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Prudential, ACCA, EPRC award best CoBAMS students

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Makerere University in collaboration with three partner companies have recognized and awarded best performing business graduates of the 74th graduation who were conferred with bachelors and Masters in January.

The companies including Prudential Uganda, ACCA, and EPRC presented to graduates with cash prizes, mentorship and training opportunities in the companies.

The recognizing and awarding ceremony was held at the School of Business, Makerere University on March 12 from where 12 graduates from the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) received their prizes.

While addressing the graduates and their parents, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the University Vice Chancellor, congratulated the awardees upon obtaining good degrees.

“It is very difficult to get a good Makerere degree. If you are being honoured you have got a first class, you must count yourself extremely clever and also blessed by God,” Prof Nawangwe said.

The VC said he has struggled to create a conducive learning environment for the students by restoring discipline among the students to connect them to the world.

“We have been trying hard to restore discipline and people didn’t know. So if you go anywhere in the world people know Makerere is a serious university and you will be considered favourably compared to other people.”

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe addresses the graduates, their parents and guests. Prudential Assurance, ACCA Uganda and EPRC award ceremony for best performing business graduates, 12th March 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere has maintained partnership with companies already thriving in the industry to help students get exposed to the field of their work and also get opportunities through graduate training to gain experience.

Prof Nawangwe has signed several memorandums of understanding over the years with those companies and the relationship have been so helpful especially for self-growth of Makerere products.

“Our partners are in the industry understand it better than we do. When they come and inspire you, they add to what we have done here to encourage you and give you more confidence that you can go out in the world and serve humanity and succeed,” the VC told graduates.

He encouraged students to look out for opportunities across the world.

“We are living in a very competitive world because currently you may find there are around 200,000 students in Uganda with degrees and yet jobs are very scarce.”

He recalled in 1970s, when he was a student at Makerere and they were not more than 2000 people studying at the time and it was a sure deal for all of them to get employed somewhere.

A group photo at the end of the award ceremony. Prudential Assurance, ACCA Uganda and EPRC award ceremony for best performing business graduates, 12th March 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

He discouraged graduates against walking on the streets of Kampala looking for jobs and encouraged them to try out international opportunities and self-employment.

“The good thing the population in the rest of the world is going down. It is only in Africa where the population is going up. With the decrease in population, there are many countries where there is a big deficit of skilled workforce.”

Prof Eria Hisali, Principal COBAMS, pledged more support to this year’s academic giants and promised to provide them with all the necessary assistance they may need.

“We have quite a number of initiatives and when we call upon you to participate in some of them, please respond positively. We are still fully available to support you in any way possible,” Prof Hisali said.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe presents the EPRC Award to Mr. Sebuliba Jude as Prof. Eria Hisali and Ms. Fatumah Namubiru witness. Prudential Assurance, ACCA Uganda and EPRC award ceremony for best performing business graduates, 12th March 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The principal lauded the VC for his tireless efforts to partner with different companies through MOUs he signs every now and then.

“For any MOU that comes his way, Prof Nawangwe has been there for us to sign them on behalf of the university,” he said.

Prudential Assurance

 The CEO of Prudential Assurance, Mr Tetteh Ayitevie congratulated the graduands saying “your relentless pursuit of knowledge and your unwavering determination have set you apart as the best and brightest in their field.”

Mr. Tetteh revealed that with the support of their Support Scheme, the awardees are not only receiving financial assistance but also mentorship and internship opportunities that will propel them towards success in their future endeavours.

Prudential Uganda rewarded the top five Actuarial Science students with $500 each.

Mr Tetteh Ayitevie addresses the graduates, their parents and guests. Prudential Assurance, ACCA Uganda and EPRC award ceremony for best performing business graduates, 12th March 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Additionally, through the Prudential Actuarial Support Scheme (PASS), these students will receive scholarships fully covering their professional exam fees.

In total, Prudential Uganda has dedicated one hundred and thirty-five million shillings (UGX 135,000,000) to support the students.

The country Manager of ACCA Uganda, Ms Charlotte Kukunda, said while awarding the best student of Bachelor of Commerce, Mr ………………. And reminded the students of the exception that ACCA granted students of Commerce (Accounting). The students get 9 exceptions at ACCA level.

Ms Fatumah Namubiru from Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), congratulated the Sebuliba Jude, upon emerging the best Masters of Economics students and also called on the female students to strive hard to be among the best. Jude received a placement as a research fellow at EPRC and Shs1.5million. 

Best students

Jude Sebuliba, the best student in the Masters of Arts in Economics with CGPA of 4.95, said the conducive learning environment created space and time for them to read his books.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Eria Hisali and Mr Tetteh Ayitevie join the top five Actuarial Science students as they pose with a dummy cheque of UGX 135 million from the Prudential Actuarial Support Scheme (PASS) towards scholarships fully covering their professional exam fees. Prudential Assurance, ACCA Uganda and EPRC award ceremony for best performing business graduates, 12th March 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

“I dedicated much of my time to books, perseverance, God and parents were all part of my journey up to this milestone I have reached today,” Sebuliba said.

His research was about the impact of remittances to inflation in Uganda and his findings revealed that there is a positive impact between inflation and remittances.

 “Many people go out but we don’t know the impact of the money they get to our economy.”

The best Master’s student now is eyeing a PhD if any opportunity avails and is currently blessed with a job at the Economic Research Policy Centre of Makerere University where he is employed as a researcher.

Derrick Amanya, Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) graduate, scored a first class of CGPA 4.54 and attributes excellence to hard work and group discussions.

The research he conducted from Mbarara District was about ‘How sustainability can be adopted in furniture” He looked at ways to make furniture that has metallic components in an effort to reduce deforestation in the country.

“My research found out that if certain components of furniture are used on metallic components, it can reduce on depletion of forests to up to 60 percent,” Amanya’s findings revealed.

The fresh graduate is now enrolled for CPA and he is sitting his first exams in June, thanks to great partners, the ACCCA.

Ms. Charlotte Kukunda presents the ACCA Award to Mr. Prosper Lwamasaka as his parents, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Eria Hisali and Dr. Eric Nzibonera witness. Prudential Assurance, ACCA Uganda and EPRC award ceremony for best performing business graduates, 12th March 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Anneliz Namuddu, B. Sc. Actuarial Science graduate, as well prioritized discussions after believing at University if you are not a part of any discussion group, you cannot understand the concepts.

“I always trusted God in addition to serious attention I gave to books and ensuring that she prepared for her exams in time not waiting for the last minute to panic.

Her research was about factors influencing expenditure among women in rural areas of Uganda. And used secondary data which she converted in to small variables that were convenient for her.

The research findings indicated the expenditure is mostly influenced by the sources of income women are getting and from the kind of family they are in.  Is it a single parent home or are they married.

“I thank Prudential for the scholarship they gave me to do the certification that confirms me to be a qualified actuary,” Namuddu said.

The best students B.sc Actuarial Science

  1.  Muhumuza Mark
  2. Kobugabe Michelle Audrey
  3. Uwera Ruth Michelle
  4. Bunjo Steven Hugh
  5. Namuddu Anneliz

Best students Bachelor of Commerce

  1. Lwamasaka Prosper
  2. Nanfuka Sheebah
  3. Amanya Derrick
  4. Birungi Mercy Olivia
  5. Kaganzi Devis
  6. Namubiru Phionak Rebecca

Best Master of Economics

  1. Sebuliba Jude

Business & Management

The Academia & Government Officials Identify Research & Data gaps in the Management of Natural Resources in Uganda

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Participants in a group photo after the opening session on 14th March 2024. EdD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.

Environmental economists and graduate students from Makerere University held a meeting with government officials to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda.

The two-day researchers’ training organized by EfD Uganda was held at Esella Country Hotel in Kampala, on 14th and 15th March 2024,

The Deputy Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Dr. Yawe Bruno officially opening the workshop. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
The Deputy Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Dr. Yawe Bruno officially opening the workshop.

Local Government (LG) representatives were brought on board to help understand policy research questions in the local government that researchers can leverage to generate evidence to inform policy implementation and improvement in service delivery and environmental protection in general. The District Natural Resources Officer for Wakiso, Rebecca Ssabaganzi, was the lead facilitator.

Rebecca Ssabaganzi presenting the status of Local Governments in the Management of Natural Resources. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Rebecca Ssabaganzi presenting the status of Local Governments in the Management of Natural Resources.

The national policymakers, on the other hand, presented policy, capacity, research, and data gaps that researchers can focus on to improve their work. Ronald Kaggwa from the National Planning Authority facilitated the training.

Dr. Ronald Kaggwa presenting on the national priorities. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Dr. Ronald Kaggwa presenting on the national priorities.

Center Director Edward Bbaale said the purpose of the workshop was to identify what natural resources and environmental issues are being pitched in National Development Plan (NDP) IV and how Uganda is transiting from NDP III to NDP IV to inform their research.

Prof. Edward Bbaale making his remarks during the opening session. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Prof. Edward Bbaale making his remarks during the opening session.

“This is a great opportunity for our researchers to have a deeper discussion with the local government and National Planning Authority on critical issues and that the government is focusing on so we can ensure that our research is policy-relevant,” said Edward Bbaale.

He urged the government to reduce taxes on renewable energy as a key tool to encourage the public to drop the use of biomass which has negative effects on the environment and human health.

Some of the participants engaged in a group discussion. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Some of the participants engaged in a group discussion.

“Transitioning from the dirty sources of energy to the cleaner sources of energy is a very expensive venture and it requires infrastructure investments.  We would like to hear about green financing and what the government is planning to do to raise the money,” he remarked.

Rebecca Ssabaganzi makes her presentation. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Rebecca Ssabaganzi makes her presentation.

From the Local Government presentation, Ms. Rebecca Ssabaganzi focused on the role of Local Government in protection of natural resources, the structures, challenges and capacity gaps for research. Ssabaganzi stressed the need to raise public awareness on the sustainable use of  the environment and conservation as  an obligation for everyone, the need for mindset change for the public to adopt alternative energy sources and investing in eco-tourism as well as the  regulation of  building substances and valuation as a basis for revenue assessments and best development use.

Rebecca Ssabaganzi responding to questions from participants. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Rebecca Ssabaganzi responding to questions from participants.

She  explained that poor management of water, environment, and natural resources coupled with the worsening effects of climate change have resulted in high exposure to hazards and disasters, with limited capacity for climate change adaptation and mitigation, low disaster risk planning and rampant degradation of the environment and natural resources caused by low enforcement capacity.

From the national planning perspective, Ronald Kaggwa highlighted the persistent ENR management challenges inherited from NDPI, II, III to IV.

Researchers and policy makers that convened at Esella Country Hotel. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Researchers and policy makers that convened at Esella Country Hotel.

These include deteriorating state of ENR, enforcement and compliance challenges, limited use of economic incentives and income poverty among the ENR-dependent populations. Kaggwa also reported that there is low value-addition to ENR, excessive reliance on the market prices to make major decisions and challenges on how to balance the benefits and real costs of natural resource conservation.

Kaggwa proposed some thematic areas for research to inform policy. These include reviewing policy, legal, and institutional frameworks for effective ENR governance and management; reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the program approach to ENR governance and the likely impacts of the rationalization of ENR institutions on performance;

A section of participants in a group discussion. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
A section of participants in a group discussion.

Other research areas proposed are coordination, regulation, and monitoring of ENR management at LG and national levels, exploring the feasibility of economic instruments for ENR management, and the public good and trans-boundary nature of ENRs and governance challenges.

Key takeaways from the workshop

From the presentations and group discussions, the meeting agreed on key thematic areas for research including valuation of existing resources, appropriate mix of policies, stocktaking of existing data and the role of decentralization in protecting the environment. Other proposed areas are climate financing and transitioning to a low-carbon economy, cost-benefit analysis for an energy transition  and climate change and its effects

One of the research fellows presenting after the group discussions. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
One of the research fellows presenting after the group discussions.

The meeting also resolved to strengthen collaborations between Makerere University‘s existing projects, government ministries, departments and agencies, development partners and international agencies, financial institutions, and civil society organizations.

EfD-Mak to prepare research proposals and tailored courses

Uganda’s IGE policy engagement specialist Peter Babyenda said the meeting identified the capacity gaps in Local Governments that the center can fill, by preparing tailored courses to address gaps. The courses would entail training Local Government workers in data collection, evaluation of natural resources, stakeholder engagement, mindset change, and feasibility studies

IGE engagement specialist Dr. Peter Babyenda speaking during the workshop. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
IGE engagement specialist Dr. Peter Babyenda speaking during the workshop.

For the researchers, the meeting informed them of where they are needed and their role at a national level.

“We are preparing our research proposals to have multidisciplinary research projects, which means, we need sociologists, accountants, statisticians for data collection, etc. but also, a partnership between academia and policymakers”, Peter Babyenda said.

Dr. Nicholas Kilimani wrapped up the workshop proceedings. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Dr. Nicholas Kilimani wrapped up the workshop proceedings.

The center will build on key issues generated from the meeting.

Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer EfD Uganda

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CoBAMS partners with UMA to increase industrial research

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Prof. Eria Hisali, Mr. Deo JB Kayemba and other officials pose for a group photo on 27th February 2024. Makerere University College of Business and Mangement Sciences (CoBAMS)-Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Industrial Research MoU Signing Ceremony, 27th February 2024, Nakawa, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University‘s College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) and the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective of bolstering industrial research efforts.

The collaboration aims to harness research capabilities to address challenges within Uganda’s manufacturing sector, thereby boosting its growth and competitiveness. Makerere University, in line with its strategic objectives, prioritizes forging strong partnerships and upholding a research-centric approach.

Prof. Eria Hisali and Mr. Deo JB Kayemba sign the MoU as other officials witness.  Makerere University College of Business and Mangement Sciences (CoBAMS)-Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Industrial Research MoU Signing Ceremony, 27th February 2024, Nakawa, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

At the MoU signing ceremony held at UMA on February 27, 2024, Mr. Deo JB Kayemba, the Chairman of UMA’s Board, referenced the significant progress witnessed in countries like India, Japan, and South Korea, attributing it to the integration of research in supporting industrial advancement. He emphasized the pivotal role of innovation in driving the manufacturing sector forward and underscored the necessity of collaboration in realizing research-led manufacturing.

Prof. Eria Hisali, the Principal of CoBAMS at Makerere University, expressed appreciation for the collaborative efforts and committed to operationalizing the MoU. He stressed the importance of enhancing graduates’ practical skills by involving industry experts in curriculum development and delivery, thus enriching students’ knowledge base and fostering skills development.

Prof. Eria Hisali and Mr. Deo JB Kayemba show off the signed MoU as another witnesses. Makerere University College of Business and Mangement Sciences (CoBAMS)-Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Industrial Research MoU Signing Ceremony, 27th February 2024, Nakawa, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Additionally, Prof. Hisali highlighted the imperative to innovate in support of industry, manufacturing, and technology, aligning with the overarching objective of promoting locally manufactured goods and self-sufficiency. The partnership will encompass various activities, including joint research endeavors, publication of findings, policy paper writing, and engagement with relevant stakeholders.

Specific initiatives under the MoU include providing internship opportunities for UMA-selected students through Makerere University‘s internship programs, facilitating knowledge transfer and staff exchange programs, organizing joint seminars, workshops, and conferences aimed at skill development, and collaborating on curriculum review and development to align with industry needs.

Prof. Eria Hisali, Mr. Deo JB Kayemba and an UMA official chat after the ceremony. Makerere University College of Business and Mangement Sciences (CoBAMS)-Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Industrial Research MoU Signing Ceremony, 27th February 2024, Nakawa, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

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Makerere Presents Nepal’s Community Forest Management Model to Government Agencies

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A section of participants who attended the dissemination in a group photo. Seated Second from Right is Director EfD-Mak Centre who is also Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. Edward Bbaale. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In 2023, the Ugandan team comprising Dr. Peter Babyenda of Makerere University EfD-Mak Centre, Christine Mugyenyi and Rukundo Tom from the National Forest Authority went to Nepal to study the Community Forest Management Model. The study tour was funded by EfD Global Hub and the National forestry Authority Uganda.

The study tour  was one of the activities of EfD Forest Collaborative Peer Learning Project on Community Forestry aimed at deepening the understanding on community-based forestry management and  sharing ideas and experiences regarding forestry among the participant countries.

This study was timely given the current efforts by Ugandan government to increase the forest cover to 24% by 2040. Through community forest management, the people of Nepal have been able to increase their forest cover to 45% from 29% in 1992.

A section of participants in the ministry boardroom. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A section of participants in the ministry boardroom.

As such, Nepal provides a practical example of how the community can be empowered to manage forests and significantly contribute to the general growth of forest cover in the county. The leadership of the forest user groups also act as training ground for the national leadership and as a result, the national leadership also participates in the sustainable utilization of forests.

Nepal presents an interesting scenario demystifying practices in many other countries where local people are seen as enemies of forests. Through Community Forest User Groups (CFUG), Nepal’s model demonstrates how local people, are at the forefront of protecting forests in Nepal.

The experiences from Nepal should act as the guide to successful forest management in other countries including Uganda. In addition, the study tour was informative with vast knowledge attained from different stakeholders on implementation of community forestry.

A participant discussing during the question and answer session. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A participant discussing during the question and answer session.

The study tour involved meetings with the different stakeholders, field visits in some of the community forests and experiencing the Nepalese culture through visiting religious and cultural sites. The 5 days program was under the guidance  of the Forest Action – Nepal and coordinated by Professor Randy.

The tour started with the visit to Kalopani Community Forestry User Group (CFUG), which is in a mountainous site in Kavre District. The team visited a second CFUG on the way to our meeting with the Kavre Divisional Forestry Office, which has jurisdiction over Kalopani CFUG. The team also visited Kavre Divisional Forestry Office and held discussions with the Dean of the Tribhuvan University Institute of Forestry.

EfD-Mak centers disseminates study findings to government agencies

Research fellows from EfD-Mak centre from Makerere University on 27th February 2024, went to the Ministry of Water and Environment to disseminate information on lessons learnt from Nepal’s community forest management.

Mr. Stephen Mugabi (Right) chaired the meeting and officially opened the workshop. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Stephen Mugabi (Right) chaired the meeting and officially opened the workshop.

The workshop hosted by the ministry’s headquarters in Luzira, was attended by over 30 forestry officials from government ministries, departments and agencies including the National forest Authority, Uganda world life Authority and National Environmental Management Authority.

While officially opening the workshop on behalf of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment, The Commissioner, Environment Sector Support Services Stephen Mugabi hailed the EfD Mak center for the continued partnership that was initiated with the ministry.

Noting that the mandate of managing the environment lies within the ministry, Mugabi said it was the right decision that the centre decided to link up with the ministry.

Mr. Stephen Mugabi, also Member of EfD-Mak  Advisory board chaired the meeting.
Mr. Stephen Mugabi, also Member of EfD-Mak Advisory board chaired the meeting.

“When you generate information and you don’t share it, and archive it, it will not be useful. Once information is disseminated and gets to the stakeholders, they get knowledge that is then transformed into action. And the moment knowledge is transformed into action, then we see the knowledge changing livelihoods of communities”, He explained adding that:

“Today you have been recruited as ambassadors of the EfD-Mak Centre. You are receiving information how people in Nepal manage their forests and we expect you to disseminate it further to the people whom you live with.” Mugabi emphasised

Mugabi expressed the need for participants to understand the definitions of a community forest away from the standard definition of a forest on grounds that the way the community understands the forest is far different and has many values attached.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Left) delivering his speech as the PS representative Mr. Stephen Mugabi (Right) listens. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Edward Bbaale (Left) delivering his speech as the PS representative Mr. Stephen Mugabi (Right) listens.

The Director EfD-Mak centre who is also Director, Directorate of Makerere University Graduate Research and Training Prof. Edward Bbaale appreciated the EfD Global hub funded by Sida, for sponsoring the Peer Learning Project for Community Forestry for policy makers and researchers, with a visit to Nepal.

“Today marks a significant moment as our colleagues share insights from their visit to Nepal’s community forest model, a success story empowering communities to manage nearby forests sustainably.

Nepal’s model granting legal rights to use and manage forest resources, stand as an exemplary solution against deforestation – a lesson we find particularly relevant given Uganda’s challenges”, Bbaale said.

Prof. Edward Bbaale addressing participants in the Ministry boardroom. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Edward Bbaale addressing participants in the Ministry boardroom.

Prof. Bbaale also noted that with 70% of the total forest cover under private land and the prevalent use of firewood and charcoal, Uganda faces alarming rates of forest losses.

“The presentation today is timely source of inspiration for policy makers and researchers, demonstrating the positive impact of involving local communities in decision making and forest management, addressing both environmental concerns and social inequalities,” Bbaale stressed.

He extended gratitude to the Ministry of Water and Environment for hosting the engagement at their headquarters and commended the enduring collaboration between EfD-Mak Centre and the Ministry.

Bbale also extended appreciation to the ministry and government for supporting the Inclusive Green Economy program for senior public servants. The Director, Stephen Mugabi represents the Ministry on the EfD-Mak Advisory Committee. The ministry appointed   Commissioner Moreen Anino on the first cohort of the IGE fellows.

Dr.  Peter Babyenda speaking during the dissemination meeting. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Peter Babyenda speaking during the dissemination meeting.

Uganda’s Inclusive Green Economy Engagement Specialist and research fellow Dr. Peter Babyenda said, in 2023, the team went for a study tour in Nepal to learn on the successful community forest management practices that Nepal had employed to increase their forest cover 29% in 1990 to 45% in 2013.

Contrary, Uganda’s forestry cover has decreased from 24% in 1990 to now 13% and, in 2010, the forest cover had further decreased to 9%.

He said, it was deemed appropriate to share the study findings with the ministry’s agencies who hold the country’s natural resources in trust of the people of Uganda.

“We learnt that that once you organise the people, tell them what to do and the importance and gains from the forest, they will take care of the forest, and if you do something detrimental to the forest, you are punished as a community member.

Dr. Peter Babyenda makes a presentation during the dissemination meeting. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Peter Babyenda makes a presentation during the dissemination meeting.

Communities that stay near forests have records of everyone including their photos and they will get to know who does what. They have a well organised inclusive leadership comprising 50% men and female, very transparent with books of accounts that are audited.

We even visited the university that trains leaders so they do capacity building of their leaders together with the department of forestry and wild life and ministry of forestry”, Babyenda explained.

Nepal has about 22,000 community forest user groups benefiting about 2.9million households. The community manages about 2.2million hectares of forest.

Babyenda reported that the community forest management model in Nepal has contributed to forest restoration and made it easy to mobilize the community to ensure that degraded forests are restored. This , he added was evidenced by the increase in the forest cover from 29% in 1992 to the current 45%.

An Environmental Police Officer participates during the meeting. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
An Environmental Police Officer participates during the meeting.

The model according to Babyenda, has contributed to community infrastructure and livelihood benefits because CFUGs are used as a vehicle to community development evidenced by several community development projects seen.

Further, Babyenda explained that not only does Nepal’s model contribute to ecosystem functioning and protection, it has contributed to mitigation and adaptation to climate change largely, due to the maintenance of forests that absorb carbon but also regulates temperature.

“The model contributes to household income generation through the sale of forest products in a sustainable way. The households are aware of the consequences of mismanaging forests and thus utilize them in a sustainable way.

A participant making an input during the discussions. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A participant making an input during the discussions.

This is commendable and other countries like ours need to take lessons”. Babyenda noted and commended Nepal for the inclusive leadership with at least half of the leadership of the user groups being female.

Key Lessons from Nepal’s Community Forest Management Model for Uganda

The existence of a legal body, (FECOFUN- Federation for Community Forestry Users, Nepal) has enabled voicing the rights of community adjacent groups. The CSO has played a very important advocacy role on the rights of women, elders, and marginalized groups. It has also played an important role of influencing forest related polices in Nepal.

UNETCOFA a CSO was established in Uganda in 2006, to unite CFMs but lacked legal barking and has not done much work in relation to CFM networks. The lesson learnt is to involve the Ministry of Water and Environment to revive UNETCOFA.

FECOFUN has created a strong network with the CFUGs, and this enables the groups implement their roles and responsibilities which has minimized non-compliance to the operational plans of the community forests. Commitment by the CFUGs households to protect, restore and conserve forests has largely been informed by previous calamities like earthquakes and floods which is not the case for Uganda.

Value addition on forest products like timber, fodder and herbs has increased the income and created some jobs for the CFUGs.

Community Forestry in Nepal has thrived on many different models for instance knowledge production and knowledge use in forestry and the presence of homogenous society. Improving livelihoods where forest conservation meets the demands of local communities provides an overall incentive for sustainable conservation including safeguarding essential ecosystem services.

Christine Mugyenyi one of the study beneficiaries (Right) sharing experiences from Nepal. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Christine Mugyenyi one of the study beneficiaries (Right) sharing experiences from Nepal.

Having a dynamic, diverse, and respected leadership within community groups increases chances of success as is the case for some CFUGs in Nepal. Involvement of women in use of forest resources recognizes the importance of having women represented in decision- making and giving women a voice has allowed them to actively participate in conservation activities.

Benefit sharing through wealth ranking to target the poor for support is very key and can minimize elite capture. In addition, sharing of benefits/ income accrued from sale of forest products in percentages for instance 25% is invested in forest management was a key lesson to learn.

CFUGs coordination with local government to put up infrastructural development like schools or road construction from the income attained from the sale of forest resources was a key lesson learnt.

Community Forestry has contributed to ecosystem functioning through provision of fresh water supply to the households and for agricultural purposes. Most forest adjacent communities in Nepal access piped water from the forest for both domestic uses including watering animals and irrigation of crops. This has enabled conservation of water sources and regulation of waste discharge.

One of the participants makes his contribution during the discussion. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
One of the participants makes his contribution during the discussion.

Alternative energy/ biomass source in Nepal is at 60%. People are increasingly using LPGs, electricity, petroleum gas etc. This has decreased fuelwood usage in Nepal. The lesson is  that GoU need to reduce costs of gas and electricity to enable less dependency on fuelwood from forests.

Activities implemented during the study tour

Babyenda reported that, activities implemented during the Nepal study tour involved meeting the Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN) executive members during which it was noted that FECOFUN was founded and legally recognized in July 1995 as a social movement organized which later became a civil society organization. It was formed after the legal recognition of Community Forestry in Nepal in 1992 and realization for the urgency to advocate for the rights of the people. It is established in all the 77 districts in the country with over 22,000 Community Forest User Groups are affiliated to FECOFUN and managing 2.2m ha that is; 25% of the forest cover which is contributed under community forestry of the overall forest cover of 45% with 2.9million H/Hs benefiting from community forestry.

The team also held a meeting with the departments of Forests and Soil Conservation-Nepal and Department of National Parks and Wildlife conservation. The forest management model indicated that Community Forests are part of the National Forests handed over to the traditional users for its conservation, utilization, and management guided by the Forest Act, 2076(2019AD), Forest Regulation 2079 (2023AD) and community guideline 2071.

Moreen Anino one of the pioneer IGE Fellows (Right) closing the meeting. Makerere University EfD Centre Nepal Community Forest Management Visit Lessons Dissemination, Ministry of Water and Environment, Luzira, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Moreen Anino one of the pioneer IGE Fellows (Right) closing the meeting.

The department   guides the CFUG in facilitation done through formation of forest user groups and implementing biological diversity, conservation and climate change adaptation related activities and Legal support through identifying, developing, and managing potential forest areas in accordance with the prevailing laws, rules and policies, Community Forest user group registration and Community Forest handover.

Babyenda said the team made field visits to Kalapani community forest and in Shiba Community Forest and the CFUG members. The Community members mainly utilize forest resources like firewood, fodder, grass, timber, and medicinal plants and performs various roles.

In a meeting at the Institute of Forestry- Nepal with the Dean of forestry and the college staff. Babyenda explained that they shared information on Community forestry on how Community forestry has contributed to forest restoration, community infrastructure and livelihood benefits and ecosystem functioning among others.

Detailed report on study findings is attached.

Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer EfD Uganda

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