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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business & Management

Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence awards certificates to 30 Officials

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Dr. Peter Babyenda (Front Row Right) and Dr. Willy Kagarura (2nd Row 2nd from right) pose for a group photo with participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at the College of Business and Management Sciences, has successfully concluded a five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities. The training, held in Jinja, was attended by 30 participants who received certificates of completion at a closing ceremony on July 5, 2024. The event was graced by the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, who delivered closing remarks and awarded the certificates.

In his closing address, the Principal expressed deep gratitude and pride, thanking the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (MoFPED) for their generous financial support, which made the training possible. He highlighted the Ministry’s crucial role in identifying and nominating participants from various government bodies, emphasizing the importance of professional development in improving public investment efficiency and effectiveness.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the male participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Principal also extended special thanks to the Permanent Secretaries, Vice Chancellors, and Executive Directors of the participating institutions for recognizing the significance of the training and nominating their staff to attend. He commended the dedication of the faculty members from Makerere University, MoFPED, and the National Planning Authority for their expertise and time, which ensured a fruitful learning experience for the participants.

Addressing the participants, the Principal lauded their commitment and resilience throughout the week-long training. He noted that the program equipped them with essential skills and knowledge in Public Investment Management (PIM), including project preparation, execution, procurement, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), monitoring and evaluation, and integrating climate change, social, and environmental risk management in project preparation.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the male participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

He encouraged the participants to view this training as the first step in their journey to becoming experts in PIM, emphasizing the importance of continuing education through advanced modules in Financial and Economic appraisal of projects. The advanced training, conducted in collaboration with Cambridge Resources International (CRI) and Queens University in Canada, offers a tripartite certificate from Makerere University, MoFPED, and Queens University.

In his remarks, the Principal highlighted the broader scope of the Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence, which extends beyond training to include research, outreach activities, and advisory services to the government. He announced the Centre’s ongoing efforts to revise the Development Committee guidelines for MoFPED and assess the performance of projects selected since the first National Development Plan (NDP I). Additionally, he proposed organizing a one-day Public Investment Management Conference in October 2024 to evaluate the current state of public investments in Uganda and develop future strategies.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the female participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Principal concluded by congratulating the participants on their achievement and expressing confidence in their ability to effect positive change in the management of public investments in Uganda. He acknowledged the invaluable support of the faculty, mentors, and coaches, as well as the excellent work of the PIM CoE Secretariat, headed by Dr. Willy Kagarura.

As the training workshop came to a close, the participants left with a sense of accomplishment and a renewed commitment to enhancing public investment management practices in Uganda, contributing to the country’s economic development and prosperity.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the male participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

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2,000 Ugandan Households to Participate in FamiLEA Project

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Prof. Edward Bbaale, Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences (Seated 2nd Right) and Dr. Stephen Wandera, the Principal Investigator (Standing Rear Right) and other partners at the training on 1st July 2024. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Scholars from Makerere University, in partnership with researchers from Europe, have launched the Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FamiLEA) project, focusing on 2000 households in the Kampala Metropolitan Area. This 3-year research initiative, which began on July 1st, includes households in Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono Districts and will continue until mid-2027.

The FamiLEA project examines families and the factors influencing changes in family structures. This research responds to the rapid and significant changes in family dynamics across Africa, including innovative kinship practices.

Dr. Stephen Wandera (Left) with participants at the training. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Dr. Stephen Wandera, the Principal Investigator (PI) from Makerere University, stated that enumerators will conduct door-to-door data collection using structured questionnaires. “Our enumerators are students from Makerere University’s Population Studies program, both undergraduate and postgraduate. We expect them to gain valuable field experience and provide validated results,” Dr. Wandera explained during the training.

The study focuses on household changes such as marriage, divorce, intermediate relationships, and networks to understand the reasons behind family changes in East Africa. Following data analysis, dissemination meetings will be held with stakeholders, including government ministries, departments, and agencies.

Participants pose for a group photo. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Earlier this year, a stakeholders’ meeting in Kampala included representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Researchers will submit reports to policymakers and prepare policy briefs to support informed policy-making and programming.

Yonatan N. Gez, Co-Principal Investigator from ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, highlighted that the FamiLEA project is being conducted in both Kenya and Uganda, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This interdisciplinary project involves scholars from demography, anthropology, political science, geography, and history, collaborating with universities from Switzerland, France, Kenya, Canada, and Portugal, with Makerere University as the key collaborator.

Participants pose for a group photo. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Gez noted, “We will conduct extensive surveys using both qualitative and quantitative methods in Nairobi and Kampala. Given the project’s focus on family structures and their transformation, religious and cultural leaders will play a key role in the study.”

The survey will include parents and guardians from 2000 randomly selected households, targeting individuals aged 18 to 64. The questionnaires will cover topics such as intermediate networks, emotional connections, and the impact of these factors on family changes.

 Prof. Bbaale, the Principal of CoBAMS shares a light moment with Dr. Stephen Wandera the PI of the project. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Bbaale, the Principal of CoBAMS shares a light moment with Dr. Stephen Wandera the PI of the project.

Prof. Edward Bbaale, Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), officiated the training. He emphasized the alignment of this research with Makerere University’s strategic direction of being a research-led institution. “This research is within our university’s strategic direction, and I congratulate all the principal investigators for securing the grant,” Prof. Bbaale said.

Prof. Bbaale also highlighted the importance of international collaboration in research, encouraging scholars to pursue similar research projects. He advised enumerators to exercise patience, intelligence, and care in the field to ensure high-quality research findings.

On behalf of the university, he thanked the African Population and Health Research Centre for their collaboration with Makerere University. “Engage with line ministries and the private sector to ensure the implementation of the research project’s recommendations,” Prof. Bbaale urged researchers.

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Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at Makerere University Trains Over 30 Public Officers

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Prof. Edward Bbaale (Centre in suit) with Participants at the launch of the training. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

The Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at Makerere University has launched a five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies. This significant event is being held in Jinja, aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of public officers in effective investment management.

The training program was officially opened on July 1, 2024 by the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, under which the Centre of Excellence operates. In his opening remarks, the Principal emphasized the importance of building capacity within public institutions to ensure efficient and effective management of public investments.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) officially opens the training. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

“We are committed to equipping our public officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage public investments efficiently. This training is a testament to our dedication to excellence in public service,” stated the Principal.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Ms. Getrude Basiima from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the funding agency for this training program. Ms. Basiima highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to supporting capacity-building initiatives that contribute to the country’s economic development.

Ms. Getrude Basiima from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the funding agency for this training program. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

“The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is proud to support this initiative. We believe that investing in the professional development of our public officers is crucial for the sustainable growth of our nation’s economy,” Ms. Basiima remarked.

Proper Public Investment Management (PIM) is critical for ensuring that government resources are used effectively to achieve development goals. It involves rigorous planning, allocation, and monitoring of public funds to maximize socio-economic benefits and minimize wastage. Effective PIM leads to improved infrastructure, better public services, and enhanced economic growth, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being of citizens.

Some of the participants taking part in the five-day training. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

Throughout the five-day training, participants will engage in a series of interactive sessions and practical exercises designed to enhance their competencies in public investment management. The training covers various topics, project proposal writing including project planning, financial analysis, risk management, and performance evaluation.

This initiative by the Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at Makerere University underscores the institution’s role as a leader in fostering professional development and enhancing the capacity of public sector professionals in Uganda.

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