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Empowering ABS Professionals: Makerere University’s Triumph in Hosting a Successful Stakeholders’ Consultation & Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol

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By Laban Lwasa

In a resounding success, Makerere University hosted the Stakeholders’ Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development on December 12, 2023. The event, held at the esteemed Telepresence Center in Makerere University, Kampala, drew participants from diverse backgrounds, converging to deliberate on vital aspects of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and the evolution of academic programs.

Guided by the Principal Investigator, Dr. Esther Katuura, the workshop marked a pivotal moment in advancing knowledge on ABS issues in Uganda. Building on the success of previous initiatives, this event aimed to foster collaboration and dialogue among stakeholders, bringing together a diverse group of participants ranging from academics to industry experts.

The day commenced with insightful presentations, setting the stage for rich discussions on critical topics such as the Nagoya Protocol, the role of higher institutions in ABS mechanisms, national regulatory frameworks, and the intersection of Indigenous People and Local Communities with genetic resources. Dr. Katuura reiterated the project’s overarching goal: to conserve Uganda’s genetic resources and traditional knowledge, ensuring equitable and sustainable access to the benefits derived from their utilization.

The Deputy Principal, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Prof. Juma Kasozi (with microphone) and the Director Quality Assurance, Dr. Cyprian Misinde (seated) at the workshop. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Deputy Principal, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Prof. Juma Kasozi (with microphone) and the Director Quality Assurance, Dr. Cyprian Misinde (seated) at the workshop.

The Principal of the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), represented by the Deputy Principal, Prof. Juma Kasozi, welcomed attendees and underscored the significance of the workshop in shaping Makerere’s ABS narrative. A keynote presentation by the Director of the Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD), Dr. Cyprian Misinde, set the stage, delving into the intricacies of the Curriculum Development Process.

The Dean of the School of Biosciences, CoNAS, Prof. Arthur Tugume. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Dean of the School of Biosciences, CoNAS, Prof. Arthur Tugume.
Presenter from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Mr. Achuu Peter. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Presenter from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Mr. Achuu Peter.

The Dean of the School of Biosciences, Prof. Arthur Tugume, outlined the workshop’s objectives, emphasizing the critical role it plays in the broader ABS project’s success. The spotlight then turned to the Presenter from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Mr. Achuu Peter, providing insights into the current status of the Nagoya Protocol and ABS in Uganda.

Canon Goddy Muhumuza Muhanguzi from the Intellectual Property Management Office. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Canon Goddy Muhumuza Muhanguzi from the Intellectual Property Management Office.
The Makerere University Innovation Centre, Ag. Manager, Dr. Cathy Ikiror Mbidde. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Makerere University Innovation Centre, Ag. Manager, Dr. Cathy Ikiror Mbidde.
Presenter from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), Mr. Innocent Akampurira. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Presenter from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), Mr. Innocent Akampurira.

A refreshing tea break and a group photo interlude set the scene for UNCST’s presentation by Mr. Innocent Akampurira on the Nagoya Protocol and ethical considerations in research. The Makerere University Innovation Centre, Ag. Manager, Dr. Cathy Ikiror Mbidde, and Canon Goddy Muhumuza Muhanguzi from the Intellectual Property Management Office delved into Intellectual Property Registration of Traditional Knowledge and Commercialization, shedding light on the complex yet vital facet of ABS.

The Head, Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology, and Biotechnology, CoNAS, Dr. Jamilu Ssenku. Stakeholders' Consultation and Sensitization Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and Curriculum Development held on December 12, 2023. Telepresence Center, Level 2, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Head, Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology, and Biotechnology, CoNAS, Dr. Jamilu Ssenku.

The mid-morning sessions brought forth a comprehensive understanding of the role of universities in ABS, paving the way for a pivotal presentation on the new curriculum. Led by the Head of the Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology, and Biotechnology, Dr. JamiluSsenku, this segment introduced the BSc in Applied and Economic Botany, aligning academic pursuits with the evolving landscape of ABS.

A significant outcome of the workshop was the identification of key stakeholders for consultation on the new curriculum for the Bachelor of Economic Botany. This strategic step ensures that educational programs align with current ABS principles and practices, equipping students to navigate the complexities of genetic resource access and benefit-sharing.

As the workshop concluded, participants left with a renewed sense of purpose, committed to championing the cause of ABS in Uganda. Dr. Katuura expressed her gratitude to all participants, emphasizing the importance of their contributions in shaping the project’s direction. Makerere University‘s ongoing leadership in ABS education and advocacy is evident in the success of this workshop, setting a promising tone for future endeavors.

The Stakeholders’ Workshop stands as a testament to Makerere University‘s unwavering commitment to creating a lasting impact on the conservation and sustainable use of Uganda’s genetic resources. The journey continues, with Makerere University at the forefront of ABS education and advocacy, empowering professionals and shaping a more sustainable future.

Laban Lwasa is the Senior Administrative Assistant, Makerere University, Grants Administration and Management Support Unit (GAMSU).

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Dr. Martin Aliker – Celebrating A Life Well Lived

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Dr. Martin Aliker (2nd L) shakes hands with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd R) at the successful conclusion of the Second Edition of the Makerere University Endowment Fund (MakEF) Run (MakRun) on Sunday 25th March 2018 as Prof. William Bazeyo (L) and Dr. Florence Nakayiwa (R) witness.

The Makerere University Council, Senate, Alumni and the entire students’ community has learnt with great sorrow of the death of your beloved head, Dr. Martin Aliker. Please accept our sincerest condolences during this trying time.

Dr. Aliker joined Makerere College then in 1948 and shortly thereafter received a scholarship to join Northwestern University, Illinois where he earned a Bachelor of Political Science. Being an ardent student, he also earned a Fulbright Fellowship at Northwestern University, and graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery, later becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Aliker has throughout his long and well-lived life projected an enviable brand, reflective of a professional and hardworking gentleman who has excelled in all walks of life as a distinguished alumnus, scholar, influential business leader, entrepreneurial mentor, and one of Uganda’s and indeed Africa’s and the Commonwealth’s leading senior citizens.

The name Dr. Martin Aliker has stood the test of time as one attributable to dedicated service with impeccable integrity, tested and proven business acumen, making him a distinguished source of inspiration to both the young and old. It was therefore with great pride that Makerere University on 17th July 2014 appointed him as the Chairperson of the pioneer Board of Trustees in charge of the Makerere University Endowment Fund (MakEF).

Under his stewardship, the Inaugural Board had at the end of their term in 2019 grown MakEF’s onshore fund from nothing in 2014 to UGX 1.5 Billion, while the offshore fund was valued at 1.5 Million GBP.

We remain forever thankful to God for the gift of Dr. Martin Aliker’s inspirational life and pray that the good Lord will comfort you his beloved and rest his soul in eternal peace.

Umar Kakumba (PhD)
AG. VICE CHANCELLOR

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Prof. Justin Epelu-Opio, Our Longest Serving DVC Rests

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It is with great sorrow, that the Makerere University Council, Senate, Alumni and the entire students’ community has learnt of the death of Prof. Justin Epelu-Opio.

Our heartfelt consideration goes out to the family upon the loss of a loving Father, Grandfather, Mentor, Son and dear friend. Please accept our sincere condolences. We commit you to God our Father, who alone knows the plans He has for each and every one of us.

Prof. Epelu-Opio was our longest-serving Deputy Vice Chancellor (1993 – 2004), and the last to serve in that position before the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act enacted the two positions of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration). He was not only a great administrator, but also a great academic who selflessly contributed to Makerere University’s transformation. He served humanity with a lot of dedication and touched many lives in Uganda and beyond.

On 16th February 1973, Epelu-Opio took up his appointment as Lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy, in the then Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He embarked on his PhD in Veterinary Anatomy the same year and completed it in 1976. Prior to that, he had completed his Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine (1967 – 1971) and Master of Science in Veterinary Anatomy (1971 – 1973) both from the University of Nairobi.

Prof. Epelu-Opio was an ardent student who during his undergraduate studies at the University of Nairobi served as Research Assistant to Prof. RR Hofmann and Prof. Frederick Ian Bantubano Kayanja. He carried on this passion into his graduate studies, where he served as Temporary Technician and Demonstrator to undergraduate students in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nairobi.

Shortly after completing his PhD, in 1977 he took up the role of Senior Scientific Officer with the Animal Productivity Research Unit (APRU) of the National Committee for Scientific Research (NCSR) in Lusaka, Zambia, until 1982.

Upon his return, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in the then Department of Veterinary Anatomy, a position he held until 1984 when he was appointed to the rank of Associate Professor in the same Department.

In 1985, he was sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a four-month course in Animal Reproduction at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Uppsala University, Sweden, with emphasis on Radioimmunoassay techniques for assessing reproductive performance. That same year, he was appointed Head, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, a position he held until 1990.

During his time as Head of Department, in 1989 Prof. Epelu-Opio was appointed to the rank of Professor. In 1993, he was appointed Deputy-Vice Chancellor, a position he held until he attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 in 2004. He presided over this office during the delicate time when Makerere transitioned from admitting strictly Government-sponsored students to accepting privately-sponsored students. We are grateful that this worked out well and under his supervision, many deserving Ugandans gained access to quality University education.

Beyond the gates of Makerere, Prof. Epelu-Opio was a respected Statesman and elder, whose work as the pioneer Chairman of the Presidential Commission for Teso contributed to the restoration of peace in the sub-region. We are grateful that as a prolific writer, he documented his efforts in; Teso War 1986-1992: Causes and Consequences, a book published by Fountain Publishers.

We therefore stand with the Epelu-Opio family, friends, the Uganda Veterinary Association and all those whose lives he touched upon the loss of this great man. We are nevertheless comforted by the fact that this gallant alumnus did not hide his candle under the covers but lit so many other candles, which will continue to shine bright and perpetuate his legacy.

We remain forever thankful to God for the gift of Prof. Justin Epelu-Opio’s life and pray that the good Lord will rest his soul in eternal peace.

Umar Kakumba (PhD)
AG. VICE CHANCELLOR

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HERS-EA Seventh Academy

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Participants listen to Prof. Maggie Kigozi deliver her keynote address at the HERS-EA Sixth Academy on 3rd July 2023. Photo: Twitter/@HadjahBadr. Grand Global Hotel, Makerere Kikoni, Kampala Uganda. East Africa.

Overview

Higher Education Resource Services, East Africa (HERS-EA) Academy provides an intensive leadership and management development curriculum which equips women with skills needed to advance their personal career development and successfully navigate the institutional environment where they operate. The goal of the HERS-EA training is to raise the proportion of women in leadership and management positions in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Eastern Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda).

The program is focused on managing and leading change, human resource development and institutional effectiveness. The Academy prepares every participant to strengthen and expand her leadership skills by working closely with HERS-EA resource persons and staff. Participants will find the Academy to be a safe environment to share confidential matters.

Following six previous successful Academies, the Seventh HERS-EA ACADEMY will be offered in a one-week blended (virtual and in-person) format (July 19 – 25, 2024), we hope you can be part of the success story. This Academy will be a special one because we expect to be joined by collaborative researchers from USA, it will be part of the 10th Anniversary and it will be hosted by Gulu University in Northern Uganda. It will also include an excursion to a refugee camp, to generate further collaborative research ideas and another, to Murchison Falls National Park, for our wellbeing and reflection session; you won’t want to miss it!

Theme: “Rethinking Women Leadership for the 21st Century

Please see Downloads below for details and the application form.

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