flavia Namuggala and Dr. Ruth Nsibirano.
A Comparative Analysis of Land ownership and Land conflicts in post-conflict areas of Luwero and Amuru Districts, Uganda: A Gender Perspective
Ms. ATWAGALA Donnah analysed the effects of landownership and land conflicts on gender perspectives in post-conflict areas of Luwero and Amuru Districts in Uganda. The findings show that the nature and causes of land conflicts have evolved, transforming from being local to becoming international. Actors and conflicts have become more sophisticated and complex to identify and analyse, respectively. The study recommends adopting the right-based, gender and conflict-sensitive land acquisition, ownership and management framework that will ensure equitable land acquisition, access and use by all stakeholders. This study was supervised by Dr. Paddy Musana and Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa.
A Sociocultural Exploration of Children’s Experiences and Perspectives on Gender-based Violence in Primary Schools in Busoga Sub-region, Uganda
Mr. BALIKOOWA Richard explored the experiences and perspectives of primary school children regarding gender-based violence in and around schools and its impact on their schooling; in Uganda’s Busoga sub-region. Using a sociocultural approach, Balikoowa adopted a multimethod design through which he involved 450 male and female school children from 10 to 14 years in participatory visual activities; including draw-and-talk, child-friendly focus group conversations, in-depth interviews; as well as the eclectic administration of a survey tool. Children acknowledged experiencing and/or witnessing gender-based violence in and around their schools. They also disclosed that gender-biased factors associated with school setup and gender-based violence immensely negatively affected their motivation to engage in school activities. However, children’s greatest nervousness and related impact on their schooling was attributed to the unresponsiveness and unempathetic attitude by those around them. The study recommended that stakeholders in children’s schooling should allow them reveal their challenges and also pay concerted attention to them as key participants in their development and schooling. The study was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon and was supervised by Assoc. Prof. Julius Fred Kikooma and Dr. David Onen.
Myth and Mythmaking in the Narratives about Mwalimu Julius Nyerere among the Banyakyusa
Mr. FEDEO Ignas studied the recreation of Nyerere’s personal life and political career in Banyakyusa myths. The study offers an alternative understanding of Nyerere’s life and history as perceived by local people. Using oral history interviews and content analysis, Banyakyusa myths which carry their culture, voices, beliefs, and perceptions of Nyerere were recorded. The myths were interpreted based on Banyakyusa traditional beliefs and their life experiences. The findings revealed that Banyakyusa believe that Nyerere was endowed with immerse supernatural and mystical powers which helped him to implement his presidential duties successfully and protect himself and the Tanzanian people. The study established the Banyakyusa belief that Nyerere’s mystical powers greatly account for the prominence of his ideas and the reverence accorded to him in Tanzania, Africa and the world at large. The study will promote preservation of Banyakyusa and other Africans oral materials especially myths which carry beliefs and perceptions of local people. This study was funded by Gerda-Henkel Stiftung Foundation and supervised by Prof Abasi Kiyimba and Dr. Benge Okot.
Land, social Change and the lives of nomadic pastoralists in Western Uganda since 1950
Mr. KATURAMU Alex examined the historical proliferation of nomadic pastoralists focusing on the issues of land and social change since 1950. In the results, seasonal movements culminated into land conflicts among pastoralists and farmers. The land conflicts were exacerbated by intensity of population in the cattle corridor. The study shows that pastoralists remain one of the secors that significantly contribute to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product, hence deserving resource investiments to improve the livelihoods of herders. This study was supervised by Dr. Simon Peter Rutabajuuka and Dr. Charlottee Karungu Mafumbo.
Challenges of Strategic Plan Implementation in the North Western Diocese: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Rev. KIGEMBE Elmereck investigated the challenges that limited strategic plan implementation in the North Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Tanzania. The study identified Improper resource allocation, limited knowledge of implementers, un-conducive working conditions, lack of clear targets and changes in Government policies as negative actors in strategic plan implementation. For the church to effectively implement its strategic plan objectives so as to deliver God’s Mission, the study recommended strategic mobilization, monitoring and allocation of resources; integration of training in the strategic plan implementation processes; enhancement of working conditions; integration of clear targets in action plans and regular review of strategic plan instruments to accommodate changes in the government policy. The study was funded by the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) and supervised by Dr. Patrick Mangeni and Dr. Veneranda Mbabazi.
The Tonology of Lunyala Nouns, Noun Phrases and Verbs
Mr. KIRIGGWAJJO Anatole investigated the tonology of Lunyala one of Uganda’s minority languages mainly spoken in the district of Kayunga. He argues that although the tone system of Bantu languages has attracted a lot of attention in the last decade, minority languages have been neglected making such languages endangered. His study found out that Lunyala has a privative tone system with the High tone marked underlying while both the underlying and surface tones are borne by moras in a one-to-one correspondence. Further the tone distribution over the moras is determined by tonal processes for example; High and Low tone spreading, Obligatory contour Principle and Tonal polarity among others. He underscores the usefulness of the study in compiling Lunyala online-talking dictionaries and developing teaching and learning materials in Lunyala. This study was funded by Volkswagen Foundation and was supervised by Dr. Saudah Namyalo.
IMOKOLA John Baptist
Television Programming Regulation: Examining the Policy Implementation of Local Content Quotas in Uganda
Mr. IMOKOLA John Baptist examined the implementation of television local content quotas policy in Uganda. Five years after television local content quotas were implemented in 2014, no known comprehensive assessment had been done on uptake by television stations, and how the is understood by the different stakeholders. The study analyzed the perspectives of different stakeholders, opportunities from the local content quotas and the challenges affecting implementation. Using key informant interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis, the study found that Uganda Communications Commission, the television stations, the local content producers and the audience had reacted differently towards the policy. Implementation has seen increased production, acquisition, adaptation and airing of Ugandan content for television. Although there are opportunities created by the policy, achievement of these are bedeviled structural, conceptual, economic and political challenges affecting effective implementation. The study proposed a new definition of local content, and recommends a consultative process in the formulation and implementation of broadcast policies. This study was funded by Andrew Mellon CHUSS Fellowship and supervised by Prof. Goretti Linda Nassanga and Dr. Brian Semujju.
KYOMUHENDO Marjorie Niyitegeka
Family Planning Communication in Uganda: An Interrogation of Media Reporting, Communication Campaigns and Audience Perspectives
Ms. KYOMUHENDO Marjorie Niyitegeka’s study was motivated by the constant high awareness and low use of contraceptives by most women and men of reproductive age in Uganda. She thus examined the framing of family planning information in selected media stories and health communication campaigns. She also explored how audience members targeted by the campaigns interpreted family planning information. Her study found deficiencies in family planning communication occasioned by shallow media reporting and information transmission approaches that disregarded the audience’s information needs and contextual factors. She recommends that the Ministry of Health and partners implement a harmonised communication strategy that is audience-centred and responsive to the emerging information needs and socio-ecological contexts of particular audience segments. She further urges Uganda’s media to practise more enterprise and interpretive journalism in reporting family planning to amplify its significance to the public. The study was co-funded by CARTA and Makerere University, and was supervised by Prof.Goretti L. Nassanga and Prof. Anne R. Katahoire.
LUGWIRI Okombo Patrick
A citizen Sociolinguistics Appraisal of Kiswahili as a Tool for Social Integration in the East African Community
Mr. LUGWIRI Okombo Patrick employed the Citizen Sociolinguistics model to explore language-based decisions about Kiswahili among ordinary citizens in the East African Community, specifically, in Busia and Namanga border towns. Lugwiri’s study was motivated by Article 137(2) of the EAC Treaty (1999) which provides for the promotion of Kiswahili as a lingua franca of the Community. Using ethnographic methods, the study examined the patterns and extent of the use of Kiswahili, the nature of Kiswahili used, and citizens perceptions and attitudes to Kiswahili. The study found that Kiswahili is construed, constructed and appropriated differently by different citizens in different domains and spaces, and therefore, a highly varied language. While Kiswahili has the potential of a common language of communication and a tool for social integration in the EAC, issues of varieties and labels, contact and conflict between varieties, status and prestige, perceptions and attitudes, national and social identity, and linguistic power struggles impact negatively on this potential. The study recommended a shift in approach to Kiswahili in the EAC from the ‘top-down’ policies to ‘bottom-up’ or practice-based policies that take into account participation of ordinary citizens as makers and shapers of language policies. The study was funded by Gerda Henkel Fellowship and supervised by Dr Merit Kabugo and Dr Florence Bayiga.
Land Conflicts and Livelihoods of People Utilising Namatala Wetland in Eastern Uganda
Ms. MUDONDO Constance examined how land conflicts shape livelihoods of people. Using Namatala Wetland in Eastern Uganda as a case, she examined the conflict dimensions and drivers, land use, and conflict management mechanisms. She found that increasing demand for moist farm land shape conflict dimensions leading to cleavage formation based on class, ethnicity, and location. The emergent quests for territorial control and inequality result in violence, which hinders optimal use of land and diminishes wetland users’ capitals. Although formal conflict management strategies have been tried, they were largely protectionist and divisive, reinforcing feelings of relative deprivation and latent hostilities. Consequently, the wetland users have resorted to informal coping mechanisms like social-networks that act as collective labour, financial safety valves and buffers against attacks. She argues that alleviating the effects of land conflicts requires shifting from structural models to locally bred conflict management systems. The study was funded by SIDA and supervised by Dr. Robert Kabumbuli and Dr. Dauda Waiswa Batega.
Singing Politics: Popular Music, Popular Politics and Contingencies of Protest in NRM’s Uganda
Mr. MUGENYI Jonathan examined the deployment of musical expression in the practice of state politics under Uganda’s National Resistance Movement. On the one hand, he investigated the direct and implied ways by which the NRM deploys musical expression as a tool of political mobilisation and legitimization while on the other hand, he examined ways by which the Ugandan society uses musical expression to create alternatives ways of engaging with NRM politics. Expanding the Foucauldian theory of power, Mugenyi argues that musical expression is a conduit of state power that percolates into society and it is the same conduit that returns to the state to challenge its power as contingencies of protest. This study was funded under Makerere Institute of Social Research’s Interdisciplinary MPhil/PhD and was supervised by Prof. Mahmood Mamdani.
Commercial Sugarcane Farming and Rural Youth Livelihoods in Eastern Uganda
Mr. MWANIKA Kassim examined the implications of commercial farming on a vulnerable population. Focusing on sugarcane farming and youth livelihoods in Eastern Uganda, he found that sugarcane farming has a suboptimal impact on youth livelihoods in Busoga sub-region. Due to limited requisite resources, the youth constitute the bulk of sugarcane labour force and their benefits from the industry are limited to wage earnings. He argues that commercial sugarcane farming is an enclave for wealthy groups, and that youth are incorporated into circuits of capital accumulation where they are exploited by employers. The process is exacerbated by lack of labour regulations and sugarcane price volatility, which undermine the trickle-down effect of sugarcane farming on youth livelihoods. Enhancing outcomes from sugarcane farming requires addressing structural traps embedded in capitalist large-scale farming. The study was funded by SIDA and supervised by Assoc. Prof. Andrew Ellias State, Prof. Atekyereza Peter and Assoc. Prof. Torun Österberg.
NAKABO Seruga Robinah
Followership and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development: A Case of the Women in the National Association of Women’s Organisations in Uganda
Ms. NAKABO Seruga Robinah investigated followership and women’s empowerment for sustainable development, taking the case of the women in NAWOU. After in-depth interviews, findings showed that followership was generally a taken for granted concept. Respondents perceived followership as a cooperative venture, retrospection on past experiences, as a detour, seeking to stabilise or destabilise the status quo, identifying preferred values, and mentorship. Most voices reiterated that generally, many women exhibited perpetual and unconscious followership tendencies even when other alternatives were available; with fear as the main causal condition. However, women’s followership of NAWOU was found to be pragmatic and conscious with the implication of possible empowerment; intervened by education, family ties, and financial situations. The conclusion was, depending on personal characteristics, perception of empowerment and the typology of followership adopted, women could gain empowerment for sustainable development. The recommendation is that NAWOU, the government, academic institutions, and similar organizations reconsider the concept of followership and its implications on empowerment. The study was supervised by Assoc Prof. Godfrey Assimwe, and Dr. Robert S. Esiruku
Intimate Partner Violence and Masculinities: Experiences of Baganda male “survivors” in Masaka District, Uganda
Ms. NAKALYOWA Deborah examined, through a qualitative methodology, the lived experiences of men who were subjected to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) by their female intimate partners in heterosexual relationships, including forms/types in which the IPV manifested, and how it affected the masculine identities of the male victims. Findings revealed that they were subjected to psychological/emotional violence, in addition to physical aggression and sexual abuse in the contexts of Intimate Terrorism, Situational Couple Violence and Mutual Violent Control. While the importance of maintaining an appropriate sense of masculinity underpinned their narratives, the male victims described feeling shame and embarrassment for not having met the dominant cultural expectations surrounding masculinity, consequently affecting their emotional and physical well-being. However, the majority of men were hesitant to seek help after victimization, for fear of ridicule, emasculation and being cast as the perpetrators. Therefore, there is need for more research and advocacy to enhance recognition and public awareness about the plight of male victims, review of laws/policies aimed at combating IPV in intimate relationships to be more gender-inclusive, as well as establish victim service support sources for all IPV victims, regardless of gender. The study was funded by SIDA and supervised by Dr. Evelyn Lutwama-Rukundo and Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa
Why They Stay: A socio-cultural Reconstruction of Academics’ Retention in Uganda’s Public Universities.
Ms. NANSAMBA Joyce explains why Academics stay working in Uganda’s Public Universities despite unappealing working conditions. Recognizing that staff retention is not exclusively about institutional frameworks and individually situated explanations, the study underscores the role of historical, social and cultural contexts in explaining retention. A narrative analysis of the academics’ stories revealed that the meaning academics attach to their professional identity, the social relations from engaged scholarship and the otherness from external prestige explain their retention. The study was a departure from conventional thinking that attractive pay and benefits, satisfactory terms of service, good working conditions among others explain retention. It was a novel step to studying retention as a social construction from the perspective of Academics’ own experiences. The study was funded by Makerere University and supervised by Assoc Prof. Julius Kikooma and Assoc Prof. Umar Kakumba.
Oil Politics and Land Conflicts in the Albertine Region, Uganda
Mr. NIRINGIYIMANA Julius investigated how oil politics was influencing the changing nature of land conflicts in the Albertine region of Uganda. The study discovered that though the Ugandan government had been engaging in protracted negotiations with multinational oil corporations in an effort to protect the national interests, the process instead got plagued by land conflicts and dispossession of citizens from their land. It established that the interests of the actors conflicted and led to the politicization of oil governance. Consequently, the government was made to adjust its position to accommodate the interests of multinational oil corporations while other opportunistic interests, such as land speculators also took advantage. These actions made the affected persons to lose their land rights which invoked and intensified land conflicts in form of Polanyi’s ‘countermovement’ and adversely affected people’s livelihoods. The study concluded that where neoliberal capitalism interfaces with an oil-producing developing country, citizens face dispossession of land and other rights, and where there are pre-existing land conflicts, the politicisation of oil intensifies them and produces new ones. The study recommends that the Ugandan state should re-assert its interests and obligations to protect people’s land rights and make multinational oil corporations to adhere to internationally established benchmarks such as fair compensation. This study was funded by SIDA and supervised by Prof Muhumuza William and Prof Murindwa Rutanga.
A History of Migrancy, Nativism, and Citizenship in Uganda, 1894-1995: A case of South and Western Uganda
Mr. TUNANUKYE Nicholas examined the relationship between migrations, identity formations and citizenship in Uganda, 1894-1995 using migration experiences of Bakiga and Banyankole into Buganda, and Bakiga into Bunyoro. Using historical research methods which included analysis of documents, oral narratives and archival sources, the study established that, whereas migration had taken place in the region of pre-Uganda, colonial rule encouraged unprecedented internal migration in Uganda. The new socio-economic order brought about by the colonial state opened the way for free movement in the protectorate across ethnic boundaries. There were two main reasons for this accelerated migration: migrant labour and search for land. The migration of Banyankole and Bakiga from southwestern region of Uganda to Buganda in the 1930s, 1940s into 1960s was largely in response to the former, while the migration of the Bakiga into Bunyoro and Toro regions during the 1950s and 1960s was in response to latter. The study also established that there were complex interactions between the migrating and receiving communities. One major complexity lay in the attitude of nativism, expressed in subtle ways. Nativism gave rise to two kinds of citizenship consciousness: the Local Citizenship bestowed by membership to an ancestral community inhabiting a particular region and National Citizenship bestowed by the statutes of the Ugandan state. The study was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was supervised by Dr. Simon Peter Rutabajuuka and Dr. Deo Nzarwa Katono.
A critique of Constitutional making and amendment in Uganda with Reference to the 1967 &1995 Constitution
Mr. WAMAMELA Nixon conducted an ethical critique of constitutional making and amendment in Uganda with specific reference to the 1967 and 1995 constitutions. The study established that the constitutional processes were seemingly legitimate, yet, self-interest tendencies overrode common interest, hence, the resultant controversies such as lack of consensus among members of parliament, questionable declaration of state of emergency, controversial consultations, resultant scuffles and violent scenes in parliament. It was also established that ideals of constitutional democracy and legislative ethics were lacking. To mitigate the above challenges, an ethical framework for constitutional making and amendment processes should be put into account. Such a framework should include referenda, benchmarking and a national consensus on ethical principles, declaration of conflict of interest by the incumbents and other possible beneficiaries. These are possible through creation of ethics review committee within parliament. The study was funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and supervised by Prof. Archangel Rukooko Byaruhanga and Dr. Paul Matthias Shimiyu.
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Mak Almnus Prof. Ngugi Wa Thiongo Honored, Humanities Book Launched during the Humanities Conference
The three-day International Humanities Conference organized by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) was on 23rd August 2022 opened with the Graduate Mentorship session, followed by planting a tree in honor of Makerere University Alumnus Prof. Ngungi Wa Thiong’o by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe At the Arts Quadrangle.
Prof. Nawangwe also launched a book titled, “ Historicising Humanities at Makerere: Trends, Patterns and Prospects”. The book authored by over 20 people with 16 chapters is an outcome of a project on historicizing the humanities at Makerere supported by the Andrew Mellon Foundation of New York.
The conference convener Dr. Levis Mugumya said the key goal of the project was to rethink and reshape the role of humanities in Uganda and reexamine the basis and significance of humanities and humanistic social sciences at Makerere University from a historical perspective.
“The sixteen chapters have taken a slice of the history of some disciplines and raised questions around their basis and trajectory. It is an attempt to renew conversation and debate as well as ideational leadership of the academy “, Dr. Mugumya said
The three day Humanities conference 23rd－26th August 2022 was part of the activities to celebrate the 100 years of Makerere University service to Humanity, held at the Yusuf Lule Auditorium.
The overriding thrust of the conference was to explore how the knowledge revolutions have impacted university practices and transformed the teaching of and research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The conference also acted as a discursive zone to interrogate innovative ways through which Humanities and Social Sciences scholarship has refocused beyond the knowledge revolutions to imagine the inevitable future economic, social, biological and political challenges to humanity.
The conference was blended to enable physical and virtual engagements, presentations, and insightful and vibrant discussions. It will consist of keynote addresses, individual and panel presentations, and graduate student panel discussions.
It attracted key note speakers:- Prof. Ngungi Wa Thiong’o – a distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature from the University of California;Derrick Peterson – Ali Mazrui Collegiate Professor of History from the Afro-American and African Studies University of Michigan and; Nakanyike Musisi – a Professor from the African Women Education and Development, Makerere University/ University of Toronto
It would be a mistake to discredit humanities as a second class subject
The conference was officially opened by the German Ambassador to Uganda H.E Matthias Schauer. The ambassador underscored the role of humanities in society saying, it is un imaginable to create a legal regulatory system without a profound knowledge of history of society and language which is part of the humanities.
He observed that scholars in humanities and social sciences have witnessed three major knowledge revolutions since 1945 from Area studies, cultural studies and global studies. Ambassador Schauer noted that today, there are signs that scholars may be at another brink of the fourth revolution as witnessed by problems in maintaining global production process, amidst rising transport costs, political unrest and the realization that countries may not be dependent on one other.
“We have been fooling ourselves that economic interdependence would prevent out conflicts but this is not the case. We may now need a new focus on global cooperation and create new fields of research in humanities and social sciences”. He said.
He said humanities attracts a huge number of students at universities because of the diversity of subjects and rich menu for offer. On the political debate on education, Ambassador Schauer noted that its common to hear that countries may need natural scientists, engineers and technicians to increase economic performance.
Though that may be right to some extent, Ambassador Schauer described the humanities and humanistic social sciences as vital to society saying, it would be a mistake to discredit humanities as a second class subject. He advised that young people should do what they feel passionate about.
“First of all they (Humanities) help us understand each other. Language, history and culture shapes each one of us. Without communication that works, nothing much else can work. Humanities also teach us to approach new complex issues in a systematic way to assess information and considering different facts from all sides, Humanities make us informed and critical citizens and, without humanities, democracy would not work. Humanities also foster social justice and teach us empathy and make international relations broader and stronger. Humanities encourage us to think creatively, to reflect upon ourselves and human nature and to think outside the box. Humanistic services enrich the soul and make us a cultured individual,” The ambassador asserted.
The ambassador also described as false the thinking that humanistic degrees are not marketable as degrees in STEM, business management and other natural sciences.
“At sight that might seem true, but in my experience a student who diligently study in humanistic subjects will always carry this energy and motivation successfully into his professional life and sell more as in finding a good job. Almost all employers desperately need employees who can communicate fluently, intelligently and persuasively and, employees who can organize their thoughts and synthesis their scattered information into a coherent story.
Employers need employees who are equipped with soft skills such as the ability to converse with difficult topics in a constructive manner and it is the humanities that helps them to express very well. Humanistic education will enrich you very well, emotionally, socially and intellectually and gain a wide experience while at college”, The ambassador asserted.
The Ambassador hailed the long standing relationship and collaboration that Germany enjoys with Makerere University especially with CHUSS.
He said it was now over 60 years when Germany was taught in the evening class at Makerere University as an extracurricular language program that continued till 1967 when the first bachelor of arts was established and it became the first German phonology in East Africa.
He highlighted a number of advantages of studying Germany including teacher employment opportunities in education sector, participation in internships, huge range of opportunities in tourism, training opportunities and on job trainings in companies and unique connections, interaction and demand across the world.
The ambassador encouraged the university leadership to foster the teaching of foreign languages at Makerere in prominent way at CHUSS department of European and Oriental languages and proposed the establishment of Master of Arts program in Germany as the most appealing to him.
He expressed the Germany commitment to continue funding the Ugandan students and staff in their academic and other endeavors.
CHUSS reputed for producing eminent scholars
The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe reported that the Humanities and Social Sciences have been at the heart of Makerere University since the introduction of History in 1946, and the East African Institute of Social Research in 1948.
He explained that the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is reputed for producing eminent scholars and political leaders, including Julius Nyerere, Milton Obote, Mwai Kibaki, Benjamin Mkapa, Oginga Odinga, Okot p’Bitek, Ali Mazrui, David Rubadiri, Nuruddin Farah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, John Ruganda, V. S. Naipul and Wole Soyinka among others.
Prof. Nawangwe informed participants that CHUSS has championed the critical role of humanities and humanistic social sciences in comprehending, interpreting, and recognizing societal commonalities and differences as well as fostering critical thought, social justice, equity and democratic practice stressing that, in the 1960s and 1970s before the onslaught of neoliberalism and the emphasis on STEM, the humanities and humanistic social sciences were vibrant.
In spite of this rich history, Prof. Nawangwe pointed out that the current positionality and relevance of the disciplines of humanities and humanistic Social Sciences has come under scrutiny as compared to the natural scientific disciplines.
While the University is prized in scientific research, Nawangwe said, today’s complex global challenges such as ‘global warming, global poverty, global epidemics’ and gender inequality cannot be solely explained or resolved by natural scientific disciplines.
“It is therefore important to understand the human factor, which is central in most of the modern scientific glitches. Not only do the humanities and humanistic social sciences explicate our existence as human beings, but they also contribute to creating “tolerance and understanding between citizens”, which promote social cohesion, and challenge established positions, social norms and traditions through critical thinking, and preserve heritage, cultural memory and identity”, He said.
The Vice Chancellor was optimistic that the knowledge and strategies generated through the conference will go towards uplifting the lifestyles of the people and also aid in conducting a comprehensive review of all aspects of teaching, theorizing, research and practice in the humanities and social sciences disciplines.
Prof. Nawangwe extended appreciation to development partners for the support extended through generous acts such as sponsoring this fora, capacity building, research and developing infrastructure with particularly recognition to the Andrew Mellon Foundation and Gerda Henkel Stiftung for supporting academic activities in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as the Government of Uganda for supporting research and creating an environment conducive for the same to thrive at Makerere University.
The Vice Chancellor also appreciated keynote speakers, Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Prof. Nakanyike Musisi and Prof. Derek Peterson, the participants, and all guests for honouring the invitations.
To the students (PhD and Masters), The Vice Chancellor expressed happiness that that the International Humanities Conference 2022had commenced with the Graduate Mentorship session.
“You are being nurtured and mentored to not only become the next generation of academics, but to also provide leadership and championship towards Uganda’s development and transformation of your communities.
I encourage you to actively participate in the conference so that you learn more as you pursue your PhD and Masters” Nawangwe said and applauded CHUSS management under the leadership of the Principal, Associate Professor Josephine Ahikire for hosting a number of activities in line with the centenary celebrations.
The conference looked at the world with resolve for greater humanity
The Principal CHUSS, Associate Prof. Josephine Ahikire welcomed all to the conference saying, this was the first Conference to be held after the serious lockdown for two years as the university celebrates the Humanities and Social Sciences and make a mark on the nation, continent and the world at large.
This conference themed: Knowledge revolutions and Practices: Area, Cultural and Global Studies she said , is structured as part of Makerere’s Centennial celebration aimed at exploring how the knowledge revolutions have impacted university practices, the teaching of and research in the Humanities and Social Sciences as well as human praxis.
“We use this space as a discursive zone to interrogate innovative ways through which Humanities and Social Sciences scholarship has refocused beyond the knowledge revolutions to imagine inevitable futures. We use this very space to foster critical thought about life, its afflictions, and ideals of human society – to debate and rejuvenate theory and practice”, The Principal said.
Prof. Ahikire acknowledged the friendship and partnership between Germany, Makerere and the country at large and specifically, the support by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung to the college that has soared the capacity of PhD training at CHUSS.
On behalf of CHUSS and Makerere University, the Prof Ahikire thanked the keynote speakers: Prof Ngugi who was not able to join, saying that he was and is still enthusiastic about this Conference and what happens at Makerere adding that , Prof. Ngungi has always believed/ and openly confessed that Makerere made him and Perhaps he also made Makerere.
“This symbiotic relationship is one we greatly cherish at CHUSS. Prof Nakanyike Musisi – a gem- renown historian of our time. Welcome home- proud alumnus. Prof Derek Peterson, we treasure your commitment on restoring and conserving history”, Prof. Ahikire commended.
Prof. Ahikire emphasized that the humanities have been at the heart of Makerere University since its birth and is reputed for eminent scholars, post-independence political leaders and activists. Under the ambit of the CHUSS program dubbed Humanities@ Mak 100, the Principal said, this conference was part of the efforts to galvanize humanities scholarship for even greater human utility on the African continent.
“As humanity continues to grapple with challenges such as mis -governance, conflict, climate change, and pandemics there is need for more ingenuity and inventiveness. In very specific ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for a multidisciplinary approach to this unprecedented global health challenge, with the human subject at the centre.” She said adding that:“These conversations are important because our disciplines allow us to experience humanity at its best. This Conference is therefore aimed at facilitating these debates and key issues in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It is our hope that the conversations that start here do not stop here, but help us critically look at world we live in with resolve for greater humanity”.
Prof. Ahikire acknowledged the generous support of the Mellon Foundation (USA) which allowed the college to dream three years ago – when the idea of the book was proposed. The Mellon Foundation she reported has also supported various research efforts by Early Career and Senior Scholars in the college including the support for this conference that was also committed three years ago.
She thanked the University management for enabling the college to meaningfully pursue the strategic goal of a truly research led university and, the chair of the Organising Committee, the Convener of the Conference and all members of the organising committee for the job well done.
Conference planned to discuss issues important for the survival of human race
The chairperson CHUSS organizing committee Prof. Grace Bantebya said each year the college organizes a conference adding that what started as symposia has metamorphosed into great and rich academic conferences.
Prof. Bantebya hailed the college leadership for the support and the organizing committee for the commitment that led to the success of the conference noting that they have tirelessly worked in their different committees to see to it that it materializes.
She also thanked the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Gerda Henkel Foundation for the support to the conference as well as the different doctoral students cohorts over the years.
“The issues this team has prepared for you to chew are those that are pertinent to our being human. It is for this reason that we are sometimes looked at as activists because issues of urgency within the global context are important for the survival of human race and this is why conferences of this nature need to keep happening”. Prof. Bantebya said.
US Embassy Engages Makerere on International Collaboration
The Embassy of the United States of America in Uganda is coordinating a study Abroad engagement entitled, “Establishing University Partnerships to attract more US Scholars and Students”.
The Study Abroad engagement which is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will focus on holding institutional capacity of Ugandan Colleges and Universities to host more US students, interns, researchers and teachers.
The embassy hired the US consultant Prof. Wing-Kai, the Assistant Provost for Global Engagements and Senior International Officer at Bridge Water State University to conduct eight workshops at Makerere University colleges.
The embassy engaged Dr. Daniel Ddumba, a Lecturer from the department of Geography, Geo-Informatics and Climatic Sciences to facilitate the execution of this program.
In the morning of 10th August 2022, Prof. Wing-Kai, was in the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) where he met the Principals, Deans, Heads of Departments, scholars and students to understand the process of global cooperation.
Prof. Wing-Kai said, the meeting was used as a channel to improve the activities for international collaborations.
“What I found is that this college has productive exchanges with Europe and United States but there some people are not aware of these collaborations and these collaborations can be improved by providing funding for Ugandan students to go to the West for short term opportunities. I hope that my visit can encourage the US government and American universities to start working with this college and to provide more opportunities for professors and students”, Prof. Wing-Kai.
Following the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impacts on all sectors, Prof. Wing-Kai stressed that this was the time for the college and partners to rethink their structure for improving international collaboration.
“We are going to talk to the Principal whether there is going to be an international office and a coordinator to manage the collaborations with international entities and how to develop different strategies for prioritizing the partnerships so that they have clear goals and outcomes and try to make it sustainable for the future”, Prof. Wing- Kai pledged.
On the same day 10th August 2022 afternoon, Prof. Wing-Kai held a meeting with management, staff and students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS). Prof. Wing -Kai described the meeting especially with students who formed the majority as interesting.
“ Most of the audience are undergraduate and some graduate students. I hear about their experiences. I want to encourage them to think about having an international experience in future by trying to go abroad for short term and developing some international activities and to internationalize the curriculum on campus not just going abroad. It is easier to internationalise through connecting with international community in Kampala and abroad here physical and virtually”, Prof. Wing- Kai said.
Prof. Wing-Kai implored the university management to increase the capacity for internationalization so that Makerere can improve the infrastructure and programs, and to tap into the United States experience in internationalization.
Some of the proposed initiatives by students include creating internship platforms and streamlining scholarship to cater for undergraduates, streamlining international coordination, facilitating online discussions between Western and African students and strengthening the office of the Dean of students to facilitate academic exchanges.
Other initiatives to strengthen collaboration suggested include organizing the US-Makerere special events such as competitions, workshop, annual exhibitions, camps, cultural performances that would provide opportunities to highlight international education as well as the American, European , Chinese etc culture on campus.
Other proposals were the need to form the US-Mak Alumni association, organizing short visits for students and staff to and from Africa to see how programs are run, joint research and, forming a community of practice to share ideas and to network.
Other proposed initiatives include promoting online education to expose students and staff to best structures and expertise, promoting virtual conferences, joint publications and more student engagement of students outside the classroom through debates and clubs.
Jane Anyango is the Principal Communication Officer, CHUSS and CoCIS
Sr. Prof. Dominica Dipio receives the SIGNIS-Africa Award of Excellence
Reverand Sister Prof. Dominica Dipio, of the Department of Literature, College of Humanities and Social Sciences has received the SIGNIS-Africa Award of Excellence for Contributing to the Communication Apostolate in Africa.
Sr. Prof. Dipio was recognized during the premiere SIGNIS-Africa delegates Conference held in Kigali, Rwanda.
At the Kigali Delegates Conference held from July 11th -15th 2022, SIGNIS-Africa recognized, for the first time, individuals and organizations – Africans and non-Africans – who have, over the years, contributed to the vision and mission of SIGNIS-Africa, which is basically to enhance human communication and to provide a forum for people to speak out.
“I was identified as one of such persons. I have, since 2001, as a film student at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), associated with the SIGNIS world; and in this capacity, I have not only participated in the organization’s conferences, but also represented it at several global film festivals as a juror. This experience has, over the years, helped me harness my juror experience; and this has been extremely useful in providing guidance for the young film industry in Uganda”, Sr. Prof. Dominic Dipio said.
SIGNIS stands for World Catholic Association for Communication. It is a Catholic lay movement that brings together communication professionals around the world, covering the entire gamut of the media: press, radio, television, cinema, video media education, internet and new technology.
It came into existence as a result of a merger between two Catholic Media organizations which until 2001, operated separately as the International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual (OCIC) and the International Catholic Association for Radio and Television (Unda). Now, the two and the new media, all come under SIGNIS as the official body of media related affairs in the church’s apostolate.
SIGNIS is recognized by the Holy See as an International Organization of the Faithful (not the clergy). The word itself is a combination of ‘sign’ and ‘ignis’, a Latin word that means fire. The main objective of the organization is to use the media as an instrument of enhancing human and Gospel values in society.
Although it is a global network of communication professionals, SIGNIS is structured in continental segments for more effective management, thus SIGNIS-Africa.
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