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Mak-Merck Partnership to Focus on Research and Development

MERCK-Mak MOU Signing

Makerere University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Merck KGaA, a leading company for innovative and top quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Through this strategic partnership, Makerere University and Merck will undertake collaborative research and development (R&D) ai
med at improving the quality of health care and services delivery in Uganda.

The Ag. Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang welcomed Mr. Kai Beckmann, the Chief Administration Officer of Merck and his delegation to Makerere University and thanked them for choosing Makerere University College of Health Sciences (CHS) as a partner in this worthwhile cause.

Makerere University is especially delighted to partner with a company that is committed to building healthcare capacities and providing sustainable access to high quality, safe medication and health solutions in developing countries. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Merck in the area of research and development will help to establish a scientific collaboration in the fields relating, but not limited, to malaria, schistosomiasis and related helminthic diseases, diarrhea and pneumonia for the purpose of advancing science and also benefiting patients,” said Dr. Okello Ogwang who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Makerere University.

Prof Harriet Mayanja-Kizza

Dr. Okello Ogwang emphasized that Merck’s partnership with local research institutions will advance their research capacity and boost their rigorous efforts to improve healthcare in the country and to tackle non-tropical diseases in Africa.

At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday 13th March 2014 in the Council Room, Makerere University Main Building, Mr. Kai Beckmann, a Member of the Executive Board and Chief Administration Officer, Merck reiterated the company’s full committment to partnering with Makerere University, Ministry of Health, Uganda Diabetes Association and other stakeholders to develop and deliver solutions to expand healthcare capacities and improve access to health in Uganda. This he said would be carried out as part of Merck’s Capacity Advancement Programme.

Rasha Kelej“I am greatly honoured to be here. Merck is pleased to sign today a Memorandum of Understanding with Makerere University to establish a scientific collaboration in the Research and Development field. This is part of our commitment to advancing healthcare capacity and providing sustainable access to high-quality health solutions and safe medicines in Africa,” added Mr. Beckmann.

Pointing out the uniqueness of this Memorandum of Understanding, Professor Harriet Mayanja-Kizza, the Dean, School of Medicine in the College of Health of Health Sciences highlighted that the partnership would also focus on two diseases-diabetes and schistosomiasis.

“For the two diseases, diabetes and schistosomiasis not much has been done. Diabetes is on the rise and Schistosomiasis is a slow, but serious problem in our country. The tests conducted in Entebbe indicate that a ¼ of the adults are suffering from Schistosomiasis. I am happy that this MoU with Merck will have a private-public partnership. We look forward to a long-term collaboration which will benefit our country,” said Professor Mayanja-Kizza.

Ms Mertha Muwanguzi

She added that the partnership with Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Programme at Makerere University as well as the support of diabetes health care in Uganda ignites the drive to mobilize our concerted efforts in tackling the ever rising diabetes prevalence rate.

Merck’s experience in diabetes management started in 1957 with the development of metformin, and thus seeks to raise awareness of diabetes in Africa by educating the public and supporting health care system to prevent, diagnose and manage the condition effectively.

The audience was further informed that through the Merck Capacity Advancement Programme, more than 1,000 medical students from the universities of Makerere, Nairobi and Namibia would benefit from the European-accredited clinical diabetes and chronic diseases management training, which seeks to equip them with skills to avert the diabetes epidemic.

The Ag. Vice Chancellor presented to the Member of the Executive Board and Chief Administration Officer of Merck an assortment of Makerere University souvenirs amidst applause from the Makerere University College of Health Sciences’ team; the Head-Public Relations Office, Ms Ritah Namisango, Head-International Office, Mrs. Martha Muwanguzi Ngobi ; and Mr. Goddy M. Muhumuza; Head-Legal Office.

Thereafter, the Merck delegation proceeded to a meeting in the College of Health Sciences to discuss specialized issues with staff and students.


Story by:  Ms Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office

Photos by:  Mr. Joseph Buwule, Associate Photographer

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 March 2014 06:53 )

Mak-Sida Partnership Reviews Research Support-Envisages 5 more successful years

Mak-SIDA Annual Planning Meeting 2014The Makerere-Sida Annual Planning Meeting kicked off on Monday 10th March 2014; taking stock of the achievements realized by Makerere University in teaching and learning, research and knowledge transfer during Phase III research grant support (2010-2014) and harnessing the power of synergies in preparation for the upcoming research grant support, Phase IV (2015-2020).

"Every year we hold a planning meeting, but this particular one is very unique. We are in preparation for the next research grant, Phase IV (2015-2020). I am glad that through concerted efforts, Makerere University has developed 68 Letters of Intent for possible research funding. We have lined up a series of activities starting today, 10th March 2014 up to Wednesday 19th March 2014. I encourage you to be active participants," remarked Professor Mukadasi Buyinza, Director-Research and Graduate Training.

The Deputy Director-Research, Associate Professor George Nasinyama informed the participants that the Concept Note for the upcoming Phase 1V Makerere-Sida Bilateral Research Programme (2015-2020) would focus on strengthening public universities to generate knowledge and promote research uptake National and Regional development.

Assoc Prof George NasinyamaAssociate Professor Nasinyama then highlighted areas that would receive special attention during Phase IV such as: Research in Social Sciences and Humanities; Technology, Innovation and Business incubation; Quality Assurance in Development of Research, Teaching & Supervision; Cooperation with and capacity strengthening of Ugandan Regional Public Universities; and Synergy and coordination between bilateral and regional research cooperation programs.

Opening the Mak-Sida Annual Planning Meeting, the Ag. Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang welcomed the First Secretary and Senior Research Advisor together with the Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden to Makerere University. He thanked the team from the Embassy of Sweden for the guidance rendered to the Makerere University and partner universities during the development of the Concept Note and the Letters of Intent for possible research funding. Dr. Okello Ogwang who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), applauded the Government and People of Sweden for supporting Makerere University institutional development strategy and research programmes since the Year 2000.

"Makerere University and Uganda in general have enjoyed and continue to benefit from the generosity of the Royal Government of Sweden in the areas of human resources capacity building, research, library services, information technology and infrastructural development," said Dr. Okello Ogwang.

He pointed out that the support has been monumental and critical to the realization of the University's core mandate of teaching and learning, research and innovations, partnerships and networking.Susanne Spets

"A number of our staff have received PhD training through Sida funding. I am happy to report that since 2000 when our cooperation began, over 140 staff have completed PhDs and over 30 have completed Masters degrees," he added.

He then commended the Government and People of Sweden for supporting the reform process through the University Research, Administrative and Financial Reforms Committee (URAFRC), which recommended the transformation of Makerere into a collegiate university.

Drawing from the lessons learnt during the Phase 111, and driven by the desire to perform better, the Ag. Vice Chancellor emphasized that during the upcoming Phase IV, the institution would focus on proper dissemination of interdisciplinary research findings and thematic research inventories so as to contribute to and enhance evidence-based policy development.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training, Professor Mukadasi Buyinza credited Sida for their support, which has greatly improved the research capacity, culture and infrastructure at Makerere University. He shared with the participants the achievements realized so far:

  • Ability of our research teams to write multidisciplinary proposals and win big research grants both in the basic and social sciences
  • Production of high quality publications that have contributed to the improved ranking of the University
  • Improved ICT and library services
  • Enhancement of centres of excellence in waste management, health systems research and renewable energy research, among others.
  • Establishment of state-of-the-art Geographical Surveillance Information System and Biomedical Laboratories.

Addressing the participants, staff and students gathered in the Conference Hall, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Ms Susanne Spets, the Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden highlighted that the generation of over 60 Letters of Intent indicated a growing interest between Uganda and Sweden and a positive trend for research cooperation.

Dr. Pohjolainen Yap Katri, First Secretary and Senior Research Advisor, Embassy of Sweden was happy to note that the staff capacity to conduct research was continuously being developed, but emphasized the need for research results to be shared and disseminated.

CEDAT PhD Research ExhibitionCommenting on supervision of students and PhD training, Dr. Katri said: "The matter of supervision is very important. Supervision is the heart of successful capacity building. The lab model is one of the best PhD training models. It is the planned model in the upcoming Sida research programme."

Considering that the Mak-Sida cooperation Phase III would come to an end in 2014, Dr. Katri advised all supervisors to ensure that the students under the current programme complete their studies by June 2015.

The Deputy Director-Research, DRGT, Associate Professor George W. Nasinyama provided an update on the upcoming Phase IV, Mak-Sida research programme. He highlighted that in line with the National Development Goals and the Makerere University Research Agenda, Mak-Sida Phase IV (2015-2020) would focus on the realization of Seven (7) objectives. These include:

  • Improve research infrastructure to support a robust environment for research and innovations at Makerere University
  • Consolidate capacity for PhD training and research at Makerere University and strengthen local PhD training in Public Universities in Uganda
  • Increase the generation and dissemination of research and research outputs through multidisciplinary teams
  • Increase the capacity for knowledge translation and innovations
  • Increase partnerships and regional synergies for knowledge generation and sharing
  • Improve coordination and management of research and knowledge uptake
  • Increase cooperation with and strengthen capacity of partner public universities

Building on the successes realized and capacity developed during Phase III, Associate Professor Nasinyama added that Phase IV would focus on strengthening the local PhD programs and training most of the PhD students locally; establishing of multidisciplinary research teams addressing broad thematic areas; training for partner public universities; establishing synergies and collaborations with regional programs supported by Sida; and promotion of research uptake.

Dr. Katri also shared the key dates in the process that would lead to the Phase IV research grant.

cedat-sida-audience"On 11th March 2014, the Letters of Intent will be submitted so that the International Academic Appraisal Committee will vet them and make recommendations to Sida. In May 2014, we will know the outcome. Based on the vetting, Makerere and other partner universities will be invited to make a full application to Sida. The deadline for applications to Sida is 21st July 2014," she stressed.

Proceeding with other items on the Opening Session's programme, the Moderator of the Postdoctoral Scientific Conference, Professor Celestino Obua, Deputy Principal, College of Health Sciences (CHS) then called upon researchers to present to the audience. He also advised researchers to use simple terminologies that would be appreciated and understood by the general audience.

Subsequently, the following ongoing research projects were presented:

  • Ecological studies and assessment for domestication potential of selected wild mushrooms of the Albertine region, Uganda---- Dr. Immaculate Nakalembe
  • Assessing the impact of land use/cover change on soil organic carbon and implications for adaptation to climate variability on the slopes of Mount Elgon,Eastern Uganda---Dr. Frank Mugagga
  • Out-scaling and Phosphorus Fortification of a Promising Soil Fertility Management Package-----Dr. Alice Amoding
  • Susceptibility of Apple tree varieties to Apple scab disease in Kabale district, Western Uganda----Dr. Grace Nakabonge

Participants were impressed to learn that each research project included a Master of Science student, which is crucial in building capacity as well as mentoring the next generation of academics.

On Tuesday 11th March 2014, the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology will hold a Science Day under the theme," Science, Technology and Innovations for regional development."

The Mak-Sida Annual Planning Meeting will continue with the teams from Sida, Embassy of Sweden and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training holding specialized sessions at the respective units.

On Wednesday 19th March 2014, all Unit coordinators, researchers/supervisors, mentors, PhD students and Masters Students will convene in the CEDAT Conference Hall for the closing session.


Vice Chancellor, represented by The First Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. E. Okello Ogwang
Director-Research, Professor Mukadasi Buyinza, opening remarks.
Presentation by the Director of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. M. Buyinza

Article by: Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office

Photos by: Elias Tuhereze, Public Relations Office

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 March 2014 11:08 )

DVC FA Opens workshop to enrich the MAK Financial Manual; calls for a linkage of the financial manual to the collegiate system of governance

Workshop on Reviewing Financial Manual The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Associate Professor Arch. Barnabas Nawangwe has emphasized the need to streamline the financial processes of Makerere University.

Opening the workshop on Wednesday 26th February 2014, Associate Professor Nawangwe informed colleagues in the University Management, College Management authorities, Heads of Administrative units and Accountants that the discussion was aimed at ensuring value for money through improved financial management processes and systems.

"We used to have a financial manual, which became obsolete. During the consultative process from 2009 to 2011, the University Research, Administrative and Financial Reforms Committee (URAFRC) came up with some guidelines and processes that would inform the development of the Makerere University Financial Manual. We need the Financial Manual to ensure that the limited resources are put to good use. We have improved accountability, but we need to find away for streamlining financial processes, said Associate Professor Nawangwe.

With the transformation of Makerere University into a collegiate system of governance, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) looked forward to a financial manual that would highlight the decentralization of financial resources to colleges.

The University Secretary, Mr. David Kahundha-Muhwezi advised that the draft financial manual should be in conformity with the existing financial policies and law.financial-manual-workshop

The Ag. University Bursar, Ms Deborah Nalule welcomed members to the workshop that provides a platform to enrich the 2nd draft of the Makerere University Financial Management Practices and Procedures Manual. She thanked staff members and other key stakeholders for providing valuable input, which resulted into the 2nd draft of the financial manual. Ms Nalule explained that the ideas raised during the Wednesday 26th February 2014 consultative workshop would lead to a 3rd draft. In the same spirit, the 3rd draft would be presented for discussion, and thereafter forwarded to the University Council for their input. She then invited the consultants, GTX & Company to present the 2nd draft.

Presenting the draft financial manual, the Consultant, Mr. Eriku Ibaga Daniel happily stated that since the process of developing the financial manual had been participatory, he was standing before the audience comprising the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) and the University Management team, College Management authorities, Heads of Administrative Units, Staff in the Finance Department, Accountants and all invited guests to further receive feedback.

Subsequently, Mr. Peter Mubiru and Mrs. Jackie K. Ayorekire from the Finance Department moderated the 3½ hour discussion that provided valuable input into the draft financial manual.

Gtx ConsultantsCommenting on the draft, the Chairperson of the Change Management Committee, Professor Samuel Kyamanywa advised that the financial manual should be comprehensive. "All issues that can be included in the financial manual should be included. The draft is now in a general format. It is in a policy language, we need to add in the process," he stated.Peter-Mubiru

The Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB), Professor David J. Kabasa emphasized the need to link the financial manual to the collegiate system of governance. The financial manual should highlight the relationship between centre and colleges on financial management.

The consultants informed the participants that they would incorporate the proposals into the draft; align the draft to the strategic plan; cite the existing legislation and reflect the decentralisation of financial resources.

The Ag. University Bursar, Ms Nalule said that they would continue to engage with the consultants to better the draft financial manual. In the execution of this task, she would work with a team of members of staff comprising Dr. Florence Nakayiwa, Mr. Evarist Bainomugisha, Mrs. Jackie Ayorekire, Mr. Peter Mubiru, and Mr. Paul Teefe.

In his concluding remarks, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) reiterated the need to decentralize financial resources. He then requested Professor David Kabaasa-Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security; Dr. Henry Alinaitwe-Principal, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology; and Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe, Dean of Students to form a committee that would provide input on the decentralisation of financial management under the collegiate system.

Closing the workshop held in the CEDAT Conference Hall, Associate Professor Nawangwe said: "This has been a very useful workshop. It is now up to you to ensure that the financial manual is completed."

Story by: Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office

Photos by: Elias Tuhereze, Public Relations Office

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:20 )

Msgr. Kanyike celebrated in massive farewell

Bidding Farewell to Msgr Lawrence KanyikeThe Makerere University community bid farewell to Monsignor (Msgr.) Lawrence Kanyike in a highly befitting ceremony with an overflowing turn up at Makerere University St. Augustine gardens, on Sunday 23rd February 2014.. The main celebrant was His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese. Msgr. Kanyike has been the Chaplain of St. Augustine Chapel for thirty years. During his tenure, Msgr. Kanyike mobilized resources for the expansion of St. Augustine Chapel, construction of a Chaplain's house and construction of a multi-purpose hall to generate income for the church. He is credited for initiating a number of activities to engage students in their halls of residence, hostels and at socialization events. These included outreach programmes that saw him go for mass in the halls of residence and hostels daily, students' orientation, finalist and freshers' dinners.Car

At the event, Msgr. Kanyike bagged a number of gifts for his outstanding service. The members of St. Augustine community and the Catholic Alumni presented him with a Ford Ranger double-cabin, a treadmill, and an art piece. "You truly have been a selfless and dedicated servant of God. We pray that this zeal goes with you to Kyengera parish and that once in a while, if you wish, we see a bit of you," said the Chairperson of the Non-student Central Executive Community, Prof. Edward Kirumira, as he passed on the gifts. Makerere University presented him with a washing machine, and plaque carrying a message on behalf of the entire university. He also received individual gifts from congregants of St, Augustine Chapel and well-wishers. He accepted all the gifts with tears of joy for the love and appreciation showed him. "I do not deserve all this," he remarked as he cleaned his eyes. Msgr. Kanyike was praised by speaker after speaker for his noble contributions and selflessness, that endeared so many to him and to St. Agustine chapel.

StFrancis-Chapel-ChaplainPerhaps his most outstanding contribution to the youth and the entire University community was the fact that he was there to offer a listening ear to whoever came seeking counsel. We all know that the youth are faced with a number of competing interests which put them at cross roads. The fact that they could rely on the genuine counsel of Msgr. Kanyike, in guiding them towards a more fulfilling path, is highly appreciated. You did not stop at this but also dipped into your pockets to make occasional contributions to those who needed tuition, year in year out. If Makerere University had a practice of recognizing and awarding medals, I would like to assure you, Your Grace, that Msgr. Kanyike would be awarded a medal of the Highest rank of Makerere University, said the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu.

Imam-Makerere-University"I thank the centers of worship in Makerere University, for being instrumental in shaping the character of our students and the entire community. I am particularly pleased with the modal that Msgr. Kanyike initiated, of going out to engage the students in their halls of residence, hostels and in socialization events. I however urge the centers of worship in Makerere University, to inculcate the spirit of dialogue in our students; as the best way of solving differences," said the Makerere University Chancellor, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera.

A magazine, 'The Light Magazine,' was also launched at the event, with the Makerere University Secretary, David Kahundha Muhwezi, buying the first copy at one million shillings. In his remarks, Msgr. Kanyike detailed his 30 year journey and successes registered at Makerere University. He also gave a breakdown of the financial status, indicated that the chapel has about 220 million shillings in different banks around the country.Vc-picture

I am lucky that my benefactors were so generous that for the first 26 years of my Chaplaincy, my programs were totally possible because of their generosity to me. So in order that my successor may not start the way I started, I begun to save money and by the time I built the hall, I had a substantial amount of money to the name of St. Augustine Community," he said amidst applause.

"I am happy that I have achieved what I principally wanted to do, namely the building of a new Chaplain's residence, a Student's Centre and the extension of the Chapel. However, my efforts of bridging the gap between the university administration and the students did not yield results," he noted.

CakeIn his last remarks, Msgr. Kanyike called upon the community to remember him as a Chaplain who truly loved them. The passion with which he spoke those words sent many in the congregation to smile with watery eyes. All guests were treated to entertainment and a heavy lunch in the University Mian Hall. Msgr. Kanyike also served his guests with a tasty cake to signal a special meal from him. Many wished him well in his new Kyengera parish placement. He is replaced by Rev. Fr. Josephat Ddungu as new Chaplain of St. Augustine Chapel. Fr. Ddungu promised to serve diligently under God's guidance.


Farewell Speech by Msgr.Lawrence Kanyike
Speech by the Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera
Speech  by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu
Handover Report by Msgr.Lawrence Kanyike


By Marion Alina

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 March 2014 11:25 )
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