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CHUSS Presents the highest number of PhDs & Best Humanities Student at the Mak 74th Graduation

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During the Mak 74th Graduation ceremony, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) was recognized for outstanding performance. Besides leading in the production of the highest number of Doctoral candidates, CHUSS delivered the overall best humanities student and 85 UPDF officers who graduated with Diplomas and degrees in defence and security studies.

The college was also honored for  delivering the First Black African Recipient of the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award”,  and  its staff appointments on regional and internal bodies and partnerships bearing fruits. Six members of staff were also announced   for the Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards 2023. The college was hailed for  authoring the centennial book highlighting the 100 years of the university service to humanity that was launched by the First lady and Minister of Education and Sports.

30 PhD candidates presented

Some of the the PhD Graduands in a group photo at the Freedom Square. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the the PhD Graduands in a group photo at the Freedom Square.

For the third time, CHUSS presented the highest number of PhDs totaling 30 out of 132 PhDs across the ten colleges representing 23%. The college also presented 260 Masters graduands out of 1585 across colleges a percentage share of 16.4% becoming the second to the College of Health Sciences. CHUSS also presented 1366 candidates for the award of Bachelor’s  degrees, out of 11,016 ( 0.1%) and 45 postgraduate diploma candidates  out of 156  (29%) across colleges. In total, the college presented close to 2000 candidates during the 5th session of the Mak 74th graduation ceremony held on 2nd February 2024.

The Principal CHUSS Prof. Josephine Ahikire presented the Doctoral Candidates. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Principal CHUSS Prof. Josephine Ahikire presented the Doctoral Candidates.

Presiding over the graduation ceremony, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe commended CHUSS leadership and staff for the consistent leadership in graduate output.

“This is a groundbreaking achievement. We congratulate the college leadership led by Prof. Josephine Ahikire for maintaining the lead in graduate output for three consecutive graduation ceremonies. Our  goal is to graduate at least 200 PhDs per year in response to the World Bank call of at least 100,000 PhDs for Africa over the next 10 years, in order to pull our continent out of poverty”, Prof. Nawangwe appreciated

85 UPDF officers presented for graduation

A section of the UPDF officers in a group photo at the  Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A section of the UPDF officers in a group photo at the  Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility.

The college presented 85 Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) generals, senior and junior staff officers who graduated with masters, bachelors and diplomas after completing studies in different disciplines related to defence, security and medical studies.The Vice Chancellor applauded CHUSS for this partnership noting that, it was historical.

“This is historical in the lifetime of Makerere and the UPDF where for the first time, a huge number of officers from our affiliated institutions of the National Defence College Uganda and Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka  are  walking away with awards. We congratulate Brig.  Flavia Byekaso, Brig. Gen. Ruteran and Col. Edith Nakalema and the entire security team upon this achievement.”        

UPDF officers sing to the national anthems during the graduation ceremony in the Freedom Square. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
UPDF officers sing to the national anthems during the graduation ceremony in the Freedom Square.

The Best Humanities Student Awarded

CHUSS also presented the best performing undergraduate student in the humanities. Mr.Tusubira Silas Wamala  graduated with a Bachelor of Chinese and Asian Studies and tied with Atukunda Kevin of the  a Bachelor of International Business (MUBS),  with a CGPA of 4.84 out of 5.0.  The students received plaques and one million shillings each from Makerere University Convocation chaired by Mr. George Turyamureeba.

Mr. Tusubira Silas Wamala displays his plaque. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Tusubira Silas Wamala displays his plaque. 

Assoc. Prof. Susan Kiguli’s Lifetime Achievement Award highlighted

The Vice Chancellor reported that on the global Scene,  CHUSS  delivered the First Black African recipient of the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” in Italy at the Vercelli Seminar in August 2023. Makerere‘s Poet and Literary scholar, Assoc. Prof. Susan Kiguli who denounces violence and abuse of power in the black context was at the centre of the festival and Chief guest. Kiguli’s first book in Italy  titled, The Weeping Lands” was published and launched fetching  another prize called, the “Ali sul Mediterraneo Libri & Cultura” international award.”

Hon. Peace Regis Mutuzo, One of the PhD candidates receives her certificate from the Vice Chancellor. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Hon. Peace Regis Mutuzo, One of the PhD candidates receives her certificate from the Vice Chancellor.

Six members of staff Receive the Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards 2023

Prof. Nawangwe reported that as a result of the various partnerships forged over time, research output in terms of innovations and publications has increased. The Vice Chancellor announced  the inaugural Makerere University Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards, in recognition of outstanding performers in research and publication.

The award was based on the highest number of publications between the year 2017 and 2023 according to the Scopus database. Health Science Professors Moses Robert Kamya and Rhoda Wanyenze emerged as the Best Overall Male and Female Researchers respectively. Prof. Moses Robert Kamya has 271 publications and Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze has 153 publications in the aforementioned period.

Some of the CHUSS faculty during the procession. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the CHUSS faculty during the procession.

The Vice Chancellor recognized and congratulated six CHUSS researchers listed and published in the Graduation Booklet and the Mak News Magazine. The researchers were honored by the Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of Makerere University during the Convocation luncheon held at Makerere University Convocation House.

CHUSS best researchers included: Assoc. Prof. Walakira Eddy, Dr. Neema Stella, Dr. Baluku  Martin, Dr. Kizito Simon, Dr. Mabingo Alfdaniels and Assoc. Prof. Twikirize Mwende Janestic. 

Prof. Nawangwe urged all staff to continue conducting research on national development priorities as well as matters of global interest and publishing their work in high-impact journals so as contribute to Makerere’s drive to become a research-led university. He also advised on the need for the research to lead to patents, copyrights and trademarks, and tangible innovations in the form of products, policy briefs, manuals and others.

Some of the Masters candidates being awarded their degrees in the Freedom Square. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the Masters candidates being awarded their degrees in the Freedom Square.

Partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Vice Chancellor extended gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through its Royal Embassy in Uganda as one of the development partners working with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University. Nawangwe reported that the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and Makerere University have worked on several projects including a grant that benefited close to a hundred students who received bursaries to study Arabic at Makerere University and ICT equipment which have supported the teaching of Arabic language in the School of Languages, Literature and Communication.

“We also acknowledge the generous support to our moslem staff to fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam- Pilgrim to Mecca. We are also grateful for the ongoing initiatives being made to establish the Centre for Arabic Language Studies at CHUSS, support training and research in Oil and Gas, ICT and Engineering”. The Professor acknowledged.

Prof. Lyn Ossome, Director MISR elected President of CODESRIA 2023-2026

Prof. Lyn Ossome attending the graduation ceremony. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Lyn Ossome attending the graduation ceremony.

In his speech, the Vice Chancellor  reported that the university participated in the 16th Council for Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa (CODESRIA) General Assembly on 4th to 8th December 2023 that was held in Dakar, Senegal where Prof. Lyn Ossome was elected president. The University also received a donation of 79 books from CODESRIA which were delivered and presented to the university library.

Launch of the Makerere University @100 book

Prof. Nawangwe informed the congregation that,  as part of the Makerere centennial celebrations, the university has been able, with a team of editors and authors, to map out the 100-year journey of Makerere University. This book, titled Makerere’s Century of Service to East Africa and Beyond: 1922-2022 tells Makerere’s unique story as a university serving Uganda, East Africa and the world.

 “As we consolidate our place on the knowledge generation stage, we are proud to share this publication with you. We specifically look forward to keep building for the future in the next 100 years of our University’s existence”. “I thank the following editors: Prof. A.B. Kasozi, Prof. Josephine Ahikire, Prof. Dominica Dipio, Prof. Helen Byamugisha and Dr. Isaac Tibasiima for the commitment to this noble task. I am delighted to report that this book has been published by our very own Makerere University Press”. The Vice Chancellor stated.

The book was officially launched by the  First lady and Minister of Education and Sports represented by the State Minister for higher education Hon. John Chrysostom Muyingo witnessed by Chairperson of Council and members of top management.

The Vice chancellor highlighted a number of achievements recorded in the last two years including the issuance of transcripts and certificates before the graduation, the ground breaking research, innovations and partnerships.

Prof. Nawangwe acknowledged the support accorded by various stakeholders including Government of Uganda, development partners, parents and guardians, sponsors, and staff, without whom, it would have been impossible for the university to achieve the various milestones recorded over the years.

Some of the graduands jubilate during the award ceremony. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the graduands jubilate during the award ceremony.

Vice Chancellor’s Message to the graduands

In his key message to the graduands, Prof. Nawangwe described graduation  as the most important and most memorable day in the life of any scholar on grounds that it is a license to succeed in life,  and a privilege to serve humanity.

“You have worked hard to get a degree or diploma from one of the best universities in the World. This is a license for you to succeed in whatever you choose to do in your life career. But always remember that success will only come with discipline and hard work, while honoring your parents and fearing God.

Shortly you will become an alumnus of this great institution. Cherish the knowledge and experiences you have collected while here, but remember that learning never ends. Our gates remain open for you if you wish to pursue higher degrees”, the professor advised.

With a degree from one of the best universities in the World, Prof. Nawangwe stressed, that graduates have no reason not to succeed in life.

“Indeed, the World is yours to conquer. If jobs are not forthcoming, create them, for we have empowered you not only to be employable, but also to be entrepreneurs. Be the light that others will follow. We are proud that we have been a part of your life, that we have given you the knowledge and courage to face life in this ever-changing World.  Go out to the World and make it a better place”. He emphasized.

Hon. Peace Regis Mutuzo, Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso, Brig. Gen. Edith Nakalema  and other candidates during the graduation ceremony. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 5, 2nd February 2024 Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Hon. Peace Regis Mutuzo, Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso, Brig. Gen. Edith Nakalema  and other candidates during the graduation ceremony.

The Mak 74th Graduation statistics

During the course of the 74th graduation ceremony (Monday 29th January to 2nd February 2024)  a total of 12,913 graduands  received degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, a total of 132 graduands  graduated with PhDs, 1585 with Masters degrees, 11,016 with Bachelor’s degrees, 156 with postgraduate diplomas, and 24 with undergraduate diplomas.

53% of the graduands were female and 47% were male. In the category of PhD graduands, 46 were female and 86 were male. In the category of students graduating with Master’s degrees, 699 were female and 886 were male.

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Humanities & Social Sciences

Mak Celebrates the International Mother Language Day: Families, Language Experts & Policy Makers Called to Harness & Promote African Languages

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Officials from Buganda Kingdom and Makerere University top management at the occassion of inaugurating the Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum at Makerere. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University through the Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication on 21st February 2024 joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Mother Language Day. This day is observed every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The celebrations  started with the official opening of the Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum at Makerere University in the morning. Sir Edward Muteesa II was the 35th Kabaka of Buganda and the first President of the Republic of Uganda, and an alumnus of Makerere University. Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum is located at Makerere University, Quarry Road, Plot 95. This site was the on- campus private residence of Sir Edward Muteesa II when he was a student of Literature at Makerere from 1943 to 1945.

The  International Mothers Language Day ceremony was held  in the afternoon on the major theme, “Different Languages, One People: Celebrating and Harnessing Uganda’s Linguistic and Cultural Diversity,” while the days’ Sub-theme was,  “Harnessing Cultural Diversity for Social and Economic Development”

 The inauguration of the Museum and the celebrations to mark the International Mother Language  Day were   presided over by the Kabaka of Buganda represented  by the Nnaalinnya – Agnes Nabaloga at the Yusuf Lule Auditorium.  Nnaalinnya was accompanied by the Katikkiro Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga. The  Vice Chancellor, Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Ministers  and the royal family members from Buganda Kingdom, Members of University Council and top Management, Principals, Deans and Heads of department, Students’ leaders  and the Nkoba Zamboggo  Students’ Association and the  academic fraternity graced the occasion.

Multilingual Education is a pillar for Inter- Generational Learning, says  the Kabaka

While delivering  Kabaka’s message, Nnaalinnya hailed  the School of Languages, Literature and Communication for  collaboratively organising the 2024 celebration  with the Nkoba Zamboggo Students Association.

As custodians of culture that cherishes and endeavors to protect and develop its own mother language (Luganda), Nnaalinnya thanked the nation of Bangladesh which initiated the idea of celebrating mother languages at the international level. This idea she reported, was embraced and promoted by UNESCO in 1999 and, has been celebrated since then.

In line with the theme of the conference, Nnaalinya said,  multilingual education is a pillar for inter- generational learning which rhymes appropriately with  country’s pillars, contexts and environment which is multicultural and multilingual.

The Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga and the Nnaalinnya  and university officials tour the book exhibition. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga and the Nnaalinnya  and university officials tour the book exhibition.

Nnaalinnya also applauded the chosen theme, “Different Languages, One people: Celebrating and Harnessing Uganda’s Linguistic and Cultural Diversity” which brought the celebration of the day closer to home.

“The two themes are worth celebrating with the pomp and seriousness they deserve. Even more importantly, am very encouraged to know that youth represented by Makerere University Nkoba Zamboggo Students Association have played an active part in the organisation of the event.” She said.

She noted that such participation of the youth guarantees the promotion, protection and promotion mother languages for the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable manner.

She also noted with joy that, this year’s celebration coincides with the commemoration of the Nkoba Zamboggo 34 years of existence and activity which was active in the difficult years of the 1960s.

Prioritise your mother languages and learn other languages –The  Katikkiro  of Buganda

The Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga advised on the need to prioritise mother tongues  and to learn other languages.

Mayiga said, learning a language is resourceful and that while prioritising own mother tongue, it is important to learn other languages.

“To promote mother languages is to acknowledged diversity. Our diverse heritage should be seen as the foundation of the modern African states. Every time we neglect or relegate our mother tongues, we inadvertently ignore the similarities of our different nationalities.” He said.

The Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga speaking during the celebrations. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga speaking during the celebrations.

The Katikkiro expressed the need to acknowledge similarities to help build consensus noting that ,consensus is the true and genuine source of national unity.

He  commended the university administration for restoring the former residence of Ssekabaka Edward Mutesa II and for turning it into a museum.

“A people that ignore their history can learn nothing from their experiences and that is one of the sources of constant turbulence in the world”, He said.

Makerere can only be stronger if Traditions, Culture and Heritage are Embraced – Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe stressed that Makerere can only be stronger if all embrace traditions, culture and heritage.

Nawangwe said the university was honored to host two important celebrations namely, the opening of the Muteesa II Museum at Makerere and  hosting the international mother languages day.

“This is a historic event in our university. Kabaka Muteesa was a student at Makerere University when he was already king and that alone, is a such a big honor for us and, we must indeed be proud of that. That is why we have honoured his legacy by making the house where he stayed a museum.

“That museum is invaluable for all of us in Uganda and, I invite all Ugandans and visitors to come and witness the history of our first president of this country and one of the leaders in the struggle for independence”. The Vice Chancellor emphasised.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) hands over Makerere gifts to the Nnaalinnya  flanked by  Prince Wasajja and Katikkiro Peter Mayiga. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) hands over Makerere gifts to the Nnaalinnya  flanked by  Prince Wasajja and Katikkiro Peter Mayiga.

The Vice Chancellor appreciated the Buganda Kingdom for gracing  the  occasion when the university is celebrating the World’s Mother Language  Day.

“There could not have been a better choice than inviting one of the cultural leaders in this country to officiate at this event and, I want to congratulate you Principal, Dean and Head of department for that vision of putting events properly in context”. Prof. Nawangwe appreciated.

The Vice Chancellor said he had picked a number of lessons from the various speakers and challenged to  write his memoirs when he retires in Lugwe, then have it translated in English  by others.

“But we are privileged this morning to have these important visitors to honour these two events at Makerere University, please send our highest regards to His Royal Highness the Kabaka”, Nawangwe said.

The Principal College of Humanities and Social Sciences Prof. Josephine Ahikire expressed the need for Ugandans to value their mother tongues on grounds that the African culture had the power to correct men and women adding that,  there is so much to learn and put in practice.

Prof. Josephine Ahikire addressing participants. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Josephine Ahikire addressing participants.

Prof. Ahikire also noted that language is needed as a powerful instrument of connection, and teaching one another with respect that expresses our political and social state of humanness.

The Principal applauded the Buganda kingdom for the initiatives that  have  deepen  knowledge in culture among students and staff.

Language experts called to translate, write and publish in mother tongues

In his Keynote address on the Linguistic and Cultural Landscape of Uganda Prof. Manuel Muranga said, all human beings are potentially at their most effective, their most creative, their most comfortable when using their mother tongue or first language.

“The language one spoke as an infant and grew up in, matters. It is possible to learn to write in a dominant language in one’s neighbourhood, rather than writing in one’s own, but to learn to speak that language in lieu of one’s own involves a painful death to self, a sort of denial of one’s linguistic identity”. Muranga stated.

Because of the strength of inspiration and the energy of creativity that comes from this relationship to one’s mother tongue or first language, Prof. Muranga called on language experts to start writing and publishing in their mother languages.

To harness linguistic diversity, Muranga challenged language experts and educational institutions to  have as many books as possible produced in the mother tongues through direct authorship in those mother tongues and through translation into them.

“We need to say “Yes!” to a phase in our lives of adventure and experiment with our mother tongues. It will get us somewhere. The harnessing of our mother tongues, each one of his or her own, begins right here: at the point where we, especially university dons in language, literature and communication, get a pen and begin to write a letter, a story, a translation or whatever, in the mother tongue”, Prof. Muranga  advised.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe hands over a gift to Prince Wassajja. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe hands over a gift to Prince Wassajja.

At the same time, Prof. Muranga  also advocated  for writing in one’s mother tongue on the linguistically standardised foundations of orthography  that should be encouraged and even deliberately cultivated by cultural leaders and educationists. These he said,  would entail sms’s and WhatApp messages, email and other types of letters, poems, short stories, long stories, biographies and autobiographies); novels, plays, newspaper articles, sermons etc. in good, interesting language.

Muranga also advocated for the use and promotion of mother languages in families especially the young, upper class and in some cases middle class, urban families, and from educated ethnically mixed marriages, whose first and strongest language is our Ugandan English.

“But we should also have textbook writers in all the academic disciplines writing in the mother tongue: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, History, Geography, Economics, Law etc. in the mother tongue.  We need M.A.s and Ph.D.s  that consist in the main in the production of, for example, a modern Biology or Mathematics textbook in Luganda, Lugbarati or Lukonzo through translation”. The professor stressed adding that:

“When I was in S.2 we had a textbook of Chemistry by an author called Atkinson; it was, of course, in English. I never understood the concept of valence and even today I don’t understand it. Can someone explain it to me in simple English or, preferably, in Rukiga or Luganda? A person doing an M.A. in translation would explain to us what valence is and would propose a viable, or at least debate-provoking rendering for it in his or her mother tongue.

That kind of work, should be happening in our universities. An interdisciplinary M.A. and M.Sc. in Translation would produce for us disseminators of knowledge and tools for the implementation of a tri-lingual (Mother Tongue, English and Swahili in that order) education policy which I advocate for”. Muranga stated.

Prof.  Manuel Muranga delivering the keynote address. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof.  Manuel Muranga delivering the keynote address.

Benefits from linguistic and cultural diversity

Speaking on Advantages of linguistic and cultural diversity prof. Muranga noted that the entire world’s fabric is diversity. Diversity  according to the professor, is part and parcel of nature’s design, just as there are no two people who are 100% alike even when they are identical twins, so each human being has his or her own way of speaking, his or her idiolect.

He explained that  multilingualism in Uganda and worldwide can, if positively embraced, lead to a language and language-based cultural industry being built around, for example, each single one of the 65 languages of Uganda and the 2080 or so languages of Africa. If this has happened in Europe, Prof. Muranga argued,  then it can also happen in Africa- but it takes conviction and linguistic patriotism on the part of the speakers of these languages. If such patriotism is absent, those languages will die within a few generations of the descendants of the present-day speakers.

Prof. Muranga highlighted some of the advantages of linguistic and cultural diversity as follows:

  1. Sharing the culture around each of these languages can be great educational fun and can also create jobs. This sharing is, again, primarily the work of translators and interpreters. There were, as of August 2022, approximately 640,000 translators in the world. Interpreters’ statistics are harder to determine but there were in the USA alone in 2023,  52,000 interpreters and translators.
  2. The freedom to be creative in your mother tongue or first language is something very precious – indeed the entire freedom to access education in the mother tongue from elementary school to university is one of the principles of international justice as propounded by UN and UNESCO. Great poets and writers in general are those who write in their mother tongues (cf. Johann Gottfried Herder’s {1744-1803} essay entitled: “A true poet is one who writes in his own language”.) But it takes practice to be good even at writing in one’s mother tongue. It does not come automatically – and even I at my age I am still learning.
  3. Those who embrace linguistic and cultural diversity embrace world citizenship, or cosmopolitanism, at the same time; they overcome ethnocentrism. And cosmopolitanism harmonises well with a central Christian doctrine as stated in Galatians 3:28, which suggests that you cannot be a true Christian and at the same time a tribalist or a racist; the two are incompatible.
  4. Cultural diversity promotes tourism both domestic and interethnic/international, creating opportunities for a healthy enjoyment of positive human life and creative talent in all its variegation as music, dance, drama, poetry, architecture, engineering, indigenous knowledge, etc. Imagine we had an income-generating ethno-historical museum and a cultural centre at the headquarters of each of the 136+ districts of our current Uganda. I would like to urge the parliamentarians to vie for this kind of development.

Disadvantages:

  1. Linguistic and cultural diversity can be rather costly. Yet if the economy of a multilingual nation is well managed, the income from the diversity can cover the cost, yielding profits and benefits.
  2. Working through translators and interpreters is not direct conversation face to face and ear to ear. Something gets lost in the process of transfer.
  3. Some uncouth, ethnocentric minds in a multilingual and multicultural nation might be tempted to exploit linguistic and cultural diversity for secessionist ends, instead of for cosmopolitan ones. But such narrow-minded people are doomed to failure, for even in a family unit of two parents and three children, there can be division and even secession. A monolingual or even culturally homogeneous situation in a country does not guarantee harmony and peace. Look at Somalia; and remember Rwanda.

Language, as a symbol of identity, vehicle for communication, a pillar for social integration, education and development, Dean SLLC

The Dean School of Languages, Literature and Communication Assoc. Prof. Saudah Namyalo explained that the International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on 21st February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity which exists in many communities.

The day was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999, and it was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of UN resolution in 2002. The International Mother Language Day is part of a broader initiative “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”.

 Although languages,are a symbol of our identity, a vehicle for communication and  a pillar for social integration, education and development, Prof. Namyalo observed that  due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether.

Assoc. Prof. Saudah Namyalo (C) making remarks flanked by students of Nkoba Zamboggo. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Assoc. Prof. Saudah Namyalo (C) making remarks flanked by students of Nkoba Zamboggo.

“Every two weeks a language disappears or dies. When a language dies, it takes with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Not only that, we also lose perspectives, ideas, opinions and most importantly, we lose a unique way of being human.Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression which are valuable resources for ensuring a better future also lost. Sadly, close to 45% of the estimated 7000 languages spoken in the world are endangered, threatened or near extinction. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.” Prof. Namyalo observed.

Namyalo called on participants to  reflect, understand and appreciate that although Ugandans are diverse in terms of the languages and cultures they possess, they  are one.

She explained that  Africa’s divisive seed was planted with the advent of colonialism and the Berlin Conference that gave Africa its modern states. The artificial borders and the dirty politics that ensued according to the professor, made people  think that they  are different.

The present ethnic emblems according to  Dean Namyalo,  are more of geographical markers than distinct cultural entities. For instance,  she said, one is a Musongora because they come from Busongora.

“Today, we recognize over 50 ethnic groups, but we need to be political about this and invest in our history in order to cement our rootedness and recognise the bonds that hold us together. Unless we understand the importance, of unity in diversity and stop giving lip service to multiculturalism we shall continue to see new kingdoms and ethnic groups emerging”, Dean Namyalo warned.

Assoc. Prof. Susan Kiguli (Left) and her student on stage performing a poem. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Assoc. Prof. Susan Kiguli (Left) and her student on stage performing a poem.

Just from our myths, Prof. Namyalo highlighted that  the Baganda are related to the Bagisu, and the Bagisu are related to the Basamia, Banyole, and the entire Luhya community in Eastern Kenya. Their language intelligibility attests to this. The Bagisu are linguistically and culturally related to the Bakonzo, who are related to the mountainous Bakiga. The Bakonzo are 1 million people in Uganda, while their kin are over 6 million in Eastern DRC called the Bayira (this is just one example of the colonial border problems).

The kin of  the Bamasaba: The Baganda (Via the myth of Kintu/Kuntu) are linked to the Banyoro, the Banyoro are connected to the Batooro and Banyankole- Bakiga, and Banyarwanda because they all belong to the Kitara empire and their cattle keeping and agricultural practices demonstrate this. When Kitara disintegrated with the fall of the Bacwezi, the Biito Luos took over. There is a close linkage between the Luos and the Banyoro, especially, the ruling families in Bunyoro, Tooro, Buganda, Busoga, and Ankole are  all of Luo origin. The Luos are cousins to the West Nilers, who have a close affinity to the Lango. The Lango are Luo in terms of language but, genetically and culturally, are linked to Itesots, Karamojongs, Masai, and Turkana.

Makerere to start teaching Advanced  Lusoga, Ateso and other languages – Head Dept. of African Languages

The  Conference Convener and Head of Department of African Languages Dr Gilbert Gumoshabe explained that department was established in 2012, having been part of the then Institute of Languages, which had also been part of the Department of Languages. At present, five   degree subjects at undergraduate level namely; Luganda Advanced, Kiswahili Advanced, Kiswahili Beginners, Runyakitara Advanced and Luo Advanced are offered.

 “We have proposed to start teaching Lusoga Advanced and Ateso Advanced. We believe these will be part of the subjects in the next admission in August 2024, as BA Arts is in the final stages of re-accreditation. The syllabus for Lugbarati Advanced is also in the final stages of development. Our mission is to ensure that all local languages taught at the secondary level in Uganda are also taught at the department”, Dr. Gumoshabe said

Dr. Gilbert Gumoshabe making his welcome remarks. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Gilbert Gumoshabe making his welcome remarks.

At the masters level, Dr. Gomushabe said , they have MA in African Languages. During the revision period,  it was agreed to re-introduce MA in Luganda, MA in Kiswahili and MA in Runyakitara and to  continue to develop  indigenous languages as  capacity is built. The department  also offers PhD in African Languages by Research.

Dr. Gomushabe appreciated  the persons who spearheaded the teaching of  local languages especially Prof. Livingstone Walusimbi (RIP), Prof. Kasalina Matovu (RIP), Prof. Ruth Mukama, Prof. Oswald Ndoleriire, Prof. Manuel Muranga, Mrs. Shirley Byakutaga, Prof. Edith Natukunda and Ms. Jane Alowo.   

At the level of staffing, the head reported that  the department has 9 PhDs, and 5 registered PhD members of staff with one at the Associate Professor level. The students offering the subjects in African Languages are doing BA Arts, BA with education, BA Social Sciences. The department also service programs in the Colleges of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Computing and Information Sciences and Education and External Studies.

The Aim of the conference

Gumoshabe  said the aim of the conference is to motivate discussion between national scholars and stakeholders of language and culture in Uganda and beyond.

“It is on this day that we celebrate cultural diversity and appreciate the sweetness in our mother tongue through cultural entertainment of different forms, presentations and discussions. It is through our mother tongue that we can preserve our cultural heritage. This is a God-given gift that we should never lose”,  he said

Mother language according the convener, is a natural heritage and a foundation of  identity. He  stressed that  what is important is to embrace unity in diversity by respecting and promoting diverse languages as  they are in the motherland Uganda and this will enable  document indigenous knowledge systems to  supplement what is got  from other countries.

Even in the face of development, civilization and modernization, Gumoshabe stated that  mother languages should never be forgotten on reason that , there is no country on record that has developed using a foreign language.

“All countries that have developed have started by indigenizing knowledge and a foreign language has supplemented their efforts. This applies to both populous and less populous countries”, Dr. Gumoshabe asserted,

A section of participants attending the celebration. Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication International Mother Language Day Conference, Launch of Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum, on 21st February 2024, No. 95 Quarry Road & Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A section of participants attending the celebration.

Gumoshabe cited Iceland with a population of 399,189 as of January 2024 that uses the Icelandic language as their official language. Since it has a small population, they would have used one of the European languages but they opt to use their indigenous language and their GDP per capita is $69,833.

He argued that, now that English is here to stay, all efforts should be put into developing mother languages and being multilingual. He added that, knowing four languages significantly increases chances of success in adulthood.

Dr. Gumoshabe  extended gratitude to the college leadership  for the tremendous support given  for the success of this conference.

Gumoshabe thanked  Keynote speakers, Prof. Manuel Muranga and Mr. Richard Nzogi and the panelists, for accepting  for honoring the invitation and sharing their expertise and experiences..He also appreciated the Organizing Committee for this Conference headed by Dr Fridah Katushemererwe together with the different student associations especially Nkobazamboggo spearheaded by Mr Adrian Lubyayi, for  tireless efforts in making this day colourful.

Finally, the convener  thanked  the Centre for Languages and Communication Services, the Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Vice Chancellor, for the financial support that has made this day successful.

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Rotary Peace Center holds 5th Capstone Conference 2024 : Ugandans Called to Embrace Positive Peace for National Development

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Participants in group photo with the Vice Chancellor's Representative Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba (Seated 2nd Left), Centre Director Assoc. Prof. Hellen Nambalirwa Nkabala (Seated 3rd Left) and Assoc. Prof. Eric Awich Ochen-Deputy Principal CHUSS (Seated 2nd Right) after the opening session. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Rotary Peace Center at Makerere University on 21st February 2024, hosted the 5th Capstone conference where the 5th Cohort of  peace fellows presented their social change initiative reports. New Peace scholars (cohort 7) were brought on board to  understand the journey of collaboration  and to share a collective commitment to the idea that peace is an ongoing process.

The fellows responded to different challenges in their local communities and through their social change initiatives, have contributed to existing peace building and development initiatives using new approaches with one common goal of a more peaceful world.

Conference goers were implored to explore opportunities to embrace and engage in meaningful dialogue and ideas and strengthen their resolve to create a more peaceful and just world.

Participants were also challenged to uphold the values of compassion,empathy and cooperation as they work towards building bridges of understanding and reconciliation in their communities and beyond.

A section of participants attending the conference. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A section of participants attending the conference.

The conference held under the theme, “Achieving peace through collaboration and community engagement”,  was graced by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University as Chief guest who was represented by his Vice in charge of Academic Affairs, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba.

 Prof. Kakumba  hailed the Peace Rotary Centre  for  promoting  peace and development  in communities.

“Today, the Rotary Peace Fellows join a network of Makererians championing change and development nationally and globally. Your journey here at Makerere has been cultured, and through the Peace Center, we pride ourselves on having impacted 72 communities in 42 countries globally”, he reported

Prof. Kakumba called on all Ugandans to embrace different cultures, aspirations  and traditions of  the communities to promote peace. The professor noted that peace is not the absence of war on grounds that there can still be  a lack of tranquillity even when there is no war.

“As agents of change for peace and development, you need to understand the versatility that conflict resolution is not something one can master through textbooks; one must go there, engage with the community, and be prepared to get into the trenches. To understand people, you have to know their histories and grievances. Our approach at Makerere University through the Rotary Peace Center, focuses more on community involvement and development”. He asserted.

Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba making the official opening remarks. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba making the official opening remarks.

Describing youth as critical  pillars of society, Prof. Kakumba advised  them to play a  role through economic empowerment if sustainable peace and development is to be achieved. He stressed that underdevelopment in itself, is a threat to peace.

Through  peace projects, Kakumba  emphasized that  youth are part of the future that upholds community transformation.

“The projects implemented by Cohort 5 are a manifestation of the dynamic definition of peace. In this conference today, we will understand that peace can be achieved through basics like health, agriculture, education, climate change, and economic empowerment.

Let us continue to learn and live in a world where education and knowledge can be used in the pursuit of peace. As you stand on the threshold of a new chapter, remember that it is these individual contributions that will calculatedly and cumulatively build lasting positive Peace change in Africa and beyond”. Prof. Kakumba stated.

The Principal CHUSS represented by her Deputy Associate Prof. Eric Awich Ochen was drawn by the theme of conference, “Achieving peace through collaboration and community engagement”. He commended the peace scholars for the tremendous projects implemented in their respective countries.

 “Everything that we do is important. Our generation cannot solve all the problems but we must play our role to be able to make a difference in the communities and create a better humanity”. said Prof. Awich.

Prof. Awich welcomed the Cohort 7 peace fellows and encouraged them to follow keenly.

Assoc. Prof. Eric Awich (L) represented the Principal CHUSS. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Assoc. Prof. Eric Awich (L) represented the Principal CHUSS.

Makerere University Model replicated across the world- Rotary International

The representative of Rotary International and Rotary Uganda and District Governor, Dr. Mike Ssebalu welcomed new scholars of cohort 7. to Uganda.

Rotary, he explained is an international organization of universal appeal which believes in doing good in the world.

“Creating peace, sustaining peace and guaranteeing peace is one of those good things that every Ugandan should be proud of. Our vision statement states that together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our community and in ourselves”, Dr. Ssebalu said

The conference he said, attests to the fact that they have come together as Rotary, as Makerere and as individuals and peace scholars to  create lasting change.

He implored peace scholars to be part of the process of creating lasting change across the globe communities and themselves.

Dr. Mike Ssebalu speaking during the conference. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Mike Ssebalu speaking during the conference.

He said,  Rotary is proud to be associated with Makerere University in this great initiative noting that, they had gotten the best they would have ever got.

Makerere has proved to be the best partner we chose to work with and Rotary International is indeed very appreciative and happy with the work you are doing to the extent that the Makerere model is being replicated in all the peace centers that have been created ever since.

A lot of lessons have been learnt in terms of commitment, initiatives, innovations and in terms of creativity and Rotary is picking those lessons and replicating across the world”. Ssebalu said.

Ssebalu thanked the university leadership at different levels of the value chain and all stakeholders stressing that Rotary appreciates and is satisfied with the performance.

Some of the participants attending the conference. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the participants attending the conference.

To the peace scholars, Dr. Ssebalu implored them to take time to explore the tourism potential of Uganda, learn the culture and associate closely with Ugandan people adding that, Ugandans are very welcoming and should therefore feel at peace, enjoy their stay and meet their expectations.

He said, they came as individuals but should go back as a team, pledging that Rotary is available to support in all ways and that, homes of Rotarians are open for fellowship and interaction.

The Director of the Makerere University Rotary Peace Centre Assoc. Prof. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala expressed pride in cohort 5 congratulating them on the job well done.

The Director thanked Rotary for accepting to work with Makerere University especially the Department of Religion and Peace Studies and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“On the day like this, we continue to celebrate our partnership with the Rotary foundation. It is indeed an honor for us to run this joint program and,  it is one of the kind that is practically showing what experiential learning should be. Through this program, we have been able to influence changes becoming more practical”, she said

Center Director Assoc. Prof. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala making her welcome remarks. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Center Director Assoc. Prof. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala making her welcome remarks.

Prof. Nkabala welcomed cohort 7 to the conference expressing hope that they would be able to see and learn from what their colleagues in cohort 5 have been doing. The Director, recognized and appreciated the college leadership, coordinators, academic mentors, members of the advisory board, academic community, Makerere University community plus all stakeholders for their support to the program.

“We have done art and peace building, agriculture and peace building, we have had CoNAS come in for tree planting for peace and CHS taking care of health for peace fellows and they have received executive services”, Prof. Nkabala acknowledged.

“I can only assure you that the kind of projects that we are going to look at are impactful projects, that is why, we call our fellows change agents. They have been able to create change in different communities. Today we are celebrating 15 countries and 20 social initiatives”, Prof. Nkabala reported.

Cohort 5 embraced Performing Arts  as an intervention for social change

Speaking on behalf of the chair academic board committee, the deputy, Prof. Sylivia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza said, it is in cohort 5, where they have had a project using Performing Arts as an intervention to social change.

Board  Members Prof. Grace Bantebya (Left) and Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza during the meeting. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Board  Members Prof. Grace Bantebya (Left) and Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza during the meeting.

She described Makerere University as privileged to have this program. She thanked Rotary international as well as Rotary Uganda and all partners for allowing the university to have such a diverse program.

“This program is the only program that has such a wide representation from different countries. To date, we have 131 fellows that have gone through this program represented from various countries which shows that Makerere is a global and international university”. Prof. Tamusuza reported.

Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza addressing participants. Makerere University Rotary Peace Center 5th Capstone Conference, 21st February 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza addressing participants.

She said, the number of students applying for the program is overwhelming and they take on only 20 -21 students annually in two admissions. She congratulated all fellows that have gone through the program urging them to be good ambassadors of the university.

Prof. Tamusuza thanked the university for the opportunity accorded to be part of this program.

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Mak & Wits Forum on Sidelines of NAM & G77 Summits Debates African Agency

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The Chief Guest-Prof. Josephine Ahikire (2nd R) with Right to Left: Dr. Bob Wekesa, Prof. Gilbert Khadiagala and Dr. Edward Silvestre Kaweesi post for a group photo at the Forum on 19th January 2024 in the Council Room, Makerere University. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

On Friday 19th January 2024, Makerere University in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand’s African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) held a Forum based on the theme “Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices.” Dubbed the only academic event on the sidelines of the 19th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Heads of State and Government, and the Third South Summit organized under the framework of Group 77 (G77) and China, the event was among other objectives aimed at giving a platform for youth to discuss the notion of African Agency.

Providing an overview and conceptual understanding of the forum, Prof. Gilbert Khadiagala, Director of ACSUS noted that African Agency is an important notion particularly in the gradual shift from a bipolar to a promising multipolar world. “We are celebrating the end of what we describe as American hegemony, and now moving into a phase where there is a semblance of multiplicity of powers emerging globally.”

Describing agency as “the ability of Africans to advance their voice globally”, Prof. Khadiagala noted that this agency had since the decolonization period of the 1960s been subject to the dilemma of either advancing as 50-plus sovereign African States or as a collective. He nevertheless opined that “there is no real effective African Agency if we are not talking about Agency as a collective enterprise.”

Prof. Gilbert Khadiagala (Left) and Prof. Josephine Ahikire (Right) interact during the Forum. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Gilbert Khadiagala (Left) and Prof. Josephine Ahikire (Right) interact during the Forum.

Prof. Khadiagala therefore paid tribute to the first NAM Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in April 1955 for inviting Africa to the discussion table even before several States had gained independence. He equally acknowledged the G77 Meeting of 1979 held in Arusha, Tanzania as having given birth to “the new international economic order”, which became a rallying point for the promotion of global economic reforms. This new international economic order, he added, was unfortunately dealt a harsh blow in 1982, when the powers in Washington and England insisted that they would only negotiate with individual Nation States.

The abyss that NAM and the G77 went into after 1982 notwithstanding, Prof. Khadiagala noted that the hosting of the NAM plus G77 and China Summits in Kampala and the subsequent assuming of the Chairmanship by Uganda was worth celebrating. He regarded this shift as an opportunity for Africa to seize the moment, begin to set the agenda and be in the driver’s seat of the Non-Aligned Movement, and not just be guests at the table where key decisions are made as has hitherto been the case.

Dr. Edward Silvestre Kaweesi from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration who moderated the forum thanked Prof. Khadiagala and ASUS for partnering with Makerere to organize the event, noting that it is in tandem with a project focused on the Historicizing and Rethinking Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences at Makerere University since 1922. The publication from the project, he added, deeply interrogates the topic of African Agency.

Dr. Edward Silvestre Kaweesi moderates the Forum. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Edward Silvestre Kaweesi moderates the Forum.

He further noted that whereas no NAM Youth Summit had been organized at the Kampala Edition, the outcome of the Forum, a comprehensive report, will highlight the voices of youth, “Interrogating the question of the African Agency as it is playing out at the moment in the NAM and G77.”

In addition to the report, Dr. Kaweesi shared that an edited volume of the book based on the Forum theme will be published within the year. The book will be a publication of Makerere University and the University of the Witwatersrand.

The Deputy Director ACSUS, Dr. Bob Wekesa noted that the longstanding collaboration between Makerere and Wits affords both institutions the opportunity to advance partnerships in terms of joint research, exchange of faculty and students, and joint fieldwork. Turning to the timing of the Forum, he added that the “NAM and G77 Summits provide an opportune moment for us to demonstrate in real terms that we are actually very pragmatic and working towards tangible areas of partnership.”

Dr. Bob Wekesa makes his remarks. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Bob Wekesa makes his remarks.

The Chief Guest at the Forum and Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) Prof. Josephine Ahikire thanked the key parties in the collaboration between Makerere and Wits for convening the event and expressed CHUSS’ commitment to support similar initiatives.

“We are really committed to advancing what we have called the African Voice and African Intellectualism. This is why when we talk about NAM, especially in the fact that it is described in the sense of what it is not, ‘Non-Aligned’, I think ‘What are we aligned to?’ should be the most important question” remarked the Principal.

Prof. Ahikire further emphasised the need for we the Africans to go beyond the buzzword of decolonization and mean business by revalidating African epistemologies, African indigenous knowledge systems and African languages. She therefore called for the creation of many more spaces such as the day’s Forum to articulate the African visions and what is referred to by the notion of global south.

The Chief Guest and Principal CHUSS, Prof. Josephine Ahikire. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Chief Guest and Principal CHUSS, Prof. Josephine Ahikire.

“Somebody asked ‘Who is an African?’ that question is as political as you can imagine but definitely, the answer and the solution is in the definition of what you mean by African, whether on the continent or in the diaspora, the voice around critiquing global marginalization, and sometimes it is self-marginalization especially when we negate everything that is African” said. Prof. Ahikire.

The Principal added that beyond the toll on human life posed by COVID-19, the pandemic demonstrated that African indigenous knowledge systems offered precious lessons that we ought to take forward. “There was a reminder to return to humanity, to Ubuntu, and the things that began to matter were not actually things (property) but new ways of living humanity. Those are the kinds of lessons that we could take to defining and envisioning our futures and not always lamenting.”

Panelists from Left to Right: Dr. Bob Wekesa, Advocate Francis Gimara, Dr. David Ngendo-Tshimba, Mr. Benon Hebert Oluka and Dr. Charles Batte. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Panelists from Left to Right: Dr. Bob Wekesa, Advocate Francis Gimara, Dr. David Ngendo-Tshimba, Mr. Benon Hebert Oluka and Dr. Charles Batte.

Following the official opening ceremony, the Principal was gifted a copy of the book “Africa’s policy towards the US: The Biden Era” edited by Bob Wekesa. The event also served as an opportunity to launch the book “China’s Footprint in East Africa: Pessimism versus Optimism” written by Bob Wekesa.

The Forum was also enriched panel discussions based on the themes; African agency towards global South powers and The intersection of Agenda 2063, EAC policies, and the global South. The combined panel discussion from the themes was moderated by Dr. Gardner Rwakiseta Herbert from Julius Nyerere Leadership Center (JNLC) and featured as panelists; Dr. Charles Bate from Tree Adoption Uganda, and Mr. Benon Hebert Oluka from the Global Investigative Journalism Network of the African Union Media Fellowship. Additional panelists included Advocate Francis Gimara, Dr. David Ngendo-Tshimba from Uganda Martyrs University, and Dr. Bob Wekesa.

Some of the participants pose for a group photo. Left is Prof. Julius Kiiza one of the presenters of the day, while one of the panelists Dr. William Tayeebwa is Second Left. Some of the Forum Moderators are Dr. Eunice Akullo (Rear: 7th Left) and Dr. Gerald Walulya (Rear: 8th Right). Seated Right is one of the Forum Coordinators Ms. Ritah Namisango. Mak & Wits-ACSUS "Africa in the Global South: Advancing African Agency, Amplifying African Voices" Forum, 19th January 2024, Council Room, Level 3, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the participants pose for a group photo. Left is Prof. Julius Kiiza one of the presenters of the day, while one of the panelists Dr. William Tayeebwa is Second Left. Some of the Forum Moderators are Dr. Eunice Akullo (Rear: 7th Left) and Dr. Gerald Walulya (Rear: 8th Right). Seated Right is one of the Forum Coordinators Ms. Ritah Namisango.

A second panel discussion tackled the theme Amplifying African voices: media and summit diplomacy and was moderated by Dr. Gerald Walulya from Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University and featured Dr. William Tayeebwa from the same Department. Dr. Eunice Akullo from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration then moderated a presentation by Prof. Julius Kiiza of the same Department on the theme Gender and youth perspectives on African agency in the global South.

The Forum was coordinated by Dr. Edward Silvestre Kaweesi, Mr. Solomon Winyi, and the Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango.

Click the video below to watch full proceedings of the Forum

Mak & Wits (ACSUS) Africa in The Global South Forum – Sidelines of 19th NAM & 3rd South G77+China Summits

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