The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has presented 638 students for the award of degrees and diplomas at the 74th graduation ceremony of Makerere University. Of the 638 students, 20 have graduated with PhDs (7 female, 13 male), 104 with Masters degrees (49 female, 55 male), 3 with a Postgraduate diploma (all male), and 511 with Bachelor’s degrees (220 female, 291 male). During the course of the 74th graduation ceremony that commenced on Monday, 29th January 2024 and will end on 2nd February, 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.
Vice Chancellor commends CAES research output
Addressing the congregation, the Acting Chancellor, also Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe commended the College for the enormous research output that directly addresses national development challenges. “With the growing population, there is need to invest in food security. I commend CAES for the many projects aimed at addressing the challenge.” In 2023, the College through the Department of Agricultural Production trained and exposed 145 different categories of soybean stakeholders from Karamoja including District Agriculture officers, extension workers and local seed business holders to state-of-the-art seed and agronomic production practices and post-harvest handling techniques. Additionally, the College in collaboration with Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) disseminated over 55 metric tons of Soybean foundation seed to the districts of Kalenga, Kabong, Amudat, Nabilatuk, Napak and Nakapiripirit. The College is also responsible for the Soybean component in the current National Oil Seeds Project (NOSP) that is funded by IFAD and the Government of Uganda. This project has a hub in Karamoja operating in the districts of Napak, Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk, Abim, Kabong.
“It is also pleasing to note that the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) under the College has been identified as a premium centre to train quality PhDs in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology and will now be known as an African Host Centre (AHU/C). This will support the production of quality seed adaptive to climate change,” the Vice Chancellor noted. MaRCCI, in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Production at CAES, is charged with training quality PhD students from across Africa to address the human resource gap of highly qualified specialists in the fields of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology. The first cohort of Ten (10) scholars from Benin, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan and hosts Uganda have already commenced their study programs with RSIF funding. Later this year (2024), another group of 4 PhDs from Nigeria and Rwanda will join as cohort 2. This program expects to enroll at least 10 PhDs every year at Makerere University for the foreseeable future with full funding.
The Vice Chancellor also commended the College for developing a cutting-edge solar-powered cooking solution, MakSol Cooker that will revolutionize cooking practices while reducing carbon footprints in households. “The innovation will create positive impact on public health, and mitigate the environmental consequences of traditional cooking practices. We thank the Government of Uganda for supporting this initiative through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).” He equally appreciated the College for a new project aimed at improving tea production and productivity in the country. Funded by the Danish Fellowship Centre under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark, the Project, Nature-based Solutions for Climate-Resilient Tea Production in Uganda (NbS4Tea), is envisaged to sustainably bridge the tea yield gap in Uganda by developing research-based NbS for enhanced climate resilience of tea production systems. Through the project, the research team led by Dr Alex Nimusiima from the Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics and Climatic Sciences will identify and recommend climate resilient tea varieties, develop new methods and knowledge on locally available organic resources and NbS, innovate and deploy affordable irrigation technologies, empower vulnerable communities in tea production and processing, and identify export market strategies to substantially increase tea production and productivity in Uganda.
Status of research and innovations, and aspirations to transform Makerere into a research-led University
Presenting 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. On the aspirations to transform Makerere into a research-led University as stipulated in the 2020/2030 Strategic Plan, the Vice Chancellor explained that with funding from the Government of Uganda through the 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 13 such 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.”
Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award
Through his inaugural Makerere University Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards introduced this year with the aim of appreciating 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 recipients of the awards at CAES are; Prof. Nakimbugwe Dorothy, Prof. John H. Muyonga, Prof. Kaaya Natigo Archileo, and Prof. Mukisa Muzira Ivan from the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, and Prof. Egeru Anthony from the School of Agricultural Sciences.
Appreciation to Government and other development partners
The Vice Chancellor appreciated the Government of Uganda for its continued support to Makerere University. “It would not be possible for v 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.”
FAO Trains CAES Faculty on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN)
The primary objective of this training initiative is to promote knowledge exchange and learning about innovative systems, methods, tools, and best practices in nutrition surveillance.
The School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University has held a four-day training for its staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN). The training held from 26th-29th February 2024 has been conducted at the School premises at the University.
The training initiative emerged from the collaborative efforts of the “Learning Network on Nutrition Surveillance.” The implementation of this initiative is led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This network, fostering connections between policymakers, research institutions, and universities, spans across the countries of Djibouti, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda.
The primary objective of this initiative is to promote knowledge exchange and learning about innovative systems, methods, tools, and best practices in nutrition surveillance. The initiative fosters knowledge exchange on innovative systems, methods, tools, and practices in nutrition surveillance, with a special emphasis on the East, Central, and Southern Africa region, and the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) for Food Security and Nutrition stands as a crucial element within this network.
One of the key contributors to this training initiative is the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), leveraging its two decades of experience. FAO has meticulously designed face-to-face training sessions for professionals in food security and nutrition. Furthermore, they have developed a comprehensive curriculum for graduate and post-graduate students focusing on the IPC for Acute Malnutrition scale (AMN).
This AMN course is crafted to equip graduates with the essential skills for IPC, but also serve as a pathway for IPC certification, enhancing their professional credentials as they embark on their careers. Notably, a similar curriculum addressing acute food insecurity has been successfully implemented at the University of Pretoria, and has worked successfully.
As a significant stride towards expanding the reach of this valuable curriculum, FAO has played a pivotal role in training the academic staff at Makerere University (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition) on both the structure and content of the AMN course curriculum. This strategic partnership aims to facilitate the eventual incorporation of this curriculum into the institution’s offerings.
Facilitating this training was Dr Jannie Armstrong, Integrated Phase Classification’s Learning and Research Coordinator. Dr Armstrong brings a wealth of experience to the table, overseeing the academic liaison portfolio and ensuring that IPC remains informed of developments in food security and nutrition research globally. His commitment is evident through co-developing IPC training materials and contributing as a member of the Technical Development Team.
Over the past 25 years, Dr Armstrong has contributed significantly to food security policy across Asia, Africa, and Europe, working with esteemed organizations such as FAO, WFP, and others. His enduring research interest in food security policy in the Global South reflects his dedication to making a positive impact in this field.
“As educators, we recognize the paramount importance of preparing our students for the evolving workforce, and FAO’s initiative is a testament of our commitment to continuous improvement in teaching and learning, aligning perfectly with our objectives. We express our sincere appreciation for this collaborative effort and are confident that together, we shall rise to meet the evolving needs of our stakeholders both within and outside Uganda,” remarked Dr Hedwig Acham, Senior Lecturer, Department of Food Technology & Nutrition, Makerere University.
More photos from the event.
Dr. Robert Fungo Elected President, Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS)
Dr. Robert Fungo was in November 2023 elected President of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS).
Dr. Fungo is a Lecturer at the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University. His Teaching, Research and Community Outreach is in the Field of Applied Human Nutrition, Food Science and Food Technology. As a Nutritionist and Food Technologist, he is interested in understanding the influence of agriculture and food systems on the nutrition and food security of women and children in low and middle-income African countries (LMIACs).
The Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS) is a conglomeration of nutrition societies of the African nation with the vision to market and sustain nutrition security and national altogether country of Africa. The vision of the Federation is to enhance the visibility, relevance and functionality of FANUS and national nutrition societies, con-jointly to strengthen the functioning and property of national nutrition societies to realize goals, unite and influence nutrition in Africa.
Details about Dr. Robert Fungo please click on the link below:
Call for Papers – Makerere University Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUJAES)
The Editorial Board, Makerere University Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUJAES), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) is receiving manuscripts for consideration for Volume 13, Issue 1 2024 that will come out in June 2024 and Issue 2 slated for December 2024. Manuscripts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For details on MUJAES and guidelines for submission of manuscripts, visit: https://mujaes.mak.ac.ug/. Manuscripts to be considered for publication in MUJAES should be based on original research findings.
For any inquiries, contact; Dr Jeninah Karungi-Tumutegyereize, Editor, MUJAES. Email – email@example.com.
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