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Mak Hosts International Workshop on Mainstreaming Gender in NORHED II Projects

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Overview

Creating equal opportunities for men and women as well as boys and girls has long been an important priority for Norwegian development assistance. The 2030 Agenda and its17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute the guiding frame for Norwegian development support.

Ms. Mary Mabweijano, Senior Programme Officer at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala addresses participants.
Ms. Mary Mabweijano, Senior Programme Officer at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala addresses participants.

As such, the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) has special focus on SDG 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), and SDG 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize Global Partnerships for sustainable development). The Norwegian development policy mandates all Norwegian-supported institutions to integrate gender and equality as cross cutting issues in NORHED-funded Programmes.

Participants following the proceedings.
Participants following the proceedings.

Workshop on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects

On 30th August 2022, beneficiaries of the NORHED II projects in Eastern Africa convened at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel, Entebbe to discuss and brainstorm on ways of mainstreaming gender in NORHED II Projects. Held under the theme: “Gender Mainstreaming: Beyond Binaries”,the three-day workshop was attended by participants from Makerere University; Makerere University Business School (MUBS); Uganda Matyrs University; Technical University of Kenya (Nairobi); University of Juba (South Sudan);University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania); University of Rwanda; Haramaya University, Dilla University, Hawassa University, and Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia); and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Participants at the International workshop on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II Projects held at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe.
Participants at the International workshop on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II Projects held at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe.

The workshop was organized by Makerere University and NTNU in collaboration with partner institutions. It was coordinated by Prof. Frank Mugagga, Head, Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, also coordinator, Capacity Building for Socially Just and Sustainable Energy Transitions (SET) project, as well as Charlotte Anne Nakakaawa-Jjunju from NTNU. The opening ceremony was presided over by Ms. Mary Mabweijano, Senior Programme Officer at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala. It was graced by the Director, Research and Graduate Training at Makerere University, represented by the Deputy Director, Prof. Robert Wamala, and Ms. Ingvild Heggstad from NTNU International Office, also Senior Adviser and coordinator for NORHED II.

The Principal of CAES, also gender focal person - NORHED II Projects, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga shares her views at the workshop.
The Principal of CAES, also gender focal person – NORHED II Projects, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga shares her views at the workshop.

Remarks by the Senior Programme Officer, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Kampala

Highlighting the importance of mainstreaming gender in NORHED projects as part of the Norwegian Development Policy, Ms Mary Mabweijano-Senior Programme Officer at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala re-emphasized the need to incorporate gender perspectives in curriculum, teaching, research, and governance. She called for increased participation of female students at post graduate level ‘where gender imbalance is most significant’.

Prof. Robert Wamala represented the Director, Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University at the workshop.
Prof. Robert Wamala represented the Director, Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University at the workshop.

“Special measures have been integrated to facilitate female participation in study programmes and research through scholarships, publication grants, mentorship programmes and leadership training. The expectation is that good results will be achieved by the end of the project cycles not only in research but also in areas of career advancement to senior leadership positions,” she explained, calling on the project beneficiaries to be ambassadors of gender mainstreaming.

Participants in a group discussion on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects.
Participants in a group discussion on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects.

Mainstreaming Gender in Higher Education and Research – Progress thus far

During the workshop, officials from Makerere University, Bahir DAR University (Ethiopia) and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania briefed participants on progress made in mainstreaming gender in higher education and research at their respective institutions.

Prof. Frank Mugagga coordinated the workshop.
Prof. Frank Mugagga coordinated the workshop.

Presenting the policy framework for mainstreaming gender at Makerere University, Dr Euzobia Baine Mugisha, Director, Gender Mainstreaming acknowledged the support of the Norwegian Governmenttowards the establishment of the Department of Women and Gender Studies and the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD) at Makerere. The mandate of the GMD is to mainstream gender in the University functions of teaching and learning; research and innovations; knowledge transfer partnerships and networking and support services. In her presentation, Dr Euzobia noted that although significant progress had been made,and several policies put in place to mainstream gender in all programmes, there was still significant imbalance with fewer women progressing to higher academic ranks and taking on leadership positions.  

Dr. Charlotte Anne Nakakaawa-Jjunju from NTNU delivering her remarks.
Dr. Charlotte Anne Nakakaawa-Jjunju from NTNU delivering her remarks.

Out of 98 professors at Makerere University, only 16 are women. At Governance level, there are only 6 women in the University Council out of 18 members, 13 in the University Senate out of 76 and only 5 out of 17 members in Central Management.  “Research is also still gender blind. As a University, we must be intentional about improving staff and students’ welfare and incorporating gender in all activities. Placing gender officers at each of the Colleges would enhance processes of mainstreaming gender in university programmes,” she noted, calling for a harmonized legal and policy framework to support gender mainstreaming activities at all levels. She also called for capacity building for all staff to fully appreciate and adopt the gender mainstreaming approach to teaching and learning as well as research and innovations.

The Water ESSENCE Africa Project team in a discussion on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects.
The Water ESSENCE Africa Project team in a discussion on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects.

Highlighting the progress in gender mainstreaming in Ethiopia, Dr. Meskerem Lechissa, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction at Bahir Dar University noted that although notable achievements had been registered in leadership with about 40% female ministers, Ethiopia still ranks among the bottom 35 countries in index for offering equal access to education to both boys and girls.“44% women are illiterate, compared to 59% men and only 26% of secondary school age females are enrolled in school,” she noted, explaining that a number of measures have been put in place to promote gender equality. These include affirmative action – lowering entry points for girls and putting in place a research budget for women and girls, expansion of universities to underserved Regions, National Code of Conduct for eliminating sexual harassment (Zero tolerance), establishment of Gender Offices in all higher education institutions, gender audit of infrastructures (gender sensitivity and security), economic support for disadvantaged girls, and contractual agreements signed by academic staff to employ gender responsive pedagogy.

Participants in a brainstorming session on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects.
Participants in a brainstorming session on mainstreaming gender in NORHED II projects.

Brainstorming on strategies for mainstreaming gender in NORHED II Projects

In the course of the workshop, participants discussed and shared strategies and activities for ensuring that gender issues are incorporated in the NORHED II Project activities.  The NORHED II supported projects include EnergyNET led by Dr Karidewa Nyeinga from the College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University; Water Essence Africa led by Dr Ronald Semyalo (CoNAS, Mak); SET; Energy Economics and Governance; MERIT, JUST Transitions and CSA led by Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University; Adaptive Environmental Monitoring Networks for East Africa (AdeMNEA) led by Dr Agnes Rwashana Semwanga from Makerere University; Co-creating Knowledge for Local Adaptation to Climate Change in LDCs (COLOCAL); Capacity Building in Renewable Energy Research and Education in Ethiopia (ReREd) led by Dr Habtamu Temesgen Hawassa University; Capacity Building for Research-Based Teacher Education (CABUTE); Transformative Education and Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Growth (TELLS); and Gender and Digitalization (GENDIG) coordinated by the School of Women and Gender Studies Makerere University.

Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha presented the policy framework on mainstreaming gender at Makerere University.
Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha presented the policy framework on mainstreaming gender at Makerere University.

As part of the measures to improve gender mainstreaming in NORHED II projects, participants called for intensified gender trainings for gender focal persons and increased involvement of men in gender issues.They also emphasized the need to be more intentional about gender considerations in all project activities.

Some of the students supported under the NORHED II projects in a discussion on gender mainstreaming at the workshop.
Some of the students supported under the NORHED II projects in a discussion on gender mainstreaming at the workshop.

Delivering a keynote on gender mainstreaming in education and research, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga, Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, also gender focal person -NORHED II Projects, re-echoed the importance of diversity and Inclusivity in ensuring equity in all aspects of Education.

Participants attending the workshop at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe.
Participants attending the workshop at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe.

In the course of the workshop, Dr Julianne Sansa –Otim, coordinator of the AdeMNEA project presented her research on persuasive technologies intended to boost psychological well-being among career women, whereas Dr. Angelina Bazugba from the University of Juba shared views on mainstreaming gender in pedagogy.

The Water ESSENCE Africa project team at the workshop.
The Water ESSENCE Africa project team at the workshop.

On behalf of the Director, Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University, the Deputy Director, Dr Robert Wamala emphasized the importance of mainstreaming gender on all activities at the University. “Gender considerations are crucial as we celebrate 100 years of excellent service and move towards becoming a research-led university. We should therefore dig deep into issues of gender in our pursuit to transform our countries,” he noted.

Details about NORHED II Projects: https://news.mak.ac.ug/2021/09/mak-listed-in-19-of-60-projects-to-be-funded-under-norhed-ii/

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Mak Gender Mainstreaming Directorate to Start a University Men’s Forum

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The Director Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine (left) addresses participants at the Male Round Table discussion for Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff on 6th June 2024. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

As a way of promoting Gender equality and inclusion, the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate on Thursday 6th June 2024 held a Male Round Table discussion for Makerere University Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff. Giving the objectives for the men’s workshop, the Senior Gender Officer Makerere University Mainstreaming Directorate Mr. Eric Tumwesigye stated that the directorate realized the need to provide space for male staff at Makerere University to identify their issues in relation to promoting gender equality.

He also noted that there is need to explore ways of exercising their agency in promoting gender equality and also need to build a male champions at Makerere University and beyond.

Speaking to the audience, the Key note speaker Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana an Anglican Priest in Namirembe Diocese, A Counselling Psychologist who also doubles as the National Male and Religious Champion on Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR), and a Male Engagement Specialist echoed on how mental ill health is  affecting and spreading among men in and outside Uganda calling for the need to stand with the affected people to help ease their recovery. He noted that while statistics are important in social issues, it’s important to personify numbers and consider case by case in handling Men’s issues.

Cautioning that acts of basing on numbers when discussing matters that affect people’s lives, and individuals should stand out and speak out alone, as it’s longer about statistics but an individual, and that depressed men become problematic to the society.

Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana addresses participants. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana addresses participants.

“Many men are suffering mental illness but because they lack enough safe spaces where they can be understood with empathy and unconditional positive regard. Men need Male more safe spaces and who to speak to, as  many have resorted to ending their lives. We need to be there for each other. We should know that it’s not about statistics but an individual, depressed men, depress the entire society” remarked Rev. Mugalu.

He noted that there is need for more deliberate efforts to raise masculine Men. The absence of masculinity among men raises deficiencies in Men’s characters that worsen gender injustice, violence, inequalities etc. He noted that masculinity is a positive attribute that needs to be promoted among Men. He further stressed that Toxic Masculinity means the absence of Masculinity.

He noted the need to reach out to Men on the grassroots. Ignored Men are dangerous to their communities. It’s not about how much English we speak, it’s all about how many Men in the Ghettos, villages, Wanainchi that we reach with the message of gender equality, equity and justice. As long as Men on grassroots cannot define equality, we are far away from achieving gender equality.

Some of the Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff interact. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff interact.

He further stresses the need to involve young men and boys in the struggle of achieving gender equality.

He noted the challenges men face in society and called for creation of safe spaces, where men can meet and share their challenges and get some advice as one of the mechanisms for reducing on the high rate of gender violence men face today, stating that several men today are wounded mentally by  Gender Based violence but have no one to share with and even those that they would share with expect them to be men enough to handle the problem and also to heal others.  

“The untold story is that 8 of 10 men are facing mental  and physical Gender Based violence and they fear to talk about it, as society expects them to be men enough to withstand such challenges, this has affected many families and work places as wounded men wound others but are expected to heal others. Only a man that has been wounded and fully healed can heal others as he understands the pains” said Rev. Nathan.

Rev. Nathan further called for mentorship and engagement of the boys and men if we are to have a better society and also if we are to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions which occur on a daily basis and cautioned about the generation growing without men, noting that the comfort zones stagnate men, and advised men to get out of their comfort zones and plan for future to avoid retirement issues.

Participants follow proceedings during the Round Table discussion. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Participants follow proceedings during the Round Table discussion.

“We are risking a society without astute and well-adjusted masculine men, comfort zones are the most stagnating thing for men, there is need to be worried when we bring a generation that has nothing to lose, such people are determined to do anything. Men need to be engaged so much in the struggle to end abortions which occur daily. This can be through sensitization” he said.

The Principal Women in Development Officer, Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development Hajji Mayanja Idi Mubarak noted that the percentage of men drop out is increasing highly calling for need to look into the barriers that are leading to the cause just like it was done with women.

“The same barriers that were affecting women are now affecting men, previous graduation noted that 52% were females and 48% men, a sign that there is a drop out of universities of the men in completing studies, and there is need to work on barriers of access to education by male students.” He said.

He advised men to balance work and home life to ease management of their responsibilities both at work and home as one way to reduce on the rampant causes of Gender Based Violence among homes.

Hajji Mayanja Idi Mubarak outlined the Ministry’s key objectives in male involvement strategy. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Hajji Mayanja Idi Mubarak outlined the Ministry’s key objectives in male involvement strategy.

As a way of reducing on the cases of child torture by domestic workers and also unpaid care, Hajji Mubaraka called for day care centers at places of work and also revealed that the Ministry is coming up with a policy to regulate on the exploitation of domestic workers  to see that they earn what is worthy their labor, noting that 90% of them are under paid and yet exploited with too much work load.

“We encourage our wives, sisters and daughters to work and call for salary increment, but we forget the young girls and women whom we leave behind as maids. Most of these are under paid compared to the work they do and some are not paid at all, that’s why we keep hearing cases of house helps torturing our children at home.  It’s here that Ministry is coming up with a policy to regulate on the unpaid care work to see that these maids also earn what’s fair to their services and also need to have day care centers at our workplaces.” He said.

He mentioned that the Ministry’s key objectives in male involvement strategy are;

  • To guide development and review Gender Based Violence policies and programs to integrate interventions on male involvement.
  • To promote transformation of harmful gender norms and practices that perpetuate Gender Based Violence.
  • To provide guidance on provision of male friendly services to meet victims of Gender Based Violence
  • To promote strategic partnership in engaging men and boys in prevention and response to Gender Based Violence.

Revealing that government is putting up spaces to help men going through violence to enable them not only to open up but also get helped from what they go through and urged fellow men to make good use of the space created.

Mr. Mayanja continued to note that involvement of men and boys in the processes that prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence is an indispensable part of the process of changing the power of dynamics of existing   gender roles and values that perpetuate Gender Based Violence as men play key role in bringing gender equality in our society, religions and traditions, since Uganda’s diverse cultural customs and taboos that define men’s status and expectations in different ways.

Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine gives her closing remarks. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine gives her closing remarks.

The Director Makerere University Gender Main streaming Directorate Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine stated that research was done on 6 universities Kyambogo University, Busitema University, Gulu University, Mbarara University with a purpose to explore the male involvement in the interventions to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in universities and findings showed that efforts to engage men in programs that promote gender equality was regarded as important and exciting topic.

Giving her closing remarks, Dr. Euzobia thanked all the male staff of Makerere University for their participation and feedback that they provided and pledged continuation of more engagements.

“We are happy for the feedback provided by everyone, this is very important for us as we build for the future and we hope for more trainings“ Said Dr. Euzobia.

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Short Course Announcement: Basic Data Analysis

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Some of the participants that attended DataFest Kampala hosted by RAN from 29th to 30th of April 2021. RAN Innovation Lab, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), School of Public Health Annex, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Plot 28, House 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Makerere University School of Public Health is offering training in Basic Data Analysis over a period of 5 days (Monday 15th – Friday 19th July 2024) culminating in a Certificate of Basic Data Analysis upon completion. The deadline for receiving applications is Monday 8th July 2024.

This program aims to build capacity of the participants to be able to conduct basic analysis of data, given a set of health data. By the end of the course, participants should be able to develop an analysis plan to answer specific research questions of interest to them, to conduct univariate analysis for both numerical and categorical variables, to select appropriate statistical tests and conduct bivariate analysis for different combinations of variables and to interpret and present results from data analysis using appropriate figures and narrative.

This course is suitable for health professionals, health researchers, PhD students and Health program managers who interface with health data and would like to gain the skills needed to analyze this data.

Mode of Delivery

  • A blended learning approach will be used where sessions will be delivered both online (using Zoom) and Face-to-face. Face-to-face sessions will be held at the MakSPH Annex in Kololo, at the RAN Lower Lab whilst a zoom link will be shared for the online participants.
  • Participants will have to indicate beforehand which mode they will use though face-to-face participants will have the added advantage of access to instant facilitator support especially when navigating Stata.

Course Pre-requisites

Prior knowledge of statistical principles and epidemiological methods is a requirement. In order to participate meaningfully and to keep up with the course content and practical activities, applicants to this course should have already taken a basic course in statistics/biostatistics and epidemiology. They must also have a personal computer, conversant with basic use of Windows and Stata (Version 10 or above)

See the application link below: https://forms.gle/vMELSBwww1ckoVaaA

Course Fee:

Payment subsidized course fee of Uganda shillings 600,000/= for nationals and USD 300 for international students payable at the beginning as payment for the course. This will contribute to training materials, Venue, Facilitation fees, Internet Data, and Zoom fees for the whole course.

Payment & Registration Procedure

Selected participants will receive admission letters and bank account details to make full payment before the start of the course.

After banking on the account, scan the Deposit Slip to  imutyaba@musph.ac.ug or deliver the hard copy to Room 3, Ground Floor, Makerere University School of Public Health, New Mulago complex for registration or call +256785510385

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Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe attends WUN/ARUA AGM at the Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria

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Professor Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd Left) with Left to Right: Dr. Chrispus Mayora-Mak School of Public Health, Professor Rob Marchant-Department of Environment and Geography, and Co-Chair of the York Africa Network (alongside Prof Cathy Mbidde), Edward Kataika-Director of Programmes (ECSA), Elisha Witcomb-Global Partnerships Manager (UoY), Dr. Ana MacIntosh-Director of Strategic Programmes, Assuring Autonomy and AI (UoY), and Professor Paul Revil-Centre for Health Economics (UoY) at the meeting. WUN/ARUA AGM, 22nd - 23rd May 2024, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

On 22 – 23 May 2024, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, joined the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Presidents’ Forum at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria, South Africa. WUN is a network of twenty-four (24) world-leading teaching and research-intensive universities across six (6) continents, which facilitates collaboration across institutions in order to strengthen the impact of their work. On the other hand, ARUA is a network of sixteen (16) of the Africa region’s leading universities mainly aimed at expanding and enhancing significantly the quality of research done in Africa by African researchers.

This year’s AGM was held under the theme: “Addressing Global Research Challenges in an African Context” and this theme was canvassed under five major thematic areas:

  1. Establishing Equitable Research Partnerships – mapping the historical perspectives and way forward
  2. Building Successful Projects/Collaborations: experiences and lessons from different universities
  3. Developing Research Careers – through PhDs and Postdoctoral Trainings and early faculty career development opportunities
  4. Maximizing the Benefits of Partnership – tackling research challenges effectively through global partnerships and engagements
  5. Opportunities for WUN and ARUA and how to harness the networks.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe chaired two thematic discussions, where he also shared the experiences of Makerere University in building and sustaining effective North-South and South-South partnerships for capacity building, knowledge sharing, and research. The Vice Chancellor shared experience of two successful models of collaboration: 1) the Makerere University – Karolinska Institutet collaboration, through which hundreds of PhDs have been trained at Makerere University through the double PhD arrangement; and 2) the NORHED funded collaboration – a long-standing collaboration dating more than 15 years. Prof. Nawangwe noted that these two collaborations have been very instrumental in faculty training and capacity building at Makerere University, to the extent that now Makerere University has more than 70% of its staff with PhDs. Prof. Nawangwe attributed the success of the collaborations to the openness, trust, and mutual respect among the partners. He noted that even when the Northern partners provided funding, they allowed Makerere University to determine the priority research areas that students wanted to pursue. This way, students’ research became relevant to local challenges.

It was noted that Universities in Africa were facing immense pressure and challenges to continue to deliver quality teaching and research. These challenges related to low funding including low investments in Lab infrastructure, and research and development, limited infrastructure, limited number of faculty with PhDs, high staff to student ratios, among others. Surmounting these challenges required deepening research skills within specific disciplines, developing staff with multi and inter-disciplinary skills, developing staff with transferable and soft skills, and most importantly identifying new partnerships and collaborations while sustaining existing ones.

To strengthen PhD training to prepare the next generation of researchers, ARUA had received funding support from Mastercard Foundation and other partners to train up to 100,000 PhDs in Africa in the next 10 years. It is believed that this will boost Universities’ capacities to undertake their mandates and contribute to social transformation of Africa.

Participants also noted that while it is important to focus on PhD trainings, its also important to focus on building careers of University Faculty beyond PhDs. There is more to just getting a PhD degree, a lot of development must happen at Postdoctoral level if Universities are to enhance research capacity. These post-doctoral capacity building initiatives require clear, deliberate, and intentional institutional frameworks including partnerships to achieve. Young faculty need to be supported and mentored as they embark on careers in research. Beyond identifying and building North-South partnerships, it was imperative that African Universities continue to work with each other in South-South arrangements to optimize already existing – yet untapped potentials – within African institutions

Professor Nawangwe meets with team from University of York

The University of York has been a longstanding partner of Makerere University mainly in terms of supporting the Innovations Hub and previous work with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). The Centre for Health Economics (CHE) has since 2017 been working with the School of Public Health (MakSPH) to support policy and decision-making at the Ministry of Health. Through the Thanzi La Onze (TLO) collaboration program, University of York is focused on capacity building for health economics and policy in Uganda and the region. The CHE has partnered with MakSPH under the Health Economics and Policy Program (HEPP) to support the establishment of a Master of Health Economics graduate program at Makerere University, which is going to be the first of its kind in the region. Program approval processes are currently ongoing.

Prof. Nawangwe and the York team also discussed additional collaboration in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Environment, Climate Change, and Health.

In the meeting, it was noted that the University of York’s Assuring Autonomy, Centre for Doctoral Training in Safe AI, and the wider initiative – the Institute for Safe Autonomy are already existing initiatives that both institutions could explore working on. On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nawangwe noted that Makerere University had a growing interest in the area of AI and already different initiatives were ongoing. He noted a strand of work on AI at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) led by Dr. Rose Nakasi who is working on the AI-Health Lab, where Artificial Intelligence and data science are applied to support and solve health-related challenges especially in the developing world. Makerere University also hosts another AI lab, headed by Dr. Joyce Nabende. Also, under the ARUA-Guild Cluster of research excellence, formed in 2023, there is a cluster on ‘AI, Data Science and Computational Thinking’. The Cluster is a collaboration between University of Stellenbosch (as ARUA lead), Uppsala (Guild lead), Makerere, Coventry, Nairobi, Rwanda, Rhodes, Lagos and Warwick. At Makerere University, the Cluster is coordinated by Prof. John Mango and Dr. Joyce Nabende. Makerere University is scheduled to host a summer school for three weeks (starting 8th July 2024) on Mathematics for AI. The school is jointly organized by the Eastern Africa Universities Mathematics Program (EAUMP), ISP-Sweden, Department of Computer Science and Department of Mathematics at Makerere, Lappeenranta University in Finland, ICTP-Italy, The International Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) among other institutions.

Next steps

The meeting appreciated the need to continue to work together to advance the mutual interests of the two institutions. It was agreed that follow-up conversations should happen more especially between the team leads at the two institutions to explore opportunities for working together on not only the existing, but also new strands of work. Prof. Nawangwe appreciated the University of York for all the support and committed to follow up on the conversation and specifically the master of Health economics program development process between School of Public Health and School of Economics.

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