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Tackling unemployment: Archdiocese of Kampala partners with Mak to train female entrepreneurs

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By Ritah Namisango

The escalating levels of unemployment among the youth and graduates in Uganda are of great concern to the Government, civil society and other institutions such as religious organizations. In order to contribute to efforts aimed at addressing the challenge, the Archdiocese of Kampala and Makerere University are jointly implementing a youth employability collaborative programme to equip youth, students and graduates with entrepreneurship skills.

The programme that kicked off with 97 female students was conducted from 29 th July 2022 to 2nd October 2022 based on the theme: “From COVID-Socio-Economic Anxiety to STEP-Youth Training Entrepreneurship in Post COVID times.” The students who were selected from the ten (10) colleges at Makerere University were trained by experts in STEP (Student, Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion) from the Department of Philosophy under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the College of Education and External Studies.

The joint partnership trained and equipped participants with knowledge and skills that have unlocked their entrepreneurial potential and abilities. The students are members of the St. Augustine Catholic Community at Makerere University.

Addressing the audience that convened on 18th October 2022 to witness the award of certificates to the budding entrepreneurs, the Vice Chancellor – Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated the female students upon acquiring 21st century skills relevant to both their career and life journey.

“I applaud Dr. Ferdinand Kasozi, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Makerere University for championing the cause of turning students into entrepreneurs. I am happy that the trainers and partners started with female students. I appeal to the female students to look up to the greatest women who have succeeded in life, for example, Marie Curie, the greatest woman who conquered the world of chemistry. It is pleasing to note that most of you have created jobs, while others are ready to start their own companies. Beyond academic qualifications, entrepreneurship skills are the best gift that the youth could ever secure, which makes us proud of this partnership between Makerere University and the Archdiocese of Kampala,” he said.

Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded a place in the Pantheon for her own achievements. Marie Curie’s life as a scientist was one which flourished because of her ability to observe, deduce and predict. She is also arguably the first woman to make such a significant contribution to science.

Reflecting on the high levels of unemployment among youth and graduates in Uganda, Prof. Nawangwe noted that whereas universities continue to churn out graduates, the jobs have remained very few.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe speaking to the students.

“Many of our youths and students who have graduated are unemployed due to lack of jobs. Guided by the Makerere University ten-year strategic plan, we are focusing on training entrepreneurs who will be job creators rather than job seekers. I am therefore pleased that Makerere University and the Archdiocese of Kampala are training young people so that by the time they leave the university, they are ready to create jobs or start companies,” he stated.

Impressed by the initiative to build a critical mass of student entrepreneurs, the Vice Chancellor committed to link both trainers and trainees under this programme to the Makerere University-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) innovations hub. This linkage, he said, would serve as a platform to source additional funding, support as well as mentorship in creating jobs and start-ups.

“I told Dr. Ferdinand Kasozi, the member of staff leading the training team that we can connect this programme to the Innovation hub at Makerere University. I am glad that the Chaplain of St. Augustine Catholic Community, Rev. Fr. Josephat Ddungu and Centenary Bank are already on board. We can enhance these good efforts by reaching out to the innovations hub to support the student entrepreneurs.”

The Archbishop His Grace Paul Ssemogerere expressed his commitment to work with Makerere University to transform the lives of the youth, students and graduates. Rev. Fr. Dr. John Bosco Ssettumba, the Officer in-charge of Formal education at Kampala Archdiocese represented the Archbishop. The Archbishop rallied Ugandans and stakeholders to come up with solutions to address the challenge of unemployment that stifles livelihoods. “One of our biggest problems in Africa is the high levels of unemployment of young people including graduates. There are many problems arising from unemployment of young people. Some have become demoralised and restless, some end up on the streets, others resort to drugs, while some are forced to engage in criminal activities. Therefore, we should be concerned and work together to create a positive difference by skilling young people to become entrepreneurs.”

He commended the training team at Makerere University for partnering with the Archdiocese of Kampala and St. Augustine Catholic Community to come up with this initiative that is focused on training employable graduates. “I am happy that the student entrepreneurs have gone through a phase of self-discovery, understanding the environment, markets and opportunities in their communities, acquired experience and skills and are ready to lead the transformation.”

One of the students receives a certificate from Rev. Fr. Dr. John Bosco Ssettumba as Vice Chancellor Prof. Nawangwe(Right) looks on.

His Grace Ssemogerere called upon the student entrepreneurs to go forth and light a candle in the world of unemployment. “Go and take Makerere University to the community by being resourceful. I encourage you to add on other skills namely; communication, leadership and team work. May the good Lord bless you,” he said.

Congratulating the entrepreneurship trainees, the Deputy Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Dr. Eric Awich Ochen advised the beneficiaries to take Makerere University to the people/communities. Dr. Awich Ochen informed the audience that he has been involved in initiatives that instill a culture of working with the communities in the youth and students. He pointed out community engagements in Luuka District – Eastern Uganda and Gulu – Northern Uganda where social labs were initiated for students to work in the local community settings. The students did not only encourage parents to take their children to school, but also participated in the cause of giving back to community. He appealed to Makerere University students to use every opportunity to share the knowledge acquired at the University with the communities in order to make a positive difference in the
lives of other people. “I am delighted that through this programme of skilling young people, Makerere University is giving back to the community.”

Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo, Head Department of Philosophy thanked Dr Kasozi for his devotion to uplifting the public face and self-worth of female students in and beyond the Philosophy Department.

Focusing on the continuity of the entrepreneurship programme, one of the trainers, Dr. Josephine Najjemba, a Lecturer in the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) appreciated the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese and the Vice Chancellor for their commitment towards the success of the partnership. She stated that the trainers’ interactions with the Archbishop and Vice Chancellor have energised them to double their efforts in order to groom, empower and motivate more youth and students.

The trainers included: Dr. Ferdinand Kasozi, Dr. Badru Musisi, Ms. Dorcas Nambi, Mr.Alex Byamukama, Dr. Rebecca and Dr. Josephine Najjemba. Dr Dickson Kanakulya Lecturer in the Philosophy Dept. was the Master of Ceremonies.

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Short Course Announcement: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning

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The Lead Facilitator, Dr. Roy William Mayega (Left) takes participants through Instructional Design (ID) Training held from 29th January to 2nd February 2018. 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.

Many faculty members in Higher Education Institutions do not get pre-service training in teaching and learning before they start teaching. This means that they have to learn the ‘hard way’ on the job, and this often affects the quality of delivery. The Office of the Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), in collaboration with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MakSPH, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Institute of Open Distance and eLearning – Makerere University hereby announce the 2024 edition of the course titled: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning. The course will run from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August 2024, only in the morning hours (08.00am – 11.30 am). The course will be delivered in dual mode: Both online (through the zoom platform) and face-to-face (at the RAN Lower Lab, MakSPH Annex in Kololo). The course is open to both junior and senior faculty members, research fellows, honorary lecturers and academic program administrators from Makerere University and other Universities wishing to enhance their teaching skills, with a view to improving teaching and learning.

Applying

Interested applicants are requested to send a short expression of interest that includes their designation, by email, to: Mr. Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, using the following email address: imutyaba@musph.ac.ug. Admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applicants should be ready to take off 5 mornings of intense work during the week indicated. Come and discover the frontiers of teaching and learning.

The Course Team

Course Lead: Dr. Roy William Mayega (MBChB, MPH, PhD), Senior Lecturer, Instructional Materials Designer/Editor, MPH DE Program, MakSPH; Lead the co-creation of instructional materials for the inaugural MPH DE Program

Course Facilitators

  1. Dr. Roy Gonzaga Mubuuke (PhD), Breast Radiology Specialist/Medical Education Consultant/Member HEPI Project Team
  2. Dr. Rovincer Najjuma (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Curriculum Specialist, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University
  3. Dr. Suzanne Kiwanuka (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Chair Department of Health Policy, Planning & Management, MakSPH, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
  4. Dr. Barbara Kirunda (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, MakSPH, MakCHS, Field Coordinator, MPHDE Program
  5. Mr. Jude Oboth, IT Specialist, MakSPH; 12 years of professional experience managing large organizational computer networks
  6. Prof. Pauline Byakika (PhD), Professor of Medicine, Chair Department of Internal Medicine, MakSoM, MakCHS, Head, Mentorship Program MakCHS
  7. Dr. John Bosco Isunju (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, MakSPH, MakCHS; Head, COVID Task force on alternative assessment, MakSPH

Support Team

  • Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Admin Support
  • Harriet Adong, Communications Specialist, ResilientAfrica Network and MakRIF – Course Communications lead
  • Wilson Abigaba, IT Specialist RAN and MakRIF – Course IT Support
  • Debbie Namirembe, Senior Administrator, RAN – Admin Support

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Mary Stuart Hall Rehabilitation Commences as VC Hands over Site to NEC

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre) hands over a file to NEC Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira (Left) as Ag. DVCFA, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe (Right) witnesses on 31st May 2024. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall commenced on Friday 31st May 2024 with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe handing over the site to the contractor National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) represented by Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira. The first and largest female Hall of residence, Mary Stuart was completed in 1953 and named after wife to Bishop Simon Cyril Edgar Stuart, the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Uganda from 1932-1952. Mary Stuart worked hard for the betterment of women education during her time in Uganda.

Mary Stuart becomes the second student residence to undergo rehabilitation following the handover of Lumumba Hall to NEC on 27th June 2023. Both projects are fully funded by the Government of Uganda. And whereas Lumumba’s works cost UGX9billion, Mary Stuart’s will cost UGX10.5billion, and cover roof repairs, plumbing and electrical systems and installations overhaul, as well as external aesthetic works.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor thanked the President, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Government of Uganda for ensuring that funds for the long-awaited rehabilitation of student halls of residence are availed. In the same breath, he thanked the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni for not only inspecting the state of the halls on 19th January 2021 but also ensuring that funding for the halls rehabilitation project is prioritized.

Prof. Nawangwe commended NEC on being a professional contractor, noting that all matters arising out of previous projects had been handled within original budgets and time-frames.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials.

“Now that we are in a girls’ hall, every detail matters. We must make this hall look like one that is going to house the future mothers and leaders of this nation so that when they leave, they feel that they have attended a leading university in the world” the Vice Chancellor advised NEC.

Prof. Nawangwe equally urged the Project Consultants led by Dr. Kenneth Ssemwogere, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) to work with the contractor on ensuring that the project works and aesthetics give the hall a fresh new look.

On behalf of NEC, Lt. Gen. James Mugira thanked the Vice Chancellor and leadership of Makerere University for the trust and confidence shown in the Corporation’s capabilities, adding that he was happy as an alumnus of the School of Law to be back to contribute the development of his Alma mater. “This is the third project we are undertaking as the National Enterprise Corporation; we started with the perimeter wall, and we are now at Lumumba Hall where works are at 80-85% completion.”

Lt. Gen. Mugira therefore reassured the Management that NEC would do quality work and try as much as possible to complete the project in time, at a relatively lower cost than other contractors. “With NEC, we bring on board military discipline and we don’t have red tape or bureaucracies; once a decision has been taken, it has been taken” he clarified.

“I want to thank the Vice Chancellor for believing in and promoting local content, because NEC is a local company. With NEC engaging in such a project, we are first of all giving jobs to our young people, we are skilling them, we are saving foreign exchange that would otherwise be repatriated and as a country, we are building capacity” Lt. Gen. Mugira summed up.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa.

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe expressed happiness that the second phase of rehabilitation of halls of residence was finally taking off under the NEC, a contractor that had done quality work on other projects such as the new Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) plant in Jinja.

He noted that the project will provide good grounds for hands-on industrial training for students of quantity surveying, architecture, civil engineering, and other disciplines. Prof. Alinaitwe further observed that the project accords staff the opportunity to not only improve their professional profiles but also practice as consultants within the university premises, “and so we thank the Vice Chancellor for availing us these opportunities.”

The University Secretary and former Guild President, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda shared that the University Leadership looks forward to the rehabilitation works being expedited. “The current student leaders have challenged us that they would like to be around for the commissioning of the finished product and so I hope that we can finish these works and give them an opportunity to account to their electorate.

Prior to the handover ceremony, the parties were taken on a guided tour of the site by the Director, Estates and Works Department, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Warden Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Norah Nalubowa and a host of other officials accompanied by the Chairlady Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi.

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Business & Management

Prof. Hisali, Prof. Yawe handover office to Prof. Bbaale, Prof. Wokadala

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In a vibrant ceremony brimming with nostalgia and optimism, College of Business and Management Sciences-Makerere University (CoBAMS) celebrated the transition of leadership from the accomplished hands of Prof. Eria Hisali and Prof. Bruno L. Yawe to the promising stewardship of Prof. Edward Bbaale and Prof. James Wokadala on Friday 31st May 2024.

The event, attended by esteemed members of the university community, including representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s office and members of the Central Management Team, was a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication that have come to define CoBAMS. The outgoing Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali, and Deputy Principal, Prof. Bruno Yawe, were lauded for their eight years of service, during which they significantly advanced the college’s academic and infrastructural capabilities.

A Legacy of Excellence

Prof. Hisali’s farewell address highlighted the numerous achievements under his leadership. He proudly noted the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations that have greatly benefited the college. “Our MoU with Stellenbosch University provided full PhD scholarships for four Academic Staff Members, while our partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands supported PhD training for two Staff Members. Additionally, the Republic of Korea’s embassy in Uganda granted three PhD scholarships,” he remarked.

Assoc Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) handing over to incoming Deputy Principal Dr. James Wokadala.

These collaborations extended to notable institutions such as ACCA, Prudential Uganda, Addis Ababa University, The University of Rwanda, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and the University of Dar es Salaam, reflecting CoBAMS’ commitment to internationalization and academic excellence. Prof. Hisali also mentioned the development of a Quality Assurance Framework and significant infrastructural proposals, including a new block pending government funding.

The outgoing Principal shared impressive statistics: a fivefold increase in publications from 30 in 2017 to 150 in 2023, expansion of wireless internet coverage to over 90% of the college, and a significant rise in PhD holders among the academic staff to 60%.

Prof. Yawe appreciated all the academic, administrative and support staff that supported his leadership throughout the 8 years of service.

Looking Ahead

Prof. Edward Bbaale, the incoming Principal, expressed his vision to elevate CoBAMS as a global leader in innovative teaching, research, and policy engagement. With over two decades at CoBAMS, including eight years as Dean of the School of Economics, he emphasized his commitment to continuing the progress made by his predecessors. He pledged to prioritize graduate training, faculty research, and the commercialization of innovations, alongside strategic financial initiatives such as the College Endowment Fund.

Prof. Eria Hisali receiving a token of appreciation from memebers of the Administrative Staff at MakCoBAMS.

Prof. James Wokadala, the new Deputy Principal, acknowledged the substantial achievements of the outgoing leaders and outlined his plans to build on their legacy. He aims to foster a supportive and engaging environment by establishing a gym for staff and creating a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).

Heartfelt Farewells and New Beginnings

The ceremony featured heartfelt speeches from various stakeholders, celebrating the contributions of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, representing the academic staff, praised the outgoing leaders for their unwavering support and urged the new administration to continue fostering a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Ms. Caroline Nanono Jjingo, on behalf of the administrative staff, echoed these sentiments, appreciating the open and inspirational leadership style of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. “Throughout their tenure, they have resonated the words of Henry Ross Perot, who said that “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”  She said.

Outgoing Principal Eria Hisali and outgoing Deputy Principal Bruno Yawe cut cake.

The Deputy University Secretary, Mr. Simon Kizito, provided sage advice to the incoming leaders, emphasizing the importance of openness to feedback, leading by example, and maintaining accountability. He reminded them that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and encouraged them to learn from it while prioritizing self-care.

On their part, the support staff appreciated the outgoing leadership for their open door policy and willingness to support all staff especially those experiencing life challenges. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Mr Joseph Ikarokot said there was a season for everything and staff were privileged to have worked with the duo.

A Promising Future

As the new leadership team embarks on their journey, they carry forward a legacy of excellence and a vision for a brighter future. With their extensive experience and commitment to innovation and collaboration, Prof. Bbaale and Prof. Wokadala are well-positioned to steer CoBAMS toward greater achievements and global recognition.

The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting, gifts from the administrative staff, and a reaffirmation of the college’s enduring spirit of unity and progress. The new era at CoBAMS promises continued growth and success, building on the solid foundation laid by Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe.

Some of the staff memebers who were present at the handover ceremony.

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