Mirembe Joy Ssenfuma
My name is Mirembe Joy Ssenfuma, I have pursed a Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics from Makerere University and today I graduate with a First-class Honors degree.
This journey has not been as easy as it may seem; strong winds blew, thunders and lightening came along the way, but the Almighty did not forsake me. I thank my mum for her continuous financial and emotional support, my siblings, and friends for the support during this academic journey. I was able to achieve this through group discussions, full attendance of lectures (I attended almost 99% of physical lectures) and lastly, I prayed every day for God to gift me with knowledge and wisdom through my journey. I thank the Lord for this success!
I started my campus journey in 2018 when by I joined Makerere University on government sponsorship with 18 points. I was admitted to study a Bachelors of Arts in Economics degree. I had always wished to join Makerere University amongst all the Ugandan high institutions of learning and when I was offered this scholarship it was a dream come true.
It was a blessing being given economics as a course because I had always had passion for it.
My campus journey hasn’t been an easy one, there have been up-hills and downhills but with the right attitude, good friends, my parents, my lecturers and God above all, I have come to the end of the journey graduating with first class honors. It is exciting, glorifying and honouring to graduate with a first class surely I should say because this experience is something I will never forget. To anyone out there who looks forward to excelling he or she needs to focus, have the right attitude and put in his/her best because those were my major attributes towards this achievement
My name is HABAASA DARIUS and I have been pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Economics degree from Makerere University where I am graduating with a first class degree with a CGPA of 4.70.
The reason I am graduating is because there are some people who held my hand at a point when my academic career seemed to have been aborted. My father refused to pay my school fees when I was in senior four and all hopes of ever completing my studies seemed to have been dashed.
A big appreciation goes to Mr Byamukama Remegio, the head teacher of St Mary’s College Rushoroza whom I shared my challenges with and he stood with me by allowing me to sit for UNEB before paying school fees since I could not afford it.
Thanks be to God who enabled me to get a scholarship from Cornerstone Leadership Academy which catered for my needs and school fees while in A’level where I even excelled at senior six with 19 points hence getting a government sponsorship.
It is on the basis of the above background that I always worked hard since I knew that academic excellence was one of the ways God would use to help me. I also did not want to disappoint those who were held my hand and invested their resources in me.
Makerere University was my dream campus and joining it was a dream come true for me which really motivated me further to work hard and realise my dreams. Campus life was not a walk over but I dedicated my life to reading my books and also serving God since I was even leading COBAMS fellowship in a bid not to ever disappoint God who made a way for me when there was no way.
Special thanks to my mother who never gave up on standing by my side despite not having money most of the times to support me financially and not forgetting Cornerstone Development Africa who sponsored my A’level and my lecturers at campus who constantly helped and advised me.
Paul Isingoma is an ambitious, warm-hearted go-getter. His devotion towards success and excellence inform his mindful but competitive approach. Paul is fueled by his passion for being a professional economist and auditor with outstanding advisory expertise for both financial institutions and world economies. He considers himself a ‘forever student,’ eager to both build on his academic foundations in Economics and stay in tune with the latest developments in the Global Economy through continued studying.
During his stay at Makerere University, Paul achieved a first class degrees for all the six semesters throughout the three years at campus. The toughest time of study was during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic where there was limited interaction between lecturers and course-mates. Despite this, Paul devised newer means of staying in touch with his colleagues through online platforms and there was a strong determination towards being the best. The most interesting event at university was the election week for selection of new leaders. The spirit around campus was amazing and students used all kinds of strong vocabulary to win over the love of supporters.
Paul is forever indebted to the staff of School of Statistics and Planning for their unending effort and assistance towards his academic success. Ultimately, the achievement of such a great milestone has been possible due to the grace of God and Paul strongly remains grateful to the Almighty Lord for his undying love.
Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics
It’s true what they say that Makerere is the paragon of academic excellence in Uganda and to say that it never disappointed me would be an understatement. Here, one is in the hotpot of the “crème-de la -crème”. Nothing fails these students. I have found a distinct degree of ingenuity, hard work, determination and a combination of those plus all the others that I have not mentioned in this one place.
I believe that determination, commitment and a high degree of devotion should be the watchwords of anyone interested in making it at the prestigious hill. With the right mix of these, the right strategies are made as there’s no such thing as the “silver bullet” strategy to achieve one’s goal. Here, one’s flexibility plus grit matter a lot as these will enable one to even pass a course where they had a below average coursework mark.
Karuhanga wants to become a voice of authority within the economics and the finance fields. One could say the-go-to guy. This has and will push him to check every required box to achieve that. However, without piety, one cannot go far.
Helena Ahaisibwe Kaguma
Course: Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Journey at Makerere University
As the last born child of a widow who lost her husband a few months before I got enrolled into university, the journey was already predestined to be a trifle tumultuous as I pursued my education at Makerere University. However, by the grace of God, my hardworking mother and elder siblings, I didn’t lack. Like all other aspects of life, nothing has come on a silver platter. This entire journey entailed many sleepless nights, walking in the rain from home (I was a commuting student) for some papers and many other hardships a student faces, especially as a female student. However, I am very proud to say that all the hardships paid off and have shaped me into a better, stronger and more resilient individual. I officially joined Makerere University on Thursday, 9th August, 2018.
Inspiration to work hard
My mother has always been the inspiration behind my hard work. She has been a great mentor and role model, always pushing me to be the best version of myself.
How I was able to get a first class
In all honesty, all the credit for all my success belongs to God. However, with regards to my own efforts as a student to succeed in my academics, I attribute this milestone to prayer, discipline, determination and lastly proper time management.
I have always been driven by my passion to be exceptional in all I do in order to be in the best position to make a positive impact on the lives of those less fortunate than me and to also make this world a better place for those who come after me.
Okwaimungu Jasper Ngira
I am an Alur from Pakwach District and now a first class graduate of a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Development Economics. I am passionate about things to do with the economy and livelihood improvement. Sports and networking are my hobbies.
I draw my motivation from within. I have had a clear path of where I want to be in the medium and long term and how I am going to get there. From day one I knew I had to read hard to achieve my dreams.
My family background has also been a push factor. I have only been able to attain this degree because of government sponsorship and also some private help. This made me focus all my energy on studies such that I can one day uplift our status financially.
Another big motivation has been the expectations that I carry on my shoulders from my family, lecturers, sponsor and friends. They have believed in me since day one and I knew I had to read hard to make them proud. I have very many people to thank for their help along my journey to academic success. First and foremost, most my paternal Aunt Mrs. Angonifua Jolly and her husband Mr. Onoba Charles who have parented me since I was I was a child. Mr . Bitature Patrick has been a pillar in my life and I can’t thank him enough. My lecturers spotted my brilliance and helped nurture it the more especially Prof. Bbaale Edward, Dr. Suzan Kavuma and Mr Fred Kasalirwe. My discussion group mates helped me a lot too, I want to thank them and also congratulate them for graduating. I would also like to study a Masters degree in Economic Policy and Planning if I can get a scholarship or sponsorship.
Amasha Patricia Sheilla
I am Amasha Patricia Sheilla, I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics at Makerere University.
I have always loved numbers and so that inspired me to take on a statistical course.
Staying focused, having and interacting with the right people has enabled me to get a first class degree (Cumulative Grade Point Average – CGPA = 4.41)
I am Nalweera Alice, a proud Muruli from Nakasongola District. I have a great passion for economics that is why I was inspired to undertake the course and it always gave me a push to focus and look forwards to a great performance.
My greatest inspiration has and will always be my father. He loves excellence in all aspects.
Going through Makerere University has been such a great experience for I adventured academically and socially.
Today I graduate with a first class degree of Arts in Economics of Makerere University. I come from a small village in Ibanda District-western Uganda called Kyentaama. From there, I entered the gates of Makerere in August 2018 having attained 18 points from Citizen’s secondary school-Ibanda, which enabled me to get a merit government scholarship.
We stand today on the principle of the future, it is not a distant reality anymore, it begins here, it begins today. I entered Makerere as a child, but I am now leaving as an adult. Well, we did it, we all accomplished one of the major early milestones of our lives, university graduation. This is a major step in the journey of our lives, one that should be recognized for its immense significance. It is an act not only of personal commitment but also one of pride. We all worked hard to get to this day, and our work did not go to waste. Graduation is not an end goal in itself, it is instead a part of longer journey of life. I am glad and I thank God that He enabled me to get a first class degree.
When I was in my O’level, I was motivated by my elder sister and brother who were at Makerere university pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Education respectively. I loved studies and I worked and read very hard to also get to university, more importantly Makerere University. When I did my A’level, I worked very hard to be admitted on government which please my father. I promised him that I would get a first class degree, unfortunately, he died last year July and he has not been able to witness this day. (MHSRIP)
While at Makerere university, I chose good friends who could encourage me and advise me to attend all lectures from year one, and also consult on relevant course units for next semester even before it started. With the help of my OGs, OBs and the friends whom I made, we formed a discussion group where we could help each other in all course units. Truly, discussion groups, consultation with lecturers and students who were ahead of me for example Coleb Arinda last year first class graduand from Arts in Development Economics, and extensive reading were great factors that contributed to the success we are celebrating today.
While in my 3rd year first semester, my beloved dad passed away, I lost courage and thought that I was going to lose my first class but I kept praying to God to give me courage. My father always encouraged me to read hard so that I could get a first class. When I received my results of third year first semester, I had GPA of 4.16 which wasn’t a first class. I never gave up, continued reading and praying, God heard my prayers in the second semester and am graduating with a CGPA of 4.53.
I pray and hope that this gives me a brighter future that will help me achieve my career and life dreams.
For God and my country.
We build for the future.
I am Ahumuza Lillian. I did Bachelor of Statistics and got a first class degree. What kept me moving in School was the idea that i always wanted to challenge myself to do better. I didnt get the 20 points i desired at A level and i promised myself to do better at University. My lecturer Dr. Dennis Wokiyi constantly encouraged me to work hard and he believed in me. I read very hard and my discussion group was always there for me. We shared ideas and researched on many topics. This first class is a result of hardwork, perseverance and consistency
Makerere University hosts CSAE Economic Development workshop 2023
Makerere University has hosted this year’s Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) workshop that brings together scholars across the world.
The workshop started on November 27and is expected to run up to November 30 at Makerere University Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility II (CTF).
The Center has brought together economic scholars from Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia among others to discuss how the economy of Africa can be developed through conducting research.
According to Prof Eria Hisali, the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), they are looking at scholars doing research to the extent that it can help them to understand the problems hindering development, understanding the obstacles and finding the correct solutions to the development of the African countries.
“Researchers are presenting their research to get advice, get room for improvement and pave a way of translating the research finding into policies,” he said.
He noted that it is a great opportunity for researchers from different universities both on the African continent and outside the continent to present the work that they are doing and to understand the economies of the different countries.
This years’ conference is attended by about 40 speakers on the continent and around 10 speakers from Europe, Asia, and North America, Canada among others discussing different areas that are relevant to understanding the economies.
These include the Natural resources and environmental misuse, fiscal policies and monetary policies, agriculture, inequality and poverty and trade and structural transformation among others.
Prof Hisali said Uganda’s problems arise from her structural formation but there is need to look beyond just the physical problems like poverty and unemployment and establish the root cause of that.
“It is true we have unemployment in Uganda and we still need to grapple with issues of poverty but we need to appreciate that unemployment, poverty among others are not the primary problems, they are actually effects of certain underlying problems. So, we want researchers to understand what explains unemployment as we see it,” he explained.
Prof Stefan Dercon, the Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford who doubles as the Director of CSAE revealed that African researchers need to improve the quality of their work and create avenues for associating with policy makers to appreciate their work for the development of their economies.
“Scholars are presenting their research and we give them feedback, share knowledge and learn from each other. A lot of research is still academic because we don’t create space for advisors. Very many economists are not good translators of research not only in Uganda but throughout the world,” he noted.
Prof Ibrahim Mike Okumu, the Dean of the School of Economics said this forum brings together scholars to discuss issues of the African economy among their colleagues who appreciate the African context saying, “They are here for quality checks. We have an opportunity to improve the quality of research papers that scholars across the African continent have developed. By improving the quality, we are trying to get authenticity, proof that the methodologies, the quality of analysis that we have is of standard and consequently we can have credibility regarding policy recommendation that will come from research papers.”
African scholars have come from Cameroon, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Botswana among others…
He re-echoed the message from the Principal concerning the problems affecting Uganda noting that they are not unique to Uganda, she (Uganda) is just struggling with sluggish structural transformation and that is the transition from agriculture to industry which he says is the same story across Africa.
“For as long as industries are not able to create sufficient jobs, the economy cannot pick up because the industry is what moves agriculture forward and is what gives business to the service sector. For as long as industry is not robust enough then you tend to have weak service and agricultural sectors,” he emphasized.
Dr Oluwabunmi Adejumo, a senior lecturer at Obafeemi Awolowo University in Nigeria who is conducting research on the clashes between herders and farmers from different states of the country from which over 10,000 fatalities were registered in 2020, advocates for a law of migrating herders to a separate place and stay away from farmers.
She noted that herders in Nigeria graze their cattle on the crops of farmers when the green space is exploited as a result of climate change like drying out of Lake Chad.
“I am suggesting a policy that I think will bring back sanity in Nigeria especially among herders and farmers,” she said.
This is the second time that this workshop is being held on the African continent, the first one was held in Ghana. The rest of other conferences have been held at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Makerere University to set up an agro-processing skilling hub in 2024
Makerere University in partnership with Promote Uganda Company Limited (PROUL) is set to establish an agro-processing skilling hub next year to expose students to agricultural machinery.
The hub that will be based at Makerere University main campus in Kampala will house agricultural machines that add value to agricultural products.
While unveiling the initiative on Thursday, November 23 during the opening day of the three-day 2nd Innovation and Agro-processing machine exhibition at Makerere University’s Freedom Square, Mr David Nsubuga, the Director for PROUL said many youths remain unemployed despite their academic qualifications and it is high time they embraced new technology to create more job opportunities for the graduates. He revealed that the university will be signing a memorandum of understanding with PROUL next week.
“On top of the courses students are studying, we are going to establish a skilling center where they can be exposed to the machines that add value to agricultural products. We believe that when they start buying and selling finished agricultural products, this, will start them on the journey of industrialists.” he noted
The Vice Chancellor, represented by his deputy Prof. Umar Kakumba, revealed that the university has student innovators who just need backup funds to transform the agricultural sector.
“They have innovated machinery that can do irrigation. We are partnering with Promote Uganda Limited to showcase some of the innovations and to be able to connect them to banks which can give them credit and be able to promote their machinery that they are producing including those that do a lot with production of finished goods.” He said in a message delivered by Prof Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of academics.
Student innovators of agricultural machinery are those pursuing degree programmes related to bioprocessing engineering, water resources engineering, dealing with mechanical engineering and students of business management sciences among others.
The 2nd innovation and Agro-processing machine expo is a three day exhibition that will run from Thursday, November 23 to Saturday, November 25.
Prof Kakumba understands 80 percent of Makerere graduates fail to get formal employment and revealed the need to inject money in such innovations to harness surging number of unemployed youth flooding the streets of Kampala looking for what to do saying, “Every year, higher institutions of learning and tertiary institutions produce about 150,000 students and yet government job slots are around 30,000 only which is a great blow to students who want white collar jobs,” he added
Mr Steven Byantwale Tibeijuka, the Director Crop Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Fisheries and Industries who represented the minister for Agriculture, Mr Frank Tumwebaze pledged on behalf of the government to support the skilling hub that will be established at Makerere University next year.
“I ask the University to put it into writing and address the letter to the minister, the government cannot fail to give you funds once everything is ready,” he pledged
Dr Cathy Mbidde, the manager of the Makerere University Innovation hub said the hub was established in August 2022 under the office of the Vice Chancellor to commercialise the innovations from basically research that the university does and their main goal is to create awareness of the agro-processing machinery.
She added: “When you look at the current Uganda National Development Plan III government’s agenda goal one is agri-industrialisation. As the University, yes we do research and teach but how do we work with the private sector to achieve that goal. We have students who have done research and discovered nutritional values but they don’t have the machinery and access.”
She believes this expo will act as an eye opener to young innovators to team up and purchase the agricultural machinery they need to start up small companies and food processing enterprises while still at the university.
According to her, every year Makerere University graduates around 13,000 students and they can’t find jobs anywhere so there is a need to come up with financing models through financing companies, Non-governmental organisations, and the government to help them to get machinery on credit.
Promote Uganda limited is a company that produces agricultural machinery and their partnership with the university is to introduce the idea of using machines to add value to agricultural products.
When many students graduate, they fail to get formal employment, and end up going to Arab countries where many have lost their lives.
Mr Nsubuga wants the skilling training on operation of agricultural machinery to be added to the students’ courses.
The skilling center will help students to become entrepreneurs and know how to utilise raw materials that are readily available from agriculture to make value added products. The expo is a cross-cutting student exhibition.
Mr Anthony Akandwanaho, a student from Busitema University, said had come to exhibit a day and night dryer invented by his lecturer.
“The machine uses solar thermal during the day to dry the products which it collects directly from the sun and transpires the heat to the products for drying and solar energy during the night,” he said
He noted that this machine dries products from both animal and plant types including meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables. And the maximum drying time for products is 24 hours, for those with higher moisture content like pineapples. However, for products like meat, it dries them within eight hours.
“The unique beauty with it is that you collect the water from the product and can be used for domestic purposes.” Mr Akandwanaho explained
The student also exhibited a chicken de-feathering machine which is able to rip all feathers from the chicken. The mode of operation is that you slaughter the chicken and soak it in warm water for about one minute and transfer the chicken to the machines and in 15 seconds, the feathers are all removed. Its production rate is three chicken per minute.
Some of the exhibited machinery include a garden sprayer, a maize mill, grain grinder stainless, potato slicer, electric chips cutter, vacuum sealer, food dryer, bone Shaw, meat cutter among others.
EfD Uganda Stakeholders Propose Sustainable use of Biomass
The Inclusive Green Economy program of the Environment for Development Initiative in Uganda on 17th November hosted stakeholders across the country’s sectors to get their perspectives on biomass transition to clean energy sources in Uganda.
Uganda’s IGE engagement specialists Dr. Peter Babyenda says this is one of the work plan item on on social inclusion where stakeholders were identified by IGE fellows during the 17th EfD Annual meeting in Ghana.
In a meeting held at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, stakeholders gave the situation analysis of biomass use in the country, where they want to go, how to go there and who should take the country there.
“We found out that almost 90% of our households depend on biomass whether in rural areas or town. This is attributed to cultural issues where certain foods are believed to have good taste when cooked on firewood or charcoal, the fear to use electricity and gas that may result to shocks and fire explodes, inaccessibility to clean energy sources and affordability issues.”
The meeting resolved to primarily focus on behavioural change efforts of the sustainable use of biomass and gradual transitioning to clean energy sources.
’We concluded that for now we cannot say let us move to clean energy but go slowly go slowly on sustainable use of biomass by planting more trees so that instead of depending on natural forests, we depend on plantation forests, use energy saving stoves and those that can save users on effects of smoke and slowly move to clean energy sources by connecting households to electricity and make it affordable and make gas available at an affordable cost’´Babyenda said.
The meeting also proposed the need for more awareness creation about alternative energy sources such as biogas for schools and prisons.
Representing the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences, Dr. Yawe Bruno thanked Sida through the EfD Global hub at the University of Gothenburg for funding the IGE program and the EfD-Mak centre.
“The use of biomass in Uganda has persistently remained high. 80% use firewood and 13% charcoal for cooking but there is a proportion that use a combination of those two. This imposes great implication for household welfare.
Biomass usage affect our productivity, schooling of children, labour market participation especially by women and children. On health, the use of biomass especially firewood causes eye defects, breathing difficulties, snake bites, body dislocations and sexual abuse,” He explained.
Besides household effects, Yawe noted that reliance on biomass has effects on the environment.
Yawe reported that Uganda’s forest cover is being threatened by biomass usage reducing it from 24% in 1990 to less than 9% to date. Transiting to renewable and clean energy requires clear understanding of supply and demand relationship for both biomass and clean energy.
“We must know what drives the uptake and while many can afford gas and electricity, why are we insisting that we should have charcoal? Comparatively, a 6kg gas cylinder costs 60 thousand and today a bag of charcoal costs not less 70 thousand but some households find it cheaper which is expensive and because of the felling of trees, the quality of charcoal may not last more than a week,”
He challenged stakeholders to find out why the supply and demand for biomass is still high amidst detrimental effects and why the supply for clean energy is still low amidst numerous innovations.
Representing the Director EfD-Mak Center, the Dean, School of Economics Dr. Mike Okumu said many households are struggling to transition from firewood and charcoal due to socioeconomic characteristics that define them.
Okumu attributed the climate change effects to the household behaviours and enterprise behaviour and challenged stakeholders to find innovative ways of co-existing with the environment to enhance productivity and also feed communities
He congratulated the IGE engagement specialists for being intentional in identifying the participants taking into account that the majority and poorest population resides in the rural Uganda, and Uganda’s biggest population being the youth.
The meeting comprised specialists in environmental conservation, researchers in renewable energy specifically biomass energy, persons dealing in innovations in sustainable productivity, those working with rural energy transition and renewable energy through use of waste plants and animal residues and persons engaged in youth environmental initiative particularly agroforestry.
Okumu also congratulated the EfD-Mak centre for bringing on board collaborative partners from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies , the private sector and Civil Society organisations.
He expressed the centre’s commitment to engage in similar engagements for purposes of having a drive into a cleaner Uganda and mitigating climate change effects on Uganda’s economy and a drive to having persons making informed decisions towards a better climate sensitive Uganda.
Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer EfD Uganda
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