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Mak, UNDP Commission Innovation pod

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It was a celebration as the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, and the UNDP Resident Representative, H.E. Elsie Attafuah, commissioned equipment worth $1 million for the newly constructed state-of-the-art innovation Pod at Makerere University. The innovation hub is expected to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration among students, researchers and entrepreneurs.

Commissioned on January 9, 2024, the research facility is expected to drive technological advancements in the country. The Innovation Hub aims to provide a collaborative space for entrepreneurs and researchers to develop groundbreaking solutions. The hub will offer state-of-the-art facilities and resources to support the growth of startups and facilitate knowledge sharing. It will also foster networking opportunities and mentorship programs to help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of starting and scaling their businesses. By providing access to cutting-edge technology and expertise, the Innovation Hub will empower entrepreneurs and researchers to push the boundaries of innovation in the country. Additionally, the hub will serve as a catalyst for job creation and economic growth by attracting investors and fostering collaboration between startups and established businesses.

H.E Elsie Attafuah addressing the audience.

The innovation pod houses several sections, which include the food technology section, technology transfer office, two computer-aided design rooms, vitual reality studio, Computerized Numerical Control workshop (CNC), textiles and design lab, electronic maker space, tools workshop, and 3D printing, among others.

While commissioning the facility, H.E Elsie Attafuah, the UNDP resident representative, called on more innovation among the youth and a need to have Ugandans that have a burning desire to change the status quo so that we can develop the country. This, she said, is the only way the African continent will reduce donor dependence.

She underscored the importance of empowering young people and fostering a culture of ambition and determination.

She said the world is changing and technological advancements are happening at a fast rate which calls for the need to cope with the digital world to address the challenges and create opportunities for poverty alleviation among the people.

Prof. Banarbas Nawangwe gifted H.E Elsie Attafuah two books about Uganda.

“We have had uncertainties in the world, and the changes that we are seeing, including those of a political nature, should open our eyes. The COVID pandemic brought changes but also created opportunities for new technologies and digitalization for new possibilities,” Ms. Attafuah said.

Ms. Attafuah said the future is artificial intelligence, and Africa needs to adapt to the new normal.

Prof. Banarbas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, said it is universities that are going to change Africa, and this will only be achieved through conducting a lot of research and creating companies. He shared with the audience the importance of embracing technology and leveraging artificial intelligence for innovation and development in Africa. His dream, he shared, is to see companies born out of research at Makerere University, creating employment for thousands of graduates and driving economic growth.

Dr. Cathy Mbidde (Right) – Ag. Manager innovations Hub showing guests around the innovations pod.

“We are looking at creating innovations that can employ people who are not as privileged as we are. We must deal with population growth because it is worrying to tackle the economic challenges among people,” Prof. Nawangwe said, adding, “Innovation is the heartbeat of development.” It is crucial for us to find solutions that can uplift marginalized communities and ensure inclusive economic growth, he said.

He cautioned against Africa being left behind in the digital era. “Artificial Intelligence is not a choice; it is a necessity that we must embraced” he concluded.

The Vice Chancellor lauded UNDP for the support extend not only to Makerere University but to the whole of Africa.

He urged the student innovators to make good use of the pod to help them in turning their ideas into commercial products.

Some of the equipment that was commissioned.

“We want to ensure that our students leave the university with startup ideas, which are the products they have come up with. This will act as a ladder to get them to where they want to be,” Prof Nawangwe said.

The vice chancellor used the same event to bid farewell to HE Elsie Attafuah following her transfer to Nigeria. 

Mr Nathan Tumuhamye, the head of exploration at UNDP, said the innovation pod is part of the broader UNDP support to the innovation ecosystem within public universities and is being implemented in 13 countries across Africa.

Mr Tumuhamye said the pod will serve students from different disciplines and researchers and it is open to every person who has innovations they want to implement.

He revealed that their ultimate goal is to have a pod that will help youth to create jobs and leave university with business products.

The Innovations

Some innovators took the opportunity to exhibit their ideas. Some of these included Grace Nakyanzi, a third year student pursuing Petroleum Geo-Science and production, who innovated a carbon structure and innovation project designed to mitigate climate changes through capturing carbon dioxide emissions through storing them and repurposing them in various industries.

“This leads to a cleaner and sustainable environment as well as reducing or slowing down the pace of global warming,” she explained.

H.E Elsie Attafuah interacting with Dr. Gabriel Tumwine.

Nakyanzi believes this project will create employment opportunities, technological advancements, and improved air quality among others.

The project is designed in a sense that it captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which can also be collected from the oceans, or from an industry emitting a lot of carbon dioxide.

Dr Gabriel Tumwine, a lecturer at Makerere at College of Veterinary Animal Resources and Biosecurity, has done research in making briquettes. He said his research was driven by the lack of wood fuel to cook food in Butaleja district. He then conducted research that can enable him to make briquettes out of rice husks.

Dr Tumwine said people in Butaleja engage in rice farming from low lands where forests were cut down. And most of these people, he said, only eat rice because they cannot afford wood fuel to boil hard food like beans that take a lot of fuel.

“We did our simple science to see how we can convert husks into briquettes. Firstly, we change the rice husks into carbonation, making it black. And thereafter, we use binders to make them into the sizes we want to turn them into charcoal,” Dr Tumwine said.

Mr. Mulonde Muwanguzi, a first year student from CoBAMS, came up with a cooking stove that uses old oils after realizing that they had refused people to cut down more trees in Uganda and yet the cost of cooking gas is very high.

“We wanted to minimize the costs to enable even the underprivileged to get access to decent cooking methods recommended by the government,” he said adding, “The stove consists of used oils that are put in a tank and a solar power that powers the battery.

He believes the cooking stove is cheaper since a 20 litre jerrycan of used oils costs UG Shs.20,000 compared to a sack of charcoal which goes for more than UG  Shs.150,000.

Matia Ategeka, a graduand of Water and Irrigation Engineering, came up with a water pump that is capable of pumping water without using electricity and solar power to operate.

The water pump is installed in a river or a stream and it keeps rotating as it pumps water being driven by the gravitational force of the flowing water.

Ategeka comes from a village in Kabarole district where they are experiencing a challenge of access to water for irrigation caused by the high cost of pumps available in the markets and maintenance costs.

“We have rivers but accessing water was a problem and when I got a chance and joined Makerere, I sat down and thought of how I can help poor people to solve that problem such that they can access water during the dry season,” Ategeka said.

H.E Elsie Attafuah joined by 89th Vice Guild President Mariat Namiiro (on her right), Vice Chancellor and other innovators to cut the ribon at the commissioning of the equipment.

Joel Felix Ochom, a third year student of Pharmacy also exhibited a new malaria treatment, which he has been researching since 2022. Felix said the drug has undergone various clinical trials in both animals and humans and it has proved to work. “We want to provide cheaper malaria drugs for our population,” he said. The drug, has been packaged as a syrup, capsule and tablet format. The drug, Felix was happy to report has been patented. The dose of 100ml, for an adult cost Shs3000 while that for a child, 50mls costs Shs1500. The team led by Felix has also made mosquito repellent.

Also on display were various varieties of improved cow peas seeds.

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Re-advertisement: Undergraduate Programmes 2024/2025

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A section of the University Road

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from Ugandan, East African, and international applicants for the undergraduate programmes under Government Sponsorship (BVL) and private sponsorship scheme for the 2024/2025 Academic Year.

Each applicant should:

a) Have the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) with at least five passes, or its equivalent and at least two principal passes at Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) obtained at the same sitting. For day programmes only candidates who sat A’ Level in 2023,2022 and 2020 are eligible to apply. For evening, afternoon, and external programmes, a candidate is not restricted on the year of sitting A’ Level.

OR

d) Degree from a recognised/Chartered Institution

Further details on the re-advertised programmes , fees structure, and the procedure of submitting applications can be accessed from the document below:                                            

The closing date for receiving applications for undergraduate admissions is Friday 26th July 2024.                                                           

WARNING:                                                             

  1. Applicants are strongly warned against presenting forged or other people’s academic documents to support their applications for admission.  The consequences, if discovered, are very grave indeed.
  2. Do not buy any other documents not originating from the Academic Registrar’s Office.  Those who buy them do so at their own risk. 
  3. The Academic Registrar has not appointed any agent to act on his behalf to solicit for additional funds other than the application fee stated above.    
  4. Applicants are advised to use the right programme names and codes. The university will not be responsible for any wrong information entered in the system by applicants.     

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Freshers’ Orientation and Registration For 2024/2025 Academic Year

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To All First Year Students;
First Year students (Freshers) are by tradition given an “acclimatization” period of one week
which is referred to as the “Orientation Week”. The Freshers report on Campus one week
earlier than the Continuing students and during this week they are introduced to the key facilities in the University as well as other important aspects of life at the University.

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Admission Lists -Disability, Sports and District Quota Schemes 2024/25

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Students move towards Main Building on University Road

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released the admission list of candidates admitted under the Disability, Sports and District Quota Schemes with Government sponsorship 2024/25 Academic Year.

Kindly follow the links below to access the lists:-

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