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RAN Bulletin: 2023 Highlights



Dear RAN Partners, Collaborators, and Friends,

2023 Festive Season Greetings to you and all your dear ones!

In this issue of our Bulletin, we not only send you and all your dear ones Festive Season Greetings but also continue to leverage the opportunity of sharing about some of the work we have continued to engage in.

This year has been filled with various activities ranging from work to enhance the voices of the indigenous people of Uganda, document and share sustainable pathways in Northern Uganda, scaling the Safe Bangle Technology which is directed towards ending violence against women and men, efforts to improve Tanzania’s education sector with spillover effects to improving education in other countries too especially given context, research capacity strengthening and learning among others.

Enjoy reading.

Prof. William Bazeyo
Chief of Party, RAN


  • Leveraging and Enhancing the Voices of the Indigenous Peoples of Uganda and Combating Child Trafficking in Karamoja, Uganda
    • On August 31, 2023, Makerere University, School of Public Health, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Gulu University Constituent College (GUCC) in Moroto, and Purdue University brought together 89 multidisciplinary researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and donors at a project dissemination workshop in Hotel Africana, Kampala Uganda. The dissemination event featured the findings from six research interventions conducted under the “Voices of the Indigenous People of Uganda” project.
  • Sustainable pathways in Karamoja-Uganda summit
    • USAID/Uganda through its partners held a Karamoja Learning Summit between September 12-14, 2023 in Uganda at Speke Resort Munyonyo. The theme for the Summit was “Sustainable Pathways to Food Security and Economic Growth in Karamoja: Reflecting on a Decade of Investments”. Makerere University School of Public HealthResilientAfrica Network (RAN) was represented by Dr. Julius Ssentongo, Director Operations and Director Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab.
  • SafeBangle: A Guardian Angel for Women’s Safety
    • SafeBangle Technologies, a groundbreaking company dedicated to designing and developing wearable safety tools for women, emerged winner of the prestigious DataFest Vizquest competition organized by Pollicy. The competition run for one month to prepare the 10 teams with exceptional data visualization and storytelling skills.
  • Engagement with the University of Dodoma, Tanzania May 15-16, 2023 in Efforts to improve Tanzania’s Education Sector
  • University Research Engagement and Capacity Strengthening Workshop in Uganda
    • On April 12-13, LASER PULSE convened university leaders and researchers from around sub-Saharan Africa in Kampala, Uganda, to continue their efforts towards strengthening capacity in research leadership and project management at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
  • USAID LASER PULSE Research for Development Learning Summit
  • Community Engagement sharing SafeBangle to end SGBV
    • On March 21, 2023, RAN researchers together with the team working on the SafeBangle under the umbrella of SafeBangle Technologies and Somero Uganda held Focus Group Discussions with the adolescent girls and women of Nakawa (Kinawataka) and Kawempe (Bwaise) to talk about the sensitive and crucial issue of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV).
  • The 2nd Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Kimeza with Voices of the Indigenous Peoples in Uganda at USAID Mission
  • The Voices of the Indigenous People of Uganda
    • Uganda language policy requires rural schools to choose a dominant local language to use as the language of learning and teaching for the first three years of primary school, while English is taught as a subject. The Tepeth and Ik people face the worst case scenario with only a few elders still able to speak So Lang (an ancient language by the Tepeth slowly approaching extinction among the young generation) and Ik, while the majority have adopted Ngakarimojong and other indigenous languages. Most Tepeth and Ik children study and receive language instruction in neighboring Ngkarimojong-dominated schools.
  • USAID Mission Uganda team visit to Mbarara University of Science and Technology
    • On 15th December 2022, teams from the USAID Uganda Economic Growth and Partnership Office visited Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). The teams were represented and led by Ms. Jackie Batanda, USAID Mission Uganda Project Management Specialist (Partnerships), and Mr. Robert Bagyenda together with Ms. Kevin Namulembwa from the USAID Mission Economic Growth Office. This was a learning visit targeting the Batwa Livelihoods Innovation Challenge (BLIC) sub-awardee project on Employing integration of mutual aid groups and informal saving schemes to alleviate gender-based violence among the Batwa in Kanungu.

View the Bulletin


Dr. Martin Aliker – Celebrating A Life Well Lived



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)

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MakRun2018: The Push Towards a Centre that Reflects Dynamism of the 21st Century Student

MakRun2017 Gives Over 190m Roaring Start to Students Centre Project

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Fulbright celebrates 70years of partnership and achievements

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Ngugi revitalizes Pan-Africanism as Mak honours Nyerere

Makerere honours Dr. Martin Jerome Okec Aliker

Mak Immortalizes Prof. William Senteza Kajubi

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



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)

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HERS-EA Seventh Academy



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.


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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