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Inaugural Youth & Innovation Expo a Roaring Success

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The inaugural edition of the Youth and Innovation Expo was a roaring success as over 300 innovators showcased their creations and thousands of guests walked through the doors of the Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, as well as traversed the surrounding spaces on 6th and 7th October 2023. Organised by Makerere University in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Expo was held under the theme “Fostering Innovation for Uganda’s Transformational Development”. The event was sponsored by MTN Uganda, while StartHub Africa – a hybrid-social venture curated all the knowledge sessions over the two-day period.

Officially opened by Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 6th October 2023, the Expo was graced by the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara, Resident Representative UNDP Uganda H.E. Elsie Attafuah, Ambassador of Italy to Uganda H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, and the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) Prof. Frank Norbert Mwine among other dignitaries. The Expo was officially closed on 7th October 2023 by the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs Hon. Nyirabashitsi Sarah Mateke.

Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa delivers his keynote address. Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa delivers his keynote address.

Delivering an abridged version of his keynote address, Rt. Hon. Tayebwa could not help but appreciate the strides that Makerere University is making as it transitions from producing job seekers to producing job creators, through initiatives aimed at nurturing youth innovations and youth enterprise. “I want to thank the Country Director UNDP, H.E. Elsie Attafuah and the entire diplomatic corp for this enormous gesture and timing to help Makerere transition.”

Recalling with nostalgia his own academic journey through Makerere, Rt. Hon. Tayebwa could not help but appreciate his Alma mater for not only offering the bedrock upon which he built his career but also according him the opportunity to hone his entrepreneurship skills. “The assurance I can give you is that I might have been a son of a peasant, but I’m no longer a peasant and my children will never be peasants.”

Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa (4th L) with the Guild President-H.E. Robert Maseruka (3rd R), Vice Guild President-H.E. Mariat Namiiro (2nd L) and Panelists: Chairperson of the National Youth Council-Mr. Jacob Eyeru (3rd L), Founder PADShare-Sandra Awili (R) and CEO Chap Chap Africa-Emmanuel Emodek. Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa (4th L) with the Guild President-H.E. Robert Maseruka (3rd R), Vice Guild President-H.E. Mariat Namiiro (2nd L) and Panelists: Chairperson of the National Youth Council-Mr. Jacob Eyeru (3rd L), Founder PADShare-Sandra Awili (R) and CEO Chap Chap Africa-Emmanuel Emodek.

The Deputy Speaker decried the perverse poor saving culture especially among the youth today, noting that “the problem we have is, when we get money, we eat and when we are full, we save. You can’t develop that way”. He reminded the congregation that funders like UNDP are providing seed, while the Government is proving the environment conducive for innovation to thrive, and it was upon the youth to make the most of it and develop successful enterprises that can help grow the Uganda’s tax-to-GDP ratio from the current 13.9%.

In her remarks, the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara thanked H.E. Elsie Attafuah for steering UNDP’s support to nurtur innovation and entrepreneurship at Makerere, noting that the expo was a dream come true. “We are creating a platform that facilitates meaningful engagement between the youth and the various partners to tap into their expertise and experience.”

Mrs. Lorna Magara makes her remarks. Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mrs. Lorna Magara makes her remarks.

The Chairperson of Council equally thanked the Deputy Speaker for sparing time to preside over the Expo’s opening ceremony, noting that Rt. Hon. Tayebwa, while serving as a Council Member wrote the first concept to create a business hub for Makerere University. She added that Makerere is transitioning from a second generation to a third generation university. “Third generation universities are those that not only generate knowledge but also have innovation that is then translated into competitive enterprises that impact society.”

Responding to the “why now?” question that could have been lingering in the audience, H.E. Elsie Attafuah shared that since we live in a world of uncertainties such as covid-19, climate change and wars, “we must invest and we must innovate” to enable us overcome the effects associated with these uncertainties. Furthermore, she noted that in the midst of unevenness in development progress, “we must redouble our efforts by investing in innovations and solutions that will help us progress as a country.”

H.E. Elsie Attafuah addresses the audience at the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023. Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
H.E. Elsie Attafuah addresses the audience at the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023.

Thirdly on the “why now?”, she stressed that the unemployment in Uganda, Africa and other developing countries ought to concern us all. “We must seize this opportunity to create job opportunities for our young people… we can no longer be exporting our wealth and importing poverty into our continent.”

In her fourth and final response to the “why now?”, H.E. Attafuah revealed that development is being unfunded. “We see the trajectory. While development financing is increasing, it is increasing into other spaces and not necessarily the development agenda of Africa,” she noted with concern, before adding “in fact it is moving out of Africa.” The UNDP Resident Representative reminded her audience that whereas overseas development assistance is catalytic, it will not solve the problems of poverty in any country.

H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti makes his remarks. Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti makes his remarks.

Still on the topic of development, H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti acknowledged that the need to match his country’s support to national development is often prioritized in discussions with Ugandan authorities. That notwithstanding, of particular interest to the Embassy has been support to the Ugandan youth, whom the Ambassador admitted showcase amazing creativity.

H.E. Mazzanti gave the example of the Start-up Africa Road Trip project promoted by “BeEntrepreneurs”, an Italian non-profit association created in 2017, that seeks to create inclusive and collaborative ecosystem between young African and Italian start-up companies. “We do this training through road trips and select exclusively the best start-ups in Uganda and as a member of the panel of judges, I am amazed by the creativity and capacity of innovation of start-uppers in this country.”

The best three companies are then sent to Italy to develop their ideas together with Italian start-up companies at the expense of the host Government. In the last six years, the initiative has supported 300 African start-ups through workshops, bootcamps and competitions, as well as reached 3.5million youth in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, H.E. Elsie Attafuah, Mrs. Lorna Magara and other officials interact with one of the exhibitors in the UNDP Tent. Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, H.E. Elsie Attafuah, Mrs. Lorna Magara and other officials interact with one of the exhibitors in the UNDP Tent.

The Youth4Climate is another initiative co-led by the Government of Italy and UNDP to raise awareness of climate change and sustain long-term engagement with youth. “What we want is to create a new class of leaders on climate change for the future” added Ambassador Mazzanti.

“The majority of our population are the youth and we must tap into their energies to move our country and continent forward positively” remarked the Prof. Nawangwe in relation to youth and entrepreneurship. “Makerere has resolved to be a leader in research and innovations because we realize that we must empower these youth to create jobs for themselves and for the other people who are less advantaged than them” he added.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe makes his remarks at the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023. Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe makes his remarks at the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023.

The Vice Chancellor therefore thanked the UNDP for partnering with Makerere to organise the inaugural Youth and Innovation Expo. Additionally, he thanked UNDP for supporting the establishment of the Makerere Innovation Hub, which will accord the students and youth elsewhere the opportunity to develop their ideas, “and move out of these gates with companies in their pockets to go and create jobs for themselves and all other Ugandans.”

In addition to the exhibitors from all ten Makerere University Colleges and other participating entities, the Youth and Innovation Expo featured a fireside chat (ekyooto) by H.E. Elsie Attafuah and Mrs. Lorna Magara, five knowledge sessions, and a free medical camp by the Makerere University Hospital and the Nakasero Blood Bank. The two-day event also featured an Art and Fashion Exhibition by the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts (MTSIFA), a Fashion Show, Entertainment Corners by various partners and the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) as well as Food Vendor Stalls.

Please click the embedded video below to view proceedings of the Youth and Innovation Expo.

The Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, Day 1, 6th October 2023, Makerere University.

General

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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