Following his delivery of the keynote address at the first-ever Symposium on National Transformation held on 30th March 2023, Makerere University on Monday 3rd April 2023 once again hosted Professor Vincent Anigbogu for an in-depth presentation to Top Management. Held in the Council Room, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, the interaction was graced by the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara and later, the Presidential Advisor-Special Duties, Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo.
A holder of a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Professor Anigbogu taught his specialization for over twenty years at four different universities in the USA before returning to Lagos, Nigeria in 2006 to pursue his passion, “the development of leaders with leadership and management competencies necessary for the transformation of Africa.” As Director General of the Institute of National Transformation (INT), he, together with his wife and partner, Mrs. Peggy Anigbogu has established training centres in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and London, UK.
“Everyone that goes through the Institute of National Transformation in Uganda today is passionate about Uganda; they actually give their lives to build Uganda. Is that the typical attitude?” Professor Anigbogu paused to ask before clarifying “It has to be taught, and we teach it (at INT).”
He emphasized that it is only individuals who are passionate about Uganda that will transform the nation into ‘The Pearl of Africa’s Crown’, as stated by the third stanza of the National Anthem. Further unpacking the anthem, Professor Anigbogu could not help but appreciate how rich and embodying it is of Uganda’s vision.
Professor Anigbogu therefore urged all faculty in the room to make it their responsibility to teach students values such as Godliness, Unity, Hard work, Peace and Friendship as espoused by the National Anthem. “If you are to talk about changing education and you don’t understand national transformation, you will not be useful.”
Turning to Vision 2040 that aspires to create “A transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years”, Professor Anigbogu stressed that it is Makerere’s responsibility to provide holistic education that produces graduates who are passionate enough to build the nation. “Who is producing the Presidents? Who is producing the Members of Parliament?” he questioned to illustrate his point.
He further emphasized the need for Makerere to go beyond the first level of knowledge generation to producing graduates that are contextually in tune with both national and global trends. On one hand, they ought to be appraised of their personal responsibility in the national development agenda, while on the other hand, they ought to be equipped to weather storms from global trends.
Citing the Global Trends 2025 report produced by the National Intelligence Council USA, Professor Anigbogu noted that the current rise of China, India and other nations, the shift of wealth and economic power from West to East, and rapid population growth among others were predicted close to twenty years ago. “Of what value is education that’s not given in the context of anticipated challenges and opportunities?” he asked.
To achieve the much-anticipated national transformation, Professor Anigbogu noted that it was important for Makerere to produce graduates with the farmer rather than the hunter mentality. He explained that whereas we are all essentially hunters at birth – selfishly craving attention and loudly demanding that all our needs are instantly met, it was important for institutions such as Makerere to mould us into farmers – who are selfless, patient nurturers that regard every opportunity (seed), not as an answer to their immediate need (food) but as holding great potential for the future (a forest).
He noted that whereas lot of what Makerere is doing is good, the day’s interaction was aimed at reflecting on but how it could be done better, so as to have greater impact. He nevertheless concluded that this could only be achieved with a major shift in the way we conduct business.
Sharing his experience as a farmer that processes and markets his products, Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo outlined four interventions that should be undertaken in order to sail through the post-COVID headwinds. Firstly, he noted that venturing into international markets ought not to done blindly, but rather informed by market research conducted by trade representatives.
Secondly, he underscored the need to comply with market standards, which some countries employ as non-tariff trade barriers. Thirdly was the need for the necessary infrastructure to support both present and future investments as well as bring costs of utilities further down. And fourthly, the need for export credit funding to de-risk entry of Ugandan products into foreign markets.
These four interventions, he said, are hinged on research, and the private sector is keen to connect with Makerere University and tap into the resources and expertise herein to generate it. He reiterated that scientists and scientific findings have a strong advocate in the person of the President and Makerere partnering with the private sector would go a long way in amplifying both parties’ critical role of working with Government to reduce poverty.
Following the presentations and interactive discussions, the Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe thanked Professor Anigbogu for sparing time to share great insights with the Makerere Top Management. He observed that some of the pertinent issues touched on needed further deliberation and expressed the University Management’s readiness to go into a retreat and deepen the conversation.
Furthermore, he observed the need to continue the conversation on the central role of the private sector and academia in national transformation. “In addition to initiatives such as setting up incubation hubs and reviving the Makerere University Private Sector Forum, we shall find a framework through which to continue this discussion until the next annual symposium on national transformation.”
Concluding the day’s discussion, the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara admitted that although Makerere continues to produce a lot of research, there was need for increased engagements with Government and the private sector to increase uptake and utilization of findings.
“We want to invite the private sector to come and see what Makerere is doing in the different colleges… creating that framework that will cause the engagement is already in the offing and once it is fully setup and operationalized we will inform faculty of the opportunities that are available” shared Mrs. Magara.
She prayed that the day’s presentations would stir up the staff to continuously reflect on how their teaching and research roles can propel the economy of Uganda forward and achieve national transformation.
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 1,907 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.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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