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Hon. Dr. Muyingo Officially Launches Graduate Forum, Research Management System

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The Minister of State for Higher Education, Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo on Thursday 25th April 2024 officially launched the inaugural Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue as well as the Research Information Management System (RIMS). Organised under the theme “Regional Integration and Development”, the two-day event being held in the Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility will witness over 70 paper presentations by PhD fellows, Research and Publication opportunities by the Makerere University Press as well as presentations on Mental Health and Wellness.

“I am here because I am coming back home and you are talking a language I love and enjoy. I am also here to confirm Government’s commitment to support Makerere’s efforts to become a research-led University,” reassured Hon. Dr. Muyingo as he commenced his remarks.

Addressing the event theme, Hon. Dr. Muyingo underscored the importance of regional integration as a cornerstone of Uganda’s aspirations for a brighter future, noting that it is through cohesive efforts and shared endeavours that the region can overcome numerous challenges and unlock its full potential for growth and development.

Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (4th R) flanked by Right to Left: Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, Ms. Clare Cheromoi, Prof. Edward Bbaale, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Mr. Erick Jacob Okek launches RIMS. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (4th R) flanked by Right to Left: Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, Ms. Clare Cheromoi, Prof. Edward Bbaale, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Mr. Erick Jacob Okek launches RIMS.

He pointed out that higher education and research play a pivotal role in driving regional integration and development, and called upon scholars and researchers to play their respective roles. “Your pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence holds the promise of transformative change, serving as a catalyst for innovation, progress, and inclusive growth.”

Hon. Dr. Muyingo expressed the Government of Uganda’s appreciation of the strides made by Makerere University in as far as conducting research that informs national development priorities. He therefore applauded the two-day Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue and launch of RIMS not only as milestones in graduate training but also platforms that will make the institution’s research more visible to government, funding agencies, research partners and other stakeholders.

He nevertheless reiterated the need for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) such as Makerere “to play a more practical role in engaging the policy space and contribute to nurturing a policy environment receptive to evidence-based solutions.”

Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (Centre) receives an assortment of Makerere Souvenirs from Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Ms. Clare Cheromoi. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (Centre) receives an assortment of Makerere Souvenirs from Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Ms. Clare Cheromoi.

Delivering the first keynote of the two-day event, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe expressly thanked Hon. Dr. Muyingo for presiding over a second event at Makerere in less than a week. On 19th April 2024, he represented the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni, at the launch of the Digitalisation of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project.

In the same measure, Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government of Uganda substantially tackling the chronic shortage of funds for research by instituting the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). “With the money that Government is giving us, we have changed the research landscape of Makerere tremendously.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers the keynote address. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers the keynote address.

“Additionally, we have with the help of UNDP established a state-of-the-art Innovation Pod. We have put in place an office specializing in Intellectual Property and they are doing a great job; they have already registered several copyrights and applied for several patents” he added.

The Vice Chancellor nevertheless regretted the timing of ongoing budget cuts which are likely to affect funding for research. Noting that we are in the era of the knowledge economy where those in the know get ahead of those who are not, he reiterated that it is Nations such as China that have prioritised knowledge production through funding of Higher Education and research that are making leaps economically.

“If Africa is going to industrialise, we must produce more PhDs because no amount of foreign direct investment is going to industrialise Africa. Africa will be industrialised by the small and medium enterprises, which will come mostly out of research by PhD and Masters students, and a few undergraduate students – the Kiira Motors came from undergraduate students” explained Prof. Nawangwe.

Citing the presentations made during the opening ceremony by Mr. Erick Jacob Okek on Immunological and parasitological impact of co-deployment of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and bed nets for malarial mosquito vector control in Uganda and Ms. Adella Grace Migisha on Environmental influences on electricity reliability in Uganda’s grid system, Prof. Nawangwe emphasised that PhD students are addressing pertinent issues and ought to be supported by the Government.

“Let us put our heads together and see how best to unlock the potential of Makerere University. There is so much potential here that we are not utilising as a country, and we need to unlock it to the letter” summed up the Vice Chancellor.

Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Prof. Edward Bbaale (Centre) chats with Prof. Julius Kikooma (Right) and Dr. William Tayeebwa (Left) at the event. Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Edward Bbaale (Centre) chats with Prof. Julius Kikooma (Right) and Dr. William Tayeebwa (Left) at the event.

In line with contributing to unlocking Makerere’s potential, the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Prof. Edward Bbaale said that the Annual Forum provides a platform to showcase the potential of graduate research as a driver for socioeconomic transformation. “Additionally, it serves to enhance the capacity of graduate students to engage effectively in policy dialogues and debates.”

Prof. Bbaale reiterated DRGT’s commitment to augmenting the skills of graduate scholars in policy engagement and communication as part of their doctoral research and education toolkit, owing to the impact these graduates have. “There is now evidence that return on investment in Higher Education is higher than the return on investment in lower education and hence Government is encouraged to support graduate training through scholarships and loan schemes.”

Citing the Makerere University Policy on Establishment of Research Institutes and Institutions, Prof. Bbaale said that DRGT is encouraging the growth of research groups into dynamic hubs such as research units, centres, institutes and centres of excellence. Furthermore, and in respect of packaging and marketing of research output as enshrined in the Makerere University Strategic Plan, he added that the multidisciplinary Makerere Innovation Pod is poised to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration among students, researchers and entrepreneurs.

On the need for scholars and researchers to publish works in books and journals, Prof. Bbaale put forth the Makerere University Press as an avenue for disseminating new knowledge across the various disciplines. “I would like to implore all faculty and students to use the press as a publishing house and promote our works.”

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (Right) makes his remarks. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (Right) makes his remarks.

Developed by the Directorate for ICT Support (DICTS) with funding from Mak-RIF, the Research Information Management System (RIMS) was unveiled at the Forum as digital solution to track the graduate student journey, report every stage of progress, centrally manage research produced by students, and streamline the graduation process. Addressing the Forum, the Academic Registrar and Principal Investigator RIMS, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi noted that the system is going to Makerere enhance its visibility as a research-led university.

“The architecture of RIMS has seven modules that include: Masters and PhD research; Postdoctoral research; Dissemination, Conferences and Seminars; Research Innovations; Inventory of Senior Researchers; International Collaborations; and e-Supervision” shared Prof. Buyinza.

He added that the system will not only enhance student tracking but also e-Supervision and thesis management through a simple easy-to-use dashboard. “It is a moment of joy that we are transiting from the manual system to an online digital platform. This will enhance efficiency, and completion rates will be assured.”

Mr. Samuel Mugabi introduces RIMS to the Forum. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Samuel Mugabi introduces RIMS to the Forum.

Providing a background to RIMS, the Director DICTS, Mr. Samuel Paul Mugabi noted that the ongoing development and launch of various Information Systems at Makerere University is as a result of a strategic shift by the leadership from outsourcing to solving challenges related to business processes digitalisation through in-house development.

RIMS was developed by a team made up of Mr. Juma Katongole, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza and Mr. Denis Wamala. The latter who presented on behalf of his colleagues demonstrated how the e-Supervision module can be used to track a scholar’s progress right from the conceptual stage right to the dissertation and defence. He added that the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) will pilot the RIMS rollout.

The President PhD Fellows at Makerere University (Pf@Mak), Ms. Clare Cheromoi in her opening remarks said that the lineup of paper presentations would at the end of the two-day Forum clearly demonstrate to the public that PhDs remain highly relevant to addressing the challenges in the country. She observed that Makerere has created the supportive environment through avenues such as the Annual Forum for PhD fellows to collectively address national development priorities.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) receives a token of appreciation from Ms. Clare Cheromoi (Right) as other members of Pf@Mak leadership: Mr. Oscar Nkengi (2nd L), Mr. Joseph Elasu (3rd L) and Mr. Rugyendo Arinaitwe (Rear) witness. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 25th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) receives a token of appreciation from Ms. Clare Cheromoi (Right) as other members of Pf@Mak leadership: Mr. Oscar Nkengi (2nd L), Mr. Joseph Elasu (3rd L) and Mr. Rugyendo Arinaitwe (Rear) witness.

She thanked the University Management and Annual Forum organisers led by the Chairperson Prof. Julius Kikooma for their support in making the event a success. In particular, the President Pf@Mak thanked the Vice Chancellor for maintaining an open-door policy that has enabled Student Leaders to share their ideas. In appreciation the Pf@Mak Leadership presented a book How to Lead Smart People: Leadership for Professionals to Prof. Nawangwe.

The Forum was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms. Ritah Namisango, while the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) kept guests entertained.

Book of Abstracts

Presentations from the Opening Ceremony

General

Advert: Admission to PhD in Public Health Programme 2024/2025

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The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from suitable candidates for admission to a Three Year Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (By Coursework & Dissertation) with the following Tracks for the 2024/2025 Academic Year tenable in the College of Health Sciences:

  • Health Systems,
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
  • Community Health and Behavioural Sciences,
  • Disease Control and
  • Environmental Health

In addition to the general admission requirements of Makerere University, Applicants should possess the following qualifications:

A master’s degree from a recognized and chartered university in health sciences e.g. Medicine (Human and Veterinary), Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Public Health, etc;

OR

A masters’ degree in Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or Laboratory Sciences;

OR

A masters’ degree in Social Sciences i.e. Social Work, Sociology, Economics, Statistics, Demography, Monitoring and Evaluation with at least three consecutive years’ working experience in a health related program.

Candidates whose first language is not English or did not go through an education system with

English as the medium of instruction will be required to prove that they have sufficient command of the English language to cope with post-graduate studies at Makerere University.

Candidates for the Epidemiology and Biostatistics track should have undertaken both MPH 7103 Applied Biostatistics I and MPH 7203 Applied Biostatistics II, and any other course in statisticswith equivalent content, with a pass grade point of at least 3.0.

Candidates for the Health Systems track should have had at least three consecutive years work in a health related program except holders of master’s in health sciences.

Strictly observe the closing date of 31st May, 2024

Contact the offices of the Dean, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences for any further information regarding the programme.

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Research

11 CARTA Fellows Triumph with Postdoctoral Awards

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Dr. Henry Zakumumpa, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH). Photo: YouTube/Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC). Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

We celebrate our 11 outstanding fellows for receiving postdoctoral awards from CARTA after a competitive selection process. Among them are four recipients of fellowship grants: Nanfizat Abiket Alamukii, Adeyinka Olufolake Adefolarin, and Blessings Nyasilia Kaunda-Khangamwa. Additionally, seven fellows have received re-entry grants: Skye Nandi Adams, Christine Minoo Mbindyo, Priscille Musabirema, Oyeyemi Olajumoke Oyelade, Eniola Olubukola Cadmus, and Alex John Ntamatungiro. Join us on a journey to explore the topics, significance, and uniqueness of each fellow’s research, deserving of this prestigious recognition.

Fellowship Grants

Henry Zakumumpa

Affiliation: Makerere University, School of Public Health

Host institution: Moi University, College of Health Sciences

What is your research topic?

Leveraging differentiated service delivery models in Uganda to address the syndemics of HIV, hypertension, and diabetes

Why is your research important?

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we’re confronting a health crisis with rising non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension and diabetes, alongside ongoing challenges in HIV treatment. While diseases like HIV and malaria receive global support, NCDs like diabetes and hypertension often get overlooked. It’s frustrating, but we must bridge this gap to ensure care reaches those in need.

What is unique about your research?

Since 2004, Uganda’s received $5B+ in donor aid for HIV, driving innovations in care and treatment access. Building on this success, my study leverages HIV care platforms to combat hypertension and diabetes epidemics. Exploring community-based drug distribution, I aim to extend medication access for HIV and NCDs in Uganda and beyond.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation?

Thanks to CARTA and Makerere University, I can conduct crucial research on rising non-communicable diseases in Africa, contributing to vital solutions. Their commitment to empowering African-led research is pivotal in advancing agendas continent-wide. Grateful for this opportunity!

Source: CARTA

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Business & Management

Study Reveals Taxation Issues in Uganda’s Informal Economy

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Lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses - a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. Underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system, a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars. Dissemination workshop by Principal Investigator Dr. Ismail Kintu and others, 25th April 2024, Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, Uganda. East Africa. Group photo of the workshop participants.

A recent study by researchers at Makerere University’s College of Business and Management Sciences has identified the lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses as a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. This revelation came from a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars, who examined the underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system.

The findings were presented by Dr. Ismail Kintu, the study’s Principal Investigator, at a dissemination workshop held in Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, on Thursday. The research, initiated in 2022, aimed to assess traders’ perceptions of fairness within the taxation system and how this relates to voluntary tax compliance.

“Traders said the system is unfair to them,” Dr. Kintu explained during the workshop. “Our research aimed to understand what fairness means in Uganda’s context.” According to the study, fairness in the tax system is crucial for voluntary compliance, suggesting that taxes should be aligned with one’s revenue, and penalties should be applied equitably.

Dr. Kintu the PI of the research project. Lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses - a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. Underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system, a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars. Dissemination workshop by Principal Investigator Dr. Ismail Kintu and others, 25th April 2024, Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, Uganda. East Africa.
Dr. Kintu the PI of the research project.

The researchers developed a proposed framework for taxing the informal economy, emphasizing the importance of consulting key stakeholders, such as district commercial officers, tax consultants, and leaders from traders’ associations, before implementing tax policies. The framework recommends engaging these stakeholders in meetings with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Ministry of Finance to ensure that new tax policies are inclusive and fair.

The study also suggests the need for flexibility in tax collection, advocating for payment in installments and prior notification to traders before collecting taxes. This approach, the researchers argue, would help build trust and encourage compliance among informal traders.

The researchers’ proposed framework includes annual mapping of policy gaps in the informal economy and developing solutions to address them. This process would involve regular consultations with stakeholders to refine the tax system and maintain fairness.

Mr Festo Tandeka, the Town Clerk of Nansana Municipality. Lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses - a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. Underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system, a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars. Dissemination workshop by Principal Investigator Dr. Ismail Kintu and others, 25th April 2024, Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, Uganda. East Africa.
Mr Festo Tandeka, the Town Clerk of Nansana Municipality.

Local officials who attended the workshop expressed support for the research findings. Mr. Festo Tandeka, Nansana Municipality town clerk, encouraged traders to cultivate a culture of paying taxes but cautioned against excessive taxation. He recommended allowing tax payments in installments to avoid overburdening traders.

Similarly, Mr. Shaffic Ali Nsubuga, Nansana Municipality Deputy Resident District Commissioner, urged tax officers to approach tax collection with compassion, suggesting that prior notices be given to traders before taxes are collected.

The findings of the Makerere University study arrive at a critical time, as Ugandan traders have recently protested against increasing taxes. Mr. Joshua Mawerere, a youth representative from the Kampala City Traders Association, welcomed the study, noting that it brings clarity to issues surrounding tax policies. He urged the government to raise awareness about new tax systems, like the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS), which some traders mistakenly perceive as additional taxes.

The study’s comprehensive approach to understanding the informal economy’s taxation challenges may pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable tax system in Uganda, fostering greater compliance and reducing the size of the shadow economy.

The research was funded by the government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). Speaking at the stakeholders’ engagement on April 25th, Ms Evelyn Nyacho who represented the chair of the grants committee, congratulated Dr. Kintu and team upon the timely research finding. She said the findings would help URA and the traders coming after a traders’ strike over taxation. She said Mak-RIF was happy to sponsor research that is aimed at solving society issues like taxation. “I was happy to learn that taxes can be pay in installments. I hope traders can embrace this flexibility in paying taxes,” she said. She appreciated government for the research funding to the university. The government commits Shs30 billion annually to research at Makerere University in an effort to spur development of the country.

The research team

Dr Kintu (PI), Prof Eria Hisali (Co. PI), Dr Fred Bateganya, Dr Willy Kagarura, Mr Patrick Lumala, Mr Nicholas Musoke, Ms Marion Atukunda, and Ms Winfred Nalwoga.

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