By Ritah Namisango
“In the next 100 years of Makerere University, we are going to put God first,” proclaimed the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, amidst ululations from the congregation that convened at the Freedom Square on Friday 7th October 2022 to celebrate God’s love towards Makerere University. The congregation consisted of the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma, members of the University Council and Senate, religious leaders, University Management, Principals, Deputy Principals, Deans, Directors, Heads of Department, academic, administrative and support staff as well as the Leadership and the faithful from Pastor Robert Kayanja Ministries.
Reflecting on the history of Makerere’s humble beginnings as a technical school with 14 day students in 1922 to its admirable growth over the years into a renowned university impacting lives worldwide, the Vice Chancellor remarked that there is evidence that God’s power, grace, mercy and love has been bestowed upon this great institution. He vowed to work with the University leadership at all levels, staff and religious leaders to ensure that God takes centre stage at the University.
The Vice Chancellor commended the religious leaders in Uganda for always dedicating time to pray for Makerere University. He noted that the University Chaplains (St. Francis Chapel and St. Augustine Chapel) as well as the Imam of the University Mosque had played a central role in the spiritual life of the University. He was delighted that on 2nd September 2022, the Mak@100 National Day of prayer organized by the University in conjunction with the Inter-Religious Council attracted a significant number of leaders of the different denominations as well as staff, students and believers. The gathering at the Freedom Square with one accord thanked God for the gift of Makerere University and its achievements over the 100 years (1922-
Prof. Nawangwe was filled with joy that Pastor Robert Kayanja Ministries had in the same vein, partnered with staff at Makerere University, the #MakerereAt00 Organising Committee and Secretariat, and his wife Mrs. Susan Nawangwe to organize a Corporate Prayer Breakfast and Luncheon to once again lift up the name of the Almighty God at Makerere University.
He therefore applauded Pastors, Robert and Jessica Kayanja for choosing to partner with Makerere University during the celebrations to mark 100 years of excellent service to humanity and transformation.
Moved by the videos of people in Karamoja starving to death and the fundraising campaign through “The Karamoja Cry” being undertaken by the Robert Kayanja Ministries, the Vice Chancellor pledged to champion Pastor Robert and Jessica Kayanja’s Karamoja initiative at Makerere University. In this regard, Prof. Nawangwe announced a fundraising drive towards addressing the food insecurity in Karamoja sub-region. Prof. Nawangwe pledged to reach out to members of staff at Makerere University to contribute money and relief items in order to save the people of Karamoja from hunger and death.
Responding to Pastor Kayanja and Prof. Nawangwe’s plea to mobilise funds to save people from hunger, Dr. Sarah Ssali reiterated the need for a long-term and sustainable programme to address food insecurity. She observed that whereas Africa has received the biggest investment in agriculture, the continent still remains a continent of famine and hunger. “As we collect the money, we should note that this is a short term plan. We should come up with a long term plan. It is also important for us the academics to think long term. Are we just wired to fit the standards of our American and European funders or are we located in the problems of society that we live in,” she questioned.
The Principal of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Makerere University, Dr. Gorettie Nabanoga pledged to rally academics in her college to work with the Vice Chancellor, religious leaders and the leaders in Karamoja to understand the underlying problems and come up with informed programmes focusing on food security in the region.
Addressing the audience that filled the grand tent set in Freedom Square to capacity, the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma testified that he is a living example of God’s love and loving kindness. “I was once a student. God has lifted me from humble beginnings over the years to levels of leadership,” he said. He urged God’s people to always pray, love and believe in God. He paid special tribute to his wife, Mrs. Specioza Suruma and thanked her for being a woman of faith.
A prominent alumna and Editor-in-Chief at the Vision Group, Mrs. Barbara Kaija glorified God for the nurturing and great mentorship that she received while studying at Makerere University. Beaming with pride, she acknowledged the great efforts and dedication from her teachers and faculty at the Department of Literature at Makerere University whose focus is supporting their students to achieve their full God-given potential. She therefore used the golden opportunity to congratulate her alma-mater upon celebrating her centennial anniversary and prayed that God’s providence and the power of the Holy Spirit will be the hallmarks of the next 100 years at Makerere University.
Mrs. Kaija is a woman of faith. She disclosed to the audience that her success at work, in life, marriage and family life was premised on God and her choice of salvation.
Turning to the man of God, Mrs. Kaija informed the audience that it is Pastor Kayanja who prophesied about promotion and elevation in her career path, at a time when she did not have any idea that something great was going to happen in her life.
“Pastor Robert Kayanja proclaimed Barbara Kaija you are going to be promoted. I see your promotion coming very soon. I looked at him. I said, Pastor Robert Kayanja is a very nice man who wishes others well, but I did not believe what he was saying about my promotion. I was very hard working and professional, but the system was not that easy to navigate. However, his prophesy came to pass, I was promoted and elevated. After some time, another promotion also unfolded,” she said amidst applause from the congregation.
In her speech, Mrs. Susan Nawangwe emphasized the power of prayer, fasting and believing in God. She revealed that 7 th October 2022 will always serve as a special moment in her spiritual journey, in remembrance of the day when University leadership, staff, religious leaders with support from Pastor Robert Kayanja Ministries gathered in the Freedom Square to praise and worship God for His continued love and benevolence upon Makerere University. Mrs. Nawangwe prayed that God would continue to bless Makerere University and to manifest His power in the institution’s next 100 years.
Pastors Robert and Jessica Kayanja declared that they are proud to be associated with Makerere University as it celebrates 100 years of excellent service to humanity and journey of growth and remarkable achievements. Pastor Robert Kayanja revealed that the 7th October 2022 assembly in the Freedom Square was dedicated to invoking the power of the Holy Spirit at this great institution, so that its latter 100 years would be greater than the former in all aspects.
“I praise God for the opportunity. I believe that it has been the spirit of God. The next
100 years will usher in a spiritual beginning to this university. We will realise a spiritual healing,” he proclaimed.
Accompanied by his wife-Pastor Jessica Kayanja and son-Robert Kayanja Junior, Pastor Robert Kayanja recalled with nostalgia his wedding reception that took place at the Freedom Square 31 years ago. He revealed that Makerere University especially the Freedom Square occupies a special place in his life.
“On my wedding day, I received my first meal as a husband, from my bride-Jessica Kayanja, from this very place, the Freedom Square. I am happy to stand here today, as Makerere University celebrates 100 years of existence. To God be the glory. So, Mr. Vice Chancellor, whenever I feel like coming to Makerere University, kindly always allow me, for the Freedom Square occupies a special place in my life,” he said.
Preaching the word, Pastor Robert Kayanja thanked God for the contribution Makerere University has made not only in terms of human capital development, but also Uganda’s economic development.
He called upon students, staff and any person attached to the mighty Makerere University to focus with faith, commitment and in prayer so that they too will one day have a remarkable story to share about their transformation. Pastor Kayanja shared his belief that the good Lord blesses abundantly and lifts from humble beginnings to greater heights, from glory to glory, the man or woman who plays their part in faith and hope.
“In the bible, a little boy called Joseph was sold into slavery, thrown in prison, was used to do all sorts of work but never lost focus, kept his faith in God Almighty and his story turned out different. Joseph ended up holding bigger positions in Pharaoh’s Palace, the King of Egypt at the time,” Pastor Kayanja said.
He added that Joseph not only became a leader in the Kingdom of Egypt, but also controlled their land, food and finances. Pastor Kayanja in concluding rallied staff of Makerere University to thank God for the jobs they hold, serve the University and people with dedication, work to the best of their ability and remain faithful to God.
His wife and friend, Pastor Jessica Kayanja mentioned that reaching 100 years is neither by one’s might nor luck, but by blessing from the Almighty God.
Quoting from of Isaiah 65:20 where Jesus talked about the New Jerusalem she said, “If it does not live up to 100 years may be there is a curse. Therefore, I wish to proclaim that Makerere University has lived to see the biblical word, very blessed above limits,” Pastor Jessica Kayanja remarked. She also gave an example of the father of faith, Abraham who had lived many years childless but at 100 years, was blessed with a son who became a promise and a blessing.
To officially seal the Mak@100 memories as Makerere University embarks on its journey for the next century, the Chancellor-Prof. Ezra Suruma and Mrs. Specioza Suruma, the Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Mrs. Susan Nawangwe and Pastors-Robert and Jessica Kayanja posed for a photo at the Mak@100 monument that was unveiled by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda on Thursday 6 th October 2022. The Mak@100 monument that signifies Makerere University’s readiness to grow and excel beyond limits was designed by members of staff from the Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and Fine Art and funded by Excel Construction Limited.
Driven by the desire to amplify the works of the holy spirit, Pastors Robert and Jessica Kayanja together with Prof. Ezra Suruma and Mrs. Specioza Suruma, and Mrs. Susan Nawangwe, Associate Professor Sarah Ssali (Dean-School of Women and Gender Studies) and Ms. Ritah Namisango (Principal Public Relations Officer) prayed for the completion of buildings that were under construction. Sites prayed over included the Main Building under re-construction, the Makerere University Sports Arena just next to the swimming pool, the School of Women and Gender Studies (that is being expanded as per the original plan). Pastor Robert Kayanja
dedicated the construction sites, contractors and builders to God and prayed for an overflow of resources so that buildings may be completed to serve their purpose.
“Dear Lord and powerful God, we pray that you bless the buildings and works under construction so that they come to completion within the shortest period possible. We
would like to return Lord, to witness and glorify your name, in the shortest time possible,” he prayed, to which all present assented, ‘Amen.”
The spiritual engagements at the Freedom Square were moderated by the following members of staff; Dr. Twine Bananuka, Dean-School of Distance and Life Long learning at the College of Education and External Studies, Associate Professor Sarah Ssali, Dean-School of Women and Gender Studies-College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Pastor Julianne Susanne Sansa Otim, an Associate Professor at the College of Computing and Information Sciences.
Befitting hymns of praise and worship captivated God’s people at the Freedom Square who remained lively throughout the invocation of the holy spirit on 7th October 2022 from 7:30am to 2:55 pm.
Following the prayer breakfast and luncheon, Pastors Robert and Jessica Kayanja
proceeded to the Makerere University Main Sports Grounds for the Miracle crusade.
Call For Nominations for the Position of Chancellor Makerere University
Makerere University invites nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University.
Purpose of the position
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presides over all ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University.
Please see Download below for details.
The deadline for submission of nominations is 11th January 2024 at 5:00 p.m. East African Time.
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
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