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Uganda’s IGE Fellows (2023) Inaugurated: -Challenged to Analyse the Underpinnings of Biomass Dependence in Uganda

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Uganda’s Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) 2023 Cohort has been inaugurated at Makerere University at a function that was presided over by the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences Associate Prof. Eria Hisali.

The ceremony held on 26th July 2023, was witnessed by the Dean School of Economics Associate Professor, Ibrahim Okumu and the Director EfD-Mak Centre Prof. Edward Bbaale.
This is the second Uganda’s IGE Cohort composed of six fellows that were appointed by the Permanent Secretaries from Government ministries and Agencies in response to the letter from the EfD-Mak centre and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda.

Two fellows were appointed from each ministry and one agency. They are; Eng. Ssekitoleko Simon Peter (Assistant Commissioner) and Tony Joshua Mwesigwa (Economist) from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development; Mr. Kandwanaho Jonan ( Senior Planner Chemical Industries) and Kebirunge Elizabeth (Planner, Natural Resources and Environment) from the National Planning Authority; Mr. Paul Byamugisha (Senior Climate Finance Officer) and Ms. Flavia Namagembe (Climate Finance Officer) from the newly established Climate Change Financing Unit , Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Presiding over the inauguration, Prof. Eria Hisali welcomed the IGE fellows and thanked them for taking interest in the EfD activities adding that the university looks forward to an enduring relationship.

The Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali welcomed the IGE Fellows on behalf of university management
The Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali welcomed the IGE Fellows on behalf of university management

As part of the inaugural activities, a policy dialogue on, “The Dangers of Biomass Utilisation and Adoption to Renewable Clean Energy in Uganda”, was held.

Reports according to Prof. Hisali suggest that up to 90% of Uganda’s energy is based on utilisation of biomass while in the rural areas, up to 100% of the energy used is from biomass.
Continuing on that path especially certain biomass like charcoal, the Principal urged that is not only unsustainable, but also an existential threat that fits into environmental degradation seen in climate change.

Prof. Hisali also reported that the livelihood for the bulk of Ugandan people derives directly from nature hence, any threat from environment to the climate becomes a big challenge that all must take interest in addressing.

“The question then we should be asking as we discuss biomass is, “Do we all -those in government, civil society and the people in the rural and urban centres understand the dangers of biomass reliance the same way. Or is it rather the case that once you see food on your table, it does not matter what has gone into the preliminary processes?”

Hisali contends that the different stakeholders are at different levels of appreciation of the extent of the problem at hand. He called for the need to harmonise all stakeholder’s appreciation of the problem.

“Once we have the harmonisation, then, we can begin discussing issues of adoption. In the process of building a harmonised understanding, we should also try to find out what is mediating the behaviour that we see because what we see is a behavioural decision making issue. Is it poverty..? because even when we make very good recommendations on adoption of clean and renewable energy in Uganda, without taking first in consideration what is mediating these decision making, then it will be like any other discussion”. He added

He advised colleagues in the EfD-Mak Centre to graduate to preparing background papers that give a proper context and anchor while commissioning studies.

Fellows Challenged to Diagnose and Understand the Underpinnings of Biomass Dependence in Uganda in order offer correct innovative energy options

Assoc. Professor Ibrahim Okumu making his welcoming remarks

Hisali informed the IGE fellows that discussion for the day gives them a sense of the challenges ahead and to which they must contribute solutions.

Whereas the fellows will be coming to the university, the Professor warned that the centre will not take an entirely academic approach but rather to have an engagement that is practical and one that speaks to the realities of the challenges seen by all in the environment.

“You are privileged that you are doing practical work and having knowledge of the problems faced in Uganda… be as practical as possible and share your experiences as the only way to understanding the extend of the problem and what is causing it to correctly figure out correct measures to address these problems”, Hisali advised.

The Dean School of Economics Assoc. Prof. Ibrahim Okumu hailed the EfD Mak secretariat for continuing with the research agenda of the Makerere university and sustaining the visibility of university within the space of matters concerning the environment.

“Today we are speaking on an issue of Biomass that is central to the existence to mankind and a threat to livelihood. We have had the loss of forest cover which is a threat to the ecosystem that forests serve”, The Dean noted.

The EfD-Mak centre according to Dr. Okumu is committed to engaging with government through the IGE fellows to speak on matters of debate regarding the environment.
“Our interest in engaging the IGE Fellows is to ensure that we can visibly and with real impact have our foothold into policy space and indeed IGE fellows are our foot soldiers in that policy space.
I hope that through the capacity building that you will pick up through this process will impact your policy engagement”, He said.

Mr. Peter Babyenda presenting the background paper

Presenting the background paper, the IGE Engagement Specialist Mr. Peter Babyenda said the reliance on biomass energy is a key global challenge toward environmental protection and reversing climate change effects.

Globally, Babyenda said, over 3 billion people rely on biomass energy to meet their energy requirements while in SSA, over 900 million people mainly rely on biomass fuels for cooking.

Centre Director, Principal, Dean and representaives from government ministries and agencies and IGE fellows , pose for a group photo

“In Uganda , over 85 percent of the population uses firewood and 13 percent use charcoal for cooking.

An additional 2.3 million tons of tree biomass is consumed in brick making and by educational institutions, among others”. Mr. Babyenda report.

Please click on the attachment for details on Biomass utilisation in Uganda below:

Business & Management

PIM centre trains 40 in financial analysis

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Some of the participants that took part in the financial analysis training organised by the Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence, Makerere University. Financial Analysis of Public Investment Training by the PIM Centre of Excellence, CoBAMS, Makerere University, 29th Jan-9th February 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence has completed training for over 40 officers in financial analysis of public investment. The training has equipped them with the necessary skills to make informed decisions and effectively evaluate investment opportunities. The 2-week training (Jan 29–Feb 9) took place in Jinja, and covered topics such as financial modeling, risk assessment, and investment strategies. Speaking at the close of the training, Prof. Edward Bbaale, the principal investigator, said the students have gained valuable skills and knowledge that will enable them to confidently analyze and make informed decisions regarding investment opportunities. “The training has been a great success, and we believe it will have a lasting impact on their future careers,” Prof. Bbaale said. He appreciated the faculty members who were drawn from Makerere University, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, the National Planning Authority, and Cambridge Resources International for their valuable contributions and commitment to the program. Prof. Bbaale called on the trainees to be ambassadors of the PIM cenrtre of Excellence. He emphasized the importance of spreading knowledge and promoting the program’s mission. He also encouraged them to actively engage with stakeholders and help build partnerships for the further success of the program.

Some of the over 40 participants pose for a group photo with the centre manager, Dr. Kagarura Willy (Squatting Front Row Centre). Financial Analysis of Public Investment Training by the PIM Centre of Excellence, CoBAMS, Makerere University, 29th Jan-9th February 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

Prof. Bbaale thanked the government of Uganda through MoFPED for the financial support towards the centre’s activities, which include training and capacity building, research, and advisory services to the government. Additionally, he expressed gratitude to the dedicated staff members and participants for their commitment and contributions to the program’s achievements. He thanked the centre manager, Dr. Kagarura Willy for his exceptional leadership and guidance throughout the program. On this part, the Dean, School of Economics, Prof. Ibrahim Mike Okumu expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders involved. He called on the participants to be good ambassadors of the centre. He also encouraged them to utilize the knowledge gained from the program to make a positive impact in their respective fields. He emphasized the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing for the advancement of their professions.

Participants in session. Financial Analysis of Public Investment Training by the PIM Centre of Excellence, CoBAMS, Makerere University, 29th Jan-9th February 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

One of the officials that undertook the training, Mr Nicholas T, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and stated that he is committed to applying the skills and insights acquired to drive innovation and excellence at his job. He believes that through collaboration and knowledge sharing, professionals can collectively work towards the advancement of their professions.

Participants tour the Source of the Nile Project Construction site. Financial Analysis of Public Investment Training by the PIM Centre of Excellence, CoBAMS, Makerere University, 29th Jan-9th February 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The centre trained over 40 participants from government Ministries, departments, and private organizations. The team undertook field studies at the Source of the Nile construction project and the Nalubale Electricity Generation Plant.

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Business & Management

Job Opportunity FamilEA Study: Research Assistant (20 Positions)

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An aerial photo of the School of Statistics and Planning (Right) and other colleges CEDAT, CoNAS, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

The Department of Population Studies (DPS) at the School of Statistics and Planning (SSP) is conducting a study on “The Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FamilEA)”. The main aim of the study is to map out the shifting family landscape of residents in Kampala Metropolitan (Kampala, Mukono, and Wakiso), including family networks based outside the study area, which is termed the family archipelago. This project will adopt a mixed method (quantitative-qualitative) approach that will extend beyond the household and conjugal family to the extended family and family-like relationships, such as friendships. The project seeks to recruit 20 research assistants.

Position: Research Assistant (20 positions)
Reports to: Field Supervisors / Research Coordinator
Duty Station: Kampala Metropolitan Area (Kampala, Mukono, and Wakiso)

Key duties and responsibilities

  1. Participate in all training, pre-test activities, and pilot surveys.
  2. Recruit research participants for the FamilEA survey.
  3. Administer informed consent forms to all study participants.
  4. Conduct interviews in line with the research project requirements and ethical considerations.
  5. Review and submit data for completed interviews for daily cross-checking and verification.
  6. Ensure completeness and accuracy of the data from the study participants.
  7. Safe and responsible handling of all study tools and equipment provided for the interviews.
  8. Submit daily field reports/timesheets.
  9. Perform other duties related to data collection and management.

Relevant Education Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in Demography, Population Studies, Statistics, Quantitative Economics, Business Statistics, Sociology, Social Sciences, Records and Archives Management, or any related discipline. Postgraduate training is an added advantage.

Required Experience & Skills

  1. Minimum experience of at least one (1) year of electronic survey data collection using tablets (Redcap, KoboCollect, ODK or SurveyCTO)
  2. Experience working in Kampala Metropolitan Area (Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso).
  3. Fluency in the following languages: Luganda, and English (both written and oral).
  4. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  5. Ability to deliver outputs under minimal supervision.
  6. Good teamwork attributes.
  7. Ability to adhere to protocols and guidelines for data collection.

Desirable: Knowledge of other languages e.g. Lusoga, Runyakitara, and Luo

How to Apply

Submit one PDF of the following 4 documents (in the order below):

  1. Cover letter (signed)
  2. CV (Maximum 5 pages)
  3. Copy of degree certificate/transcripts
  4. Copy of National ID

Notes

  1. The PDF must be named as follows: FirstName_LastName_Research Assistant Application
  2. Submission email: famileauganda@gmail.com
  3. Submit by midnight of the 18th February 2024.
  4. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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Business & Management

The Actuarial Mega Conference 2024: Unlocking the Future of Pensions & Insurance

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Dr. Felix Wamono and Dr. James Wokadala. Actuarial Mega Conference 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

As the Actuarial Mega Conference 2024 unfolds at Makerere University‘s Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, its impact resonates particularly powerfully among the students of actuarial science. Organized with precision by the Makerere Actuarial Society, this conference serves as a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable insights, connect with industry professionals, and deepen their understanding of the evolving landscape of pensions and insurance in Uganda.

The conference provides a platform for students to engage directly with keynote speakers renowned for their expertise in actuarial science. These sessions offer students a firsthand glimpse into the real-world applications of their academic pursuits, bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Dr. James Wokadala. Actuarial Mega Conference 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Presentations and panel discussions expose students to cutting-edge concepts, methodologies, and technological advancements in the field. This exposure equips them with a forward-thinking mindset and an understanding of how their academic foundation aligns with industry trends.

The networking sessions serve as a unique opportunity for students to connect with professionals, fellow students, and potential mentors. These connections extend beyond the conference, providing students with a valuable network that can support their academic and professional journey.

Dr. Felix Wamono. Actuarial Mega Conference 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Moreover, the conference facilitates interactions with official partners Prudential Assurance and Kenbright, Uganda Insurer’s Association, Insurance Training College, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority, Britam, The Actuarial Association of Uganda, Sky Reinsurance Brokers, creating avenues for students to explore internship opportunities, industry collaborations, and potential career paths within the sectors of pensions and insurance.

By bringing together academia and industry under one roof, the Actuarial Mega Conference 2024 not only imparts knowledge but also empowers students with the tools and connections needed to thrive in their future careers. This live experience at Makerere University is a catalyst for the personal and professional growth of students in actuarial science, unlocking doors to a future where their contributions shape the landscape of financial security in Uganda.

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