Makerere University has awarded Prof. Leif Abrahamsson a Honorary Doctor of Science in recognition and appreciation of his contribution to the development of Mathematics in East Africa, and particularly in Uganda. The award was presented to Prof. Leif Abrahamsson by the Acting Chancellor, also Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on the first day of the 74th graduation ceremony, Monday, 29th January 2024.
Prof. Leif Abrahamsson, formerly Programme Director at the International Science Programme (ISP), Uppsala-Sweden, and Coordinator of the Bilateral Programme of Sida at Makerere University, has immensely contributed to the development of teaching mathematics, and research capacities in Ugandan universities and globally through quality and mass PhD training and postdocs and research publications. It all started in 2001 when Prof. Abrahamsson convened a meeting of key African Mathematicians from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Ghana, and Kenya in Arusha-Tanzania to discuss the poor state of mathematics in the region then. His initiative under the Eastern Africa Universities Mathematics Programme (EAUMP) later built a solid background for Sida support to Mathematics in the region, which has seen the training of over 30 PhD students, over 20 Master students, and over 15 Postdocs in Mathematics and its Applications in Uganda since 2002.
Presenting Prof. Abrahamsson for the award, Prof. John Mango Magero, Coordinator of Sida Project- 316 Capacity Building in Mathematics and Its Applications informed the congregation that over 100 publications in Mathematics at Makerere University are direct outcomes of Prof. Abrahamsson’s EAUMP and Sida initiatives. “Makerere University and Uganda as a whole are a big beneficiary of Prof. Abrahamsson’s work which rhymes with the country’s Development Plan of developing sciences.”
Prof. Abrahamsson has extended similar contributions to Mathematics in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, Niger, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and some countries in South East Asia (i.e Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar).
Overall, the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) has presented 331 students for the award of degrees of Makerere University. Of these, 12 have graduated with PhDs (1 female and 11 male), 35 with Masters (12 female and 23 male), and 284 with BSc (79 female and 205 male).
During the course of the 74th graduation ceremony, a total of 12,913 graduands will receive degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, a total of 132 students will graduate with PhDs, 1,585 with Masters degrees, 11,016 with Bachelor’s degrees, 156 with postgraduate diplomas, and 24 with undergraduate diplomas. 53% of the graduands are female and 47% are male. In the category of PhD graduands, 46 are female and 86 are male. In the category of students graduating with Master’s degrees, 699 are female and 886 are male.
Remarks by the Vice Chancellor
In his remarks, the Acting Chancellor, also Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the Government of Uganda, parents, guardians, sponsors, and development partners for the enormous financial and moral support provided to the graduands.
Status of research and innovations at Makerere
Commenting on the status of research and innovations at Makerere, the Vice Chancellor noted that as a result of the various partnerships forged over time, the University’s research output in terms of innovations and publications had tremendously increased.
Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award
Through his inaugural Makerere University Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards, in recognition of outstanding performers in research and publication, the Vice Chancellor presented plaques and certificates of recognition to the best five researchers from each of the 10 colleges. Based on the highest number of publications between the year 2017 and 2023 according to the Scopus database, Prof. Moses Robert Kamya and Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze from the College of Health Sciences emerged the best overall male and female researchers. Prof. Moses Robert Kamya has 271 publications and Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze has 153 publications in the aforementioned period.
The five members of staff at CoNAS recognized for their research excellence included; Prof. Charles Masembe form the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences; Prof. Godwin Kakuba and Prof. John Mango Magero from the Department of Mathematics; Dr Godwin Anywar from the Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology; as well as Prof. Robert Byamukama and Dr Patrick Sebugere from the Department of Chemistry.
Speaking about the awards, the Vice Chancellor urged members of staff to continue conducting research on national development priorities as well as matters of global interest. “I also implore you to continue publishing your work in high-impact journals so as contribute to our drive to become a research-led university. Needless to say, the research should lead to patents, copyrights and trademarks, and tangible innovations in the form of products, policy briefs, manuals and others.”
Transforming Makerere into a research-led University
On the aspirations to transform Makerere into a research-led University as stipulated in the 2020/2030 Strategic Plan, the Vice Chancellor noted that with funding from the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the University was supporting PhD research ideas that generate knowledge that addresses national development priorities. “Additionally, through the same fund, we are supporting the commercialization of projects that have demonstrated the potential for scaling up. These commercialization efforts have been complemented by our partners including the UNDP who have supported the establishment of state-of-the-art Innovation Pod, the first of 13such pods to be established across Africa. The Pod will facilitate students to apply design thinking to solve societal problems and will offer collaborative working spaces to enable students create business ideas as well as host community and collaboration building events.”
Appreciation to Government
The Vice Chancellor appreciated the Government of Uganda for its continued support to Makerere University. “It would not be possible for Makerere University to realise all these achievements had it not been for the unwavering support of our Visitor, our Minister, Parliament and the entire Government. I wish to convey our appreciation to H.E. the President and the entire Government for the continued support to Makerere University, especially the support to staff welfare and the Research and Innovation Fund. We once again pledge our commitment to serving our country with maximum dedication through training of highly skilled human resource, research for development and support to Government programmes including the Parish Development Model and measures aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
He also appreciated all stakeholders who are providing scholarships to enable bright, but economically disadvantaged students to attain education at Makerere and to support research and innovation. These include: Makerere University Council through the Female Scholarship Foundation, the Madhvani Foundation, the Government of Uganda through the Higher Education Students Financing Board, Sida of Sweden, the Embassy of China, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Government Ministries, State House, NORAD, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Mellon Foundation, USAID, NIH, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, Centre for Disease Control, ARUA, RUFORUM, IUCEA and many others.
Makerere University Transcripts and Certificates
The Vice Chancellor noted that the University had come up with measures aimed at making the issuance of academic transcripts and certificates very fast and convenient by shortening the clearance process. “With the support of the University Council and Senate, the Department of the Academic Registrar, the Directorate of ICT Support Services, and the leadership at the Colleges, the academic transcripts for students graduating during the 74th graduation ceremony were printed before graduation. The academic transcripts are ready and they are due for issuance to graduands who have satisfied the academic and financial obligations. I therefore urge all our graduands to pick their transcripts from their respective colleges at the end of this graduation ceremony.”
Advice to the students
The Vice Chancellor cautioned the graduands against indiscipline noting that success only comes with discipline and hard work. “With regard to our efforts to continue improving student discipline, I appreciate the First Lady and Hon. Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni for coming up with a programme – the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) aimed at building a critical mass of the next generation of leaders through character building and formation.
Remarks by the Minister of Education and Sports
In her remarks presented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. J.C. Muyingo, the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni congratulated the graduands upon the milestone, and faculty for their unwavering commitment to academic excellence. “The Government of Uganda and the Ministry of Education and Sports are prioritizing the youth because you are very central in the transformation of Uganda. I am glad that the students and youth I am addressing during this 74th graduation ceremony of Makerere University have acquired the academic knowledge and skills, which set the pace for you to come up with ideas that can be turned into business ventures and entrepreneurship sites.”
15 PhD Positions: Human River Systems in the 21st century
Highly qualified applicants from all over the world are invited to apply for the PhD Program “Human River systems in the 21st century (HR21)”. The 15 positions are fully funded and the Doctoral Programme is providing additional resources for conference presentations, retreats etc.
The 15 PhD research topics are:
- Topic 1: Role of hydrological extremes (floods) for sediment transport and morphodynamics in the human-river system
- Topic 2: Material resources demand and flows of hydraulic structures to prevent societal impact of extreme events (social ecology, environmental history)
- Topic 3: Intermittent flow – hydrological effects and impacts on benthic communities, ecological state and functioning of riverine systems
- Topic 4: Drought, low flow and warming – hydrological effects and impacts on the ecological state and functioning of river systems
- Topic 5: Water transit time distributions as indicators for the vulnerability of riverine ecosystems under different pressures from social metabolism
- Topic 6: Analyzing possible contributions of re-activated former watercourses towards a more sustainable transformation of industrialized riverine landscapes in urban areas
- Topic 7: The role of the latest industrial revolutions on instream processes and ecological vulnerability of IRL
- Topic 8: The effects of infrastructure development on ecological and ecosystem service network properties in river systems
- Topic 9: The impact of urban settlements on organic matter and nutrient flows in industrialized riverine landscapes – What can we learn from the past?
- Topic 10: Urban metabolism, a river’s ecohydrology and industrialization: Vienna and the Danube, 1800-2000
- Topic 11: Impact of external organic matter sources on nutrient, sediment and water transport from cropland into streams
- Topic 12: Impacts of bioenergy crops used as riparian buffer strips on stream ecosystems’ functioning
- Topic 13: Sustainable hydropower & and the water-energy-food nexus in multi-stressed IRLs: Challenges and solutions for science & management
- Topic 14: Integrated modelling of farmers’ climate change impact and adaptation appraisal to inform regional human river nexus management
- Topic 15: Strategic planning approaches to territorial governance of industrialized riverine landscapes
For more information, please visit: https://short.boku.ac.at/q9ry2k
Application deadline: 2nd April 2024
Dr. Tugume Patience Wins OWSD Early Career Fellowship
Dr Tugume Patience, a Lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology at the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University is one of the 28 women who have been granted the 2023 OWSD Early Career Fellowship. These scientists will receive up to USD50,000 to lead research projects and establish research groups at their home institutions in 16 countries in the developing world, to maintain an international standard of research and attract scholars from all over the world to collaborate. Funding for the fellowships is generously provided by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
During the 3-year fellowship, fellows will receive specific training to build on their leadership and management skills and develop connections with a variety of public and private sector partners to potentially convert their research into marketable products or guarantee its impact on a broader scale. By improving their communication and outreach skills, fellows will also learn to effectively present their research to various audiences, thus attracting new collaborators and potential funders to ensure the sustainability of the research project.
Dr Tugume’s Project – Biological Systems and Organisms
This project will use various forms of bio-wastes from households and urban centres in Uganda as raw materials for production of biogas, as well as an eco-friendly bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide. Large amounts of unconsumed food are often thrown away in homes and urban centres that could be converted into useful products that would supply energy, enhance agricultural productivity and reduce deforestation. This project will construct anaerobic bio-digester tanks to process different kinds of bio-waste into biogas, a renewable energy source, and evaluate yields of biogas from different bio-wastes and combinations of bio-wastes. It will additionally produce a bio-fertilizer to enrich soil and a bio-pesticide to manage agricultural pests. The project will also equip households with the skills to biologically convert wastes into value-added products, training women and youth in biogas production and usage.
Details on the fellowships at: https://owsd.net/news/news-events/introducing-2023-owsd-early-career-fellows
Congratulations Dr Tugume
CoSTClim – NORPART Call for Applications for Masters Student Mobility to Norway 2024
Makerere University (MAK) in collaboration with Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) and Regional Universities Forum (for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) are implementing a five-year CoSTClim project (Collaborative Action for Strengthening Training Capacities in Climate Risk and Natural Resource management). The main goal of the project is to improve the quality of training, education and research at the partner institutions with a dedicated focus on climate risk, disaster risk management and natural resource management. CoSTClim builds on a range of other capacity development projects funded by the Norwegian Government at the partner institutions, and has a specific focus on education.
One of the components of CoSTClim is student mobility from Uganda to Norway and from Norway to Uganda. Therefore, we are inviting applicants from Makerere University for Masters student mobility scholarships to NTNU for the Autumn semester in 2024. There are five mobility scholarship slots available for this year. The scholarship will cover 5 months (August-December 2024) stay at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. The successful candidates can enroll in selected course units at NTNU as well as leveraging the stay to write their master’s thesis. The width and breadth of available course units from which the candidates can select are found: https://www.ntnu.edu/geography/exchange-students
Limited research supervision will also be given by NTNU staff but the primary supervision responsibility stays with the allocated supervisors at Makerere University or Uganda Martyrs University.
Eligibility and requirements for the mobility applicants
a) The applicant should be a fully registered student in a relevant Masters programme at
Makerere University or Uganda Martyrs University, which aligns to the CostClim
thematic focus area.
b) The focus of the research of the applicant should align strongly to climate risk, disaster
risk management, natural resource management or agriculture.
c) The applicant should be progressing well on the masters programme and within the
stated duration of the programme (2-3years).
Interested and eligible Masters students should send the following;
a) A one page application letter
b) A motivation statement and plan for the time at NTNU (1-2 pages)
c) A letter from the Head of Department attesting to your registration, study status and
progress on your programme.
d) Copies of your undergraduate transcript and partial transcript or HOD endorsed
results for your current studies.
Application with all the required documents should be submitted by email to the contacts
below in one message.
- Yazidhi Bamutaze (for applicants from MAK)- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Runyararo Jolyn Rukarwa – email@example.com
- Charlotte Nakakawa Jjunju – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joseph Sekandi email@example.com
Short listed applicants will be invited to complete educational procedures at NTNU under the
exchange arrangement. A scholarship
The application deadline is Thursday 29th February 2024.
For further details, kindly download the document by following this link.
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