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Prof. Ali A. Mazrui (Centre) makes his way into the Main Hall at the Mazruiana Project Launch 11th August 2009. On behalf of the Makerere University Council, Senate, Management, Staff and Students, I join the rest of the world in celebrating the life of a renowned educationist, scholar and mentor, Prof. Ali Mazrui.

Prof. Ali Mazrui joined Makerere University College as a political science Lecturer in 1963. His name quickly became synonymous with academic excellence and a deep rooted desire for socio-economic growth on the African continent. For the ten years he spent at Makerere University, 1963 – 1973, Prof. Mazrui is dearly remembered for his distinguished service. He laid a firm foundation for the Department of Political Science where he served as Head of Department and Professor. He also became the first African Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere Universit. Colleagues remember that during his tenure, Prof. Mazrui introduced courses in international relations and law, which have since gone a long way in making the Department more relevant to both local and international issues. He was also passionate about setting up an Institute of Diplomatic Studies to further give leverage to this Department, although this did not come to pass.

Makerere University made a mark the world over, at a critical time of shaping the post-colonial direction of many countries on the continent; through holding highly memorable public debates. Prof. Ali Mazrui was one of the outstanding key note speakers whose addresses the audience always looked forward to, thanks to his well-researched and vibrant discussions in the historic Main Hall. His lectures in the Main Hall were always parked to maximum capacity, right from his inaugural one on ‘Ancient Greece in African Political Thought.’ Makerere University will also remember him for the highly coveted role he played at the University’s graduation ceremonies; where he was the officially appointed University Orator — entrusted with drafting citations for honorary degrees awarded by the university. Prof. Mazrui consistently acknowledged Makerere University as the academic institution that made him who he was. He always paid tribute to his alma mater wherever he went.

In 2009 Makerere University honoured Prof. Mazrui by initiating the Mazrui Endowment Chair and the East African Ali Mazrui Centre for Global Studies. These two constituted the Mazruiana projects at Makerere University. In so doing, Prof. Ali Mazrui gave permission for his name to be utilized in perpetuity. For this Makerere University is sincerely grateful.


Through his works, Prof. Ali Mazrui impacted the continent in many ways including focusing research on key areas for Africa’s transformation. He was a selfless scholar, who indeed served in many of the leading universities in the world. He inspired many young scholars to pursue further studies and engage in research. Ali Mazrui was widely consulted on many issues including constitutional change, educational reform and leadership. It is little wonder that Prof. Mazrui received many recognitions including being recognized among the top 100 public intellectuals the world over by the American journal of Foreign Policy of Washington, DC, in 2005.

Prof. Ali Mazrui indeed lived a fulfilling life. We at Makerere University compare him to a continuous stream of knowledge, never wavering in refreshing all along its path.  He was a great tutor and we thank the Lord for blessing us with one of his finest creations.

•    A condolence book has been opened at the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Main Administration Building, Makerere University for all who wish to pass on their condolence messages.
•    Memorial prayers will be held at the Makerere University Mosque to coincide with the burial of Prof. Ali Mazrui in Mombasa. The date will be communicated as soon as it is confirmed with the family of the deceased.
•    A delegation from Makerere University will attend the burial in Mombasa.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu

VICE CHANCELLOR

 

 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 17 October 2014 14:53 )
 

Mak-Bergen sign Decade-long Agreement

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Makerere University has signed a Frame Agreement to extend the cooperation with University of Bergen, UiB, for a period of ten years. The Agreement, signed on 30th Sept. 2014, will see the two universities partner in joint research and teaching; exchange of staff and graduate students, and exchange of information and publications.

The initial frame agreement between the two universities was signed in 1999 for 15 years, and was set to expire this November. This Frame Agreement was the longest single North-South Institutional Agreement that both Universities have ever signed.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu was grateful to University of Bergen for renewing the fruitful collaboration to strengthen critical areas. "We would like to strengthen the relationship in the areas of students and staff exchange that should go hand in hand with research collaboration, curriculum development, joint degree awards, and institutional capacity strengthening in human resources, administrative and financial management systems, Library resources, and research grants management capabilities in the context of the greater number of research programmes," he said. He assured University of Bergen of Makerere University's commitment to the renewed Frame Agreement, which he referred to as a sign of consolidating the mutual friendship and ensuring greater internationalization of the two universities.

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The Rector of University of Bergen, Prof. Dag Rune Olsen, pointed out that the long life span of the collaboration is healthy for enabling research. "In research there are no quick wins. We have to invest over a long period of time. We would like to develop global citizens. Our task is to prepare students to work anywhere in the world," he said.

The Coordinator of Mak UiB collaboration at Makerere University, who is also the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Edward Kirumira, emphasized that the two universities will collaborate for as long as they still want to collaborate. "We are hoping that this collaboration expands into serving the region and we are already discussing this possibility. As a collaboration office, we commit to provide support to the members coming through and we would like to see more of the staff exchanges. We hope this collaboration will set the pace for both institutions to reflect on the slogan of our strategic plan to reposition Makerere University to meet the development challenges," he asserted.

Since the start of the collaboration, Makerere University has benefitted through exchange visits between researchers and administrators, over 160 Ugandan students have studied at the University of Bergen for their post-graduate courses including MPhil and PhD, and 6 NUFU projects. In January 2012, Makerere University launched the Seismic laboratory and received equipment as part of the Geosciences collaboration between Makerere University and the University of Bergen. This collaboration is supporting the MSc programme in Petroleum Geoscience, under the Department of Geology and Petroleum Studies. Makerere University also coordinated six NORHED Projects collaborating with University of Bergen plus a 7th one coordinated at Khartoum University but also involving Makerere and Bergen.

group-photo-uibThe Director Research and Graduate Training at Makerere University, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza emphasized that such collaborations are critical in advancing Makerere University's research agenda. "Partnering with a superior institution has enormous multiplier effects. We are grateful to the people and Government of Norway for the support. We hope to get spin offs because a collaboration like this, is an asset. As a Directorate, such agreements help us in fulfilling our mandate," he said.

Prof. Thorkild Tylleskar, the Coordinator at UiB observed that Makerere University is a worthwhile partner. "One of our strategic focuses is on the global South in terms of development. We need as much knowledge as possible for our students in this collaboration. Some of the institutions in Africa are really weak. Many are new and this may cause problems in collaboration. But Makerere University is a comfort zone. It has all the necessary ingredients for a well functioning institution and from here we can invite other younger universities into the collaboration," he said.

Giving the vote of thanks, Prof. Livingstone Luboobi, the first Coordinator of the collaboration in Makerere University, commended the partnership, which he said started as a dream he shared with a colleague-Andreas Steigen at the University of Bergen. He was grateful that the collaboration has stood the test of time and was optimistic that its fruits will have lasting impact.

By Marion Alina

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:47 )
 

H.E Ssekandi launches Prof. Suruma Book on Advancing Ugandan Economy

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At the climax of the historic book launch held on Tuesday 23rd September 2014, the audience comprising people with different political ideologies, public, business and private sectors, development partners, the academia, students and the media applauded the author-Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma for presenting to Ugandans and the world at large, a well written and researched political history and economic evolution of Uganda.

This audience that filled the renowned Makerere University Main Hall and Gallery to capacity was nothing short of spectacular. They upheld the author’s point of view that there was a strong correlation between political stability and the rate of economic growth. They agreed with the author that foreign aid would never lead to the development of Uganda; appreciated the author for reiterating the need to involve the communities in the implementation of the rural development strategy; thanked the author for giving direction on a reformed pension and social security sector; and together with the author wished for a well managed oil sector that would lead to job creation and prosperity for all.

In his book, Advancing the Ugandan Economy: A Personal Account published by Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C,2014, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, an accomplished academician who served government diligently, highlights that it is because of the transformed political environment that Uganda has experienced stability and growth. He also shares very difficult times in Uganda’s history and the reforms that followed, identifies problems in various sectors and proposes viable solutions given his research background and wealth of experience. Professor Suruma remains optimistic that as the democratic environment evolves, Uganda will become more stable; and emphasizes that good governance is critical in a country’s social and economic transformation.welcoming-suruma

In his 197-page book, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, a former Senior Lecturer of Economics at Makerere University; former Director of Research in Bank of Uganda; Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2009; and Senior Presidential Adviser on Finance and Planning in Uganda-not only provides an insider’s account of dramatic policy shifts in Uganda leading to stability and growth, but also expresses hope for a better Uganda. This distinguished son of Africa was also a visiting fellow at Brookings with the Africa Growth Initiative from 2010 to 2011.

In the foreword, Henry Krabbendam, a Professor Emeritus, Covenant College Georgia and Founder, Africa Christian Training Institute-Uganda states that the book gives Professor Suruma’s account of the remarkable policy changes that occurred in Uganda from 1986-2012 as well as his vision for the future of his country. He notes that the primary purpose of the book is to demonstrate that African countries can achieve economic stability and sustain rapid growth when they meet at least two interdependent conditions. He however emphasizes that they must establish a stable and secure political framework, rooted in moral integrity, as well as unleash the entrepreneurialism of the populace, facilitated by a free and democratic society.assoc-prof-nuwagaba

Focusing on a better Uganda, the hopeful Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, a respected economist and academician who served the government diligently decries the growing unemployment levels, but envisions Uganda at full employment. His philosophy of full employment is premised on a well managed oil sector and its correlation with job creation and socio-economic transformation.

“…I continue to believe that the country cannot and should not try to sweep the problem of unemployment under the carpet. With the impending oil wealth, I believe that the country really can afford to pursue full employment. Uganda needs to address the needs of its expanding youth population for adequate housing and decent jobs,” further reads the extract on page 194.

Officiating at the launch of this admirably well-written and researched book, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi congratulated Prof. Ezra Sabiti Suruma upon extending the boundaries of knowledge in economics and politics, and equally commended him for not only awakening Ugandans to social, political and economic issues of our time but also providing solutions these problems.

“I have the pleasure to officially launch Prof. Ezra Sabiti Suruma’s book-Advancing the Ugandan Economy: A Personal Account. I commend it to all Ugandans as a prescription that will save Uganda and take it to greater heights,” said the Vice President of Uganda, H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi amidst applause from a captivated audience.christine-natongo-udn

At the memorable book launch Pastor Laban Jjumba who was invited to say a prayer thanked the Almighty God for blessing the author with the gift of life and wisdom. He also gave God the glory for His Servant’s book launch as hosted by Makerere University.

In the same spirit, the Vice Chair, Uganda Debt Network, Ms. Christine Nantongo said that the organisation was proud to be associated with the Prof. Suruma’s publication. “We are aware of the compelling content in this publication and its potential to contribute to Uganda and Africa’s social and economic transformation.”

The Acting Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Associate Professor Ernest Okello Ogwang welcomed the audience to Makerere University and commended them for filling up the Main Hall and the Gallery to capacity as Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, a distinguished leader and a former Senior Lecturer of Economics at Makerere University (1973-75 and 1979-81) launched his publication.

Makerere University is indeed proud that you chose this Hall as the venue for the launch of your book Advancing the Ugandan Economy – A Personal Account for if its walls would speak, it would tell many a tale. We are also proud that the narrative of this book had its origins in Makerere University, during your tenure as Senior Lecturer at Makerere University. We warmly congratulate you and take great pride in your achievement, and commend you for literally bringing it home,” remarked Associate Prof. Okello Ogwang.

assoc-prof-okello-ogwangAssoc. Prof. Okello Ogwang, who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) informed the audience that sometimes, those in the know (the insiders) are not bold enough to share what they know. He noted that the insiders often share their experience through other people, and in most cases, especially, here in Uganda; often wait for authors from other countries to write about their own country.

He applauded the author, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma (an insider) for taking a bold step to dedicate time and resources to share with Ugandans and the world at large an insider’s account of dramatic policy shifts in Uganda that led to stability. He then encouraged other insiders who were in attendance to share their own accounts with Ugandans and the world at large.

The Ag. Vice Chancellor also thanked the discussants namely Hon. Dr. Mary Mugyenyi, Gen. Salim Saleh Akandwanaho, Mr. Andrew Rugasira, Hon. Nandala Mafabi, and Mr. Edward Gaamuwa for accepting to be part of the intellectual discourse so that the current political and economic reforms in the quest for economic independence seek to build upon the demands in an interrelated, interconnected and global environment.

At 2:30pm, the author- Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma took to the podium to address eagerly expectant audience comprising several dignitaries, Senior citizens, Ministers, Members of Parliament, intellectuals – both young and old, students and the media.

The Financial Sector Reform: Negotiating with the Bretton Woods Institutions, I believe is one of the most interesting chapters for students and professors. As the Vice Chancellor said, I am speaking from firsthand experience,” remarked Prof. Suruma in reference to chapter nine of his book.

With nostalgia, Prof. Suruma thanked Makerere University for welcoming him, and allowing him to launch his book, in the very institution where the journey started in 1979 when he was Senior Lecturer in the then Department of Economics. He informed the audience that the organizers had proposed to launch his book in a different location, but by God’s providence, he was equally happy that they were all gathered in the Makerere University Main Hall.

prof-ezra-surumaIn his presentation, Professor Suruma highlighted the journey through Uganda’s turbulent times. While at Makerere University, he soon learnt that what he was lecturing was soon to become irrelevant and could not easily be heard amidst the turbulent times. It was also very unfortunate that during the Amin Era, most intellectuals lost their lives. At Makerere University, he met the late Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi, whose words of wisdom and vision for the future in one of the lectures that Suruma attended marked a turning point in his life. He pointed out that it was his first time to see someone such as Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi openly stating that the political parties could no longer take the country forward, and that there was need for the 3rd force in Uganda to intervene. Later on, Suruma then a Senior Lecturer of Economics joined Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi-the political scientist to form that 3rd force – the Uganda National Movement at Makerere University.

Recalling their boldness and how their decision to form a 3rd force impacted on the transformation of Uganda, Professor Suruma advised the youths and students to remain focused and determined.

“Then we were young people and a laughing stock. People said that they had dominant political parties, and that we as young people could not do anything. One of the main points, I want to put forward is that when we entered politics, we were responding to a difficult environment. Although they considered us hopeless, we had remarkable achievements. I encourage you, young people to know that ideas are powerful,” he said.

The author pointed out that he escaped death narrowly when soldiers came looking for him, but surprisingly a voice responded that he was not in the area, and by God’s grace the soldiers did not bother to check. Professor Suruma will remain eternally grateful to the person who chose to inform the soldiers that he was not in the area, although the person has never revealed his identity to date.

“To the young people, If God determines that you will live, you will live. Do not fear to organize,” he emphasized amidst applause from the audience.he-edward-kiwanuka-ssekandi

In his hypothesis, it is because of the transformed political environment that Uganda has experienced stability and growth. In the last 27 years, the country has been going forward because there is a remarkable correlation between the type of government and the rate of economic growth. Although the history of economic growth is attributed to macro-economic principles, Professor Suruma argues that more attention should be given to political stability. The transformation in political stability made it possible to pursue major financial reforms in Uganda.

“Looking at the data on page 22, with Uganda’s economic growth rate rising to 3.6%, there is no doubt in my mind that the increase in economic growth is correlated with good governance,” he emphasized.

Being a key figure in the economic and political transformation of Uganda, Professor Suruma is delighted with the reforms that resulted into the liberalization of the foreign exchange sector. He also encountered serious challenges during his tenure at Bank of Uganda including lack of capacity and accountability as well as independence of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance. He also shared a scenario where some key government officials wondered why the Bank of Uganda would require a budget! Professor Suruma is equally glad that they took bold decisions that resulted into a reformed banking sector and an independent Bank of Uganda.

He highlighted the struggle for the Uganda Commercial Bank. He referred to it as a bank without money, with the most pressing problem being illiquidity of the bank. Realising that the people would deposit money, but encountered a lot of difficulty in withdrawing, Professor Suruma considered the problem and tried to find out where the money was going.

audience-suruma-launching-book“I found out that branch managers were lending independently of the centre. Top managers did not know what the branch managers were doing, the latter were practically autonomous. Worse still, the branch managers were lending money but not recovering much of it. That was the ultimate source of the disaster, “he said.

Professor Suruma made an incredible decision, and the bank was liquid within a week, a milestone that his colleagues referred to as the “Suruma Effect.” Listening to his presentation, it was crystal clear that Professor Suruma who had ensured that the Uganda Commercial Bank was profitable as of 1996, did not support the World Bank position of privatizing the bank, but he later realized that he could not win.

The author received around of applause from the audience when he pointed out that the pension and social security reforms are a societal obligation. “I appeal to our citizens to struggle for a time when every Ugandan citizen will afford basic needs and be respected regardless of their economic status,” he said.

In his book, the optimistic Professor Suruma tackles the promising oil sector and its effect on job creation and the social and economic wellbeing of Ugandans. Chapter 21: Job Creation and Housing Demand in Uganda-An Innovative Synergy is my small contribution to the debate on creating employment,” remarked the author.

The author dedicated the book to his father, Sulumani Barilanwa who made sure that he went to school-even though their village had no school to go to; his mother Esiteri Keiganiza whose unflinching disciplinary rigor set him on the straight path toward good; and to the martyrs and fighters for human freedom and justice everywhere.

To the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu who was out of the country on official duty, the author, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma presented an autographed complimentary book with a special message.

“ To Prof. and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ddumba Ssentamu, in remembrance of our time together at Makerere University, 1979 -1981.Thank you for your friendship.”

Discussants:

hon-mary-mugyenyiHon. Mary Mugyenyi, Patron, Joshua Mugyenyi Foundation said that she could identify with what the author had written especially the history and economics of this country. She however pointed out that although decentralization had taken services to the people, it had shortfalls which should be addressed. She also observed that privatization though good had shortfalls such as the prioritization of foreign firms over local ones. She also noted although SACCOs are good, there is an urgent need to regulate them so as to guarantee the safety of their members’ savings. She emphasized that corruption in Uganda is not caused by poverty and appealed to Makerere University to conduct an informed study on who is corrupt and why they are corrupt.

Gen. Salim Saleh Akandwanaho, Presidential Advisor on Security, and formerly, Minister of State for Microfinance thanked the author for according salim-saleh-akandwanahohim the honour of discussing his rural development strategy and its impact on Uganda, which he; Gen. Salim Saleh has been implementing as a loyal officer. He noted that community information systems and access to finances were crucial in advancing the rural development strategy and also saluted H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for re-enforcing the military in the rural development strategy. Gen. Salim Saleh appreciated the title of the book, especially its faith in the future. He nevertheless drew applause from the audience when he emphasized that his dealings in the privatization of the Uganda Commercial Bank were only influenced by the desire to “Ugandanise” the bank. He asked that authors to publish more books on the economy, politics, and environment so that Uganda continues to move forward.

edward-gaamuwa-aclaimMr. Edward Gaamuwa, Chief Executive Director-ACLAIM Africa Limited congratulated Dr. Suruma for his incisive and sometimes blunt book and for being bold to call a spade a spade. He appreciated the author for pointing out that Ministers and people in high places had succumbed to corruption. He however disagreed with the author that corruption was a result of income insecurity but was rather convinced that corruption is a result of greed. The discussant decried the “short termism” in managing pension funds and emphasized the need for a long term approach. He added that social security is not a luxury, but a key factor in sustainable development.

Hon. Nandala Mafabi, formerly Leader of Opposition in Parliament reminded the audience that during his tenure, privatization had indeed put the President and Parliament on a collision course as Dr. Suruma correctly pointed out in his book on page 73. Hon. Nandala recalled that he moved the motion in the House not to hon-nandala-mafabisell the then Uganda Commercial Bank. He commended the author for taking wisdom and courage to come up with an insightful book especially as member of the ruling party! With regard to the discussion on corruption, the discussant argued that the people that tended to already have wealth turned out to be the most corrupt. He agreed with the author that unemployment in Uganda was a serious matter and that a well managed oil resource would lead to creation of jobs. Focusing on the management of the oil resources, he emphasized the need for transparency and accountability as well as the need for the Opposition and Government of Uganda to work together for a thriving oil sector. He also agreed with the view that oil presents us with an opportunity to uplift the standards of Ugandans. Hon. Nandala Mafabi however critiqued the author for remaining silent on the role of international agencies in the oil sector. “The international agencies and donors always ignore the local voices, but claim to pursue democracy,” he said.

Mr. Andrew Rugasira, Chief Executive Officer, Good African Coffee Ltd appealed to the youth and students to read the book and fashion their ideologies around it. He detested the high rate of borrowing and its adverse effects on investment and development. He noted that access to capital was a major problem whereby young people have ideas, but very few have access to capital. He stressed that our hope in economic transformation was within our midst, and further encouraged young people to come up with innovative strategies.mr-andrew-rugasira

In his address, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Ssekandi said: “You will appreciate that books are the principle repository of knowledge. Books of this nature help us to link with reality in our environment and communities. We should use the ideas to bring about transformation in our communities. This is a great inspiration to all of us here to put our ideas in writing and share them with humanity.”

Wrapping up, Professor Suruma thanked the congregation for sparing their valuable time to participate in the book launch. “I have been humbled by your presence and contributions.”

Professor Augustus Nuwagaba, who moderated the discussion, thanked Makerere University for producing Professor Suruma – a wonderful son of Africa. He equally congratulated the Vice Chancellor and staff of Makerere University for producing products that can effect change the world over.

The Uganda Debt Network, which envisions a prosperous Uganda with sustainable, equitable development and high quality of life of the people, sponsored the book launch.

Written by: Ritah Namisango, Makerere University Public Relations Office.

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 September 2014 13:08 )
 

Mak-Vision-Group-MoU-Signing-1stJul2014Makerere University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vision Group to collaborate in the area of ICT Application development, Research development, Joint Community Outreach Projects and Knowledge Exchange. The MoU signing ceremony was held at the New Vision Head Offices on 1st July 2014.

The MoU will be implemented in the College of Computing and Information Sciences, CoCIS. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, who signed on behalf of Makerere University said the University is focussing on producing relevant students. “We are interested in producing students with the requisite skills. I am grateful for this partnership because it is a step in the right direction, especially now that Makerere University is increasingly calling out for Public Private partnerships,’’ he said.

Click here for full article By Marion Alina, Public Relations Office

 
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