MAK VC Commissions CAES Mini- bus
The Vice Chancellor prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu starts the bus engine during the launch.
- Commends CAES for grant acquisition, research output and publications
- Urges the college to reconsider the plan to relocate to Kabanyolo
Makerere University Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. John Ddumba - Ssentamu on Friday 8th July, 2016 commissioned a Coaster at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). The college procured a 30 - Seater mini-bus to ease the movement of staff and students conducting field based activities. The shuttle (2016 model) from Japan was delivered by Toyota Uganda at a cost of $ 83,912 using project institutional fees.
The CAES 30-Seater mini-bus 2016 model from Japan.
The ceremony started with a meeting with the college management and administrative staff of CAES and members from university management including Manager Procurement, Director Estates and Works department and the university Transport officer among others.
The meeting was held at the Conference room, School of Agricultural Sciences. This was followed by the commissioning of the mini - bus at the JICA Parking yard.
The Vice Chancellor and the Principal CAES open the door of the shuttle to enter.
The Principal CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha told participants that transportation of staff and students for field activities remains a big challenge. He said the college has old buses that often break down meting very high maintenance costs to the college.
“We wanted a bigger bus but the resources could not allow. The resources have been pulled out from the small institutional fees that we get from projects. As you know, members from this college are very good at writing proposals and we are really appreciative that without them we could not have bought the shuttle”, The Principal said.
The Principal Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and the VC during the meeting with staff members.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba – Ssentamu commended CAES for aggressively mobilizing resources and securing the shuttle to facilitate the movement of staff and students. He said resource mobilization is not only a function of the university top management but also one of the functions of Principals.
He appreciated the developments and efforts the college had undertaken to supplement university resources.
“I have also been reliably informed that in November 2015, the college procured a generator worth $ 103,117.33 to address the problem of power cuts in the two Schools of Agricultural Sciences and the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences. I am also aware that the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering has a standby generator”. The Vice Chancellor went on to say that:
The CAES generator that was procured last year (2015).
“This demonstrates the high calibre and ability of staff to mobilize resources to boost the University’s resource envelop. The well thought financial management strategy of CAES Management to prioritise the purchase of such facilities is a welcome idea that clearly demonstrates the optimal use of the universities financial resources and the love for the institution to improve training”.The Professor said, the University cannot take these decisions for granted.
“I therefore take this opportunity to offer our sincere compliments and deepest gratitude to the Principals, College management and the Project Principal Investigators upon this kind of thinking. Special commendation goes to the development partners whose financial input helped to facilitate the planning and development processes in the University”.
The VC speaking during the meeting.
The Vice Chancellor said the university was facing a number of challenges that calls for all staff and different college managements to work together, and support one another to complement the university resources.
“I must say that university management takes pride in this college CAES. You are aware that Makerere University is ranked number three in Africa in terms of research output and publications. The contribution your college is making is immense. Most of the activities here are science - based and agriculture contributes a lot in terms of research output and publications and I thank you for making Makerere University visible”. The Professor stated.
Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu reminded staff that Makerere University’s strategic goal is to be a research led University. This, he said can only happen in a comprehensive support structure that focuses on the organisation and management of the operational environment through the provision of physical infrastructure, ICT, library facilities, human and other resources.
The Vice Chancellor also observed that Makerere University’s 10 year strategic plan is situated within the national, regional and global trends in the economic, social and political environment that impacts especially the higher education sector.
Some of CAES staff moving out of the bus after the launch.
He also noted that despite Uganda’s economic growth rate averaging 6% per annum for the last eighteen years and the associated sizeable structural changes and opportunities, the university is cognisant of the fact that government funding of tertiary education averages only 11% of the total education sector and this is projected to decline further.
“Ironically, this decline in funding should provide an opportunity for Makerere University to come up will well thought-out income diversification and management strategies. I am very pleased with CAES staff record in writing grant winning proposals and the multi-stakeholder engagements that bring to bear academic problems to be addressed by University-based research teams”.
The VC expressed happiness that CAES was moving in the right direction when he said:
“I am particularly impressed that the objective of procuring the aforementioned facilities is to facilitate staff and students in training, research and outreach activities. As Vice Chancellor, I want to reaffirm the University’s commitment for a continued collaboration with CAES for better service delivery”.
A section of CAES staff members clap hands as the VC unveils the bus.
Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu urged management, staff and students of CAES to put the facilities to good use to assure quality, efficiency and effectiveness in training and research.
“You may realize that we have a number of vehicles in this university but some are put to personal use, you don’t see them at all and they are somewhere in some people’s homes yet they are university property. Iam positive that this will not happen and I look forward to launching more of these and other facilities in the college”.
The VC urges CAES to reconsider the plan to move to Kabanyolo
The Vice Chancellor urged the CAES to reconsider the plan to move to Kabanyolo, saying Kabanyolo is the way forward and where much work can and should be done. “Kabanyolo is neglected and people are condemning us. As a college, let us think seriously of moving to Kabanyolo because it is possible to establish an agricultural college there. We need to have a starting point and say in two years time, let one school move and eventually we shall be there.” The VC advised.
The CAES strategic plan 2011-2021 has two main growth stages – a Foundation and establishment Phase 2011-2016 and the Consolidation development and growth phase 2016-2021.The objectives under the Foundation and establishment Phase 2011-2016 are to establish the CAES off-campus at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute (MUARIK) by establishing and upgrading teaching, research facilities and equipment;Strengthening leadership and management and; contribute to the development of human capacity for agricultural and environmental related sector development in Uganda and Africa.
The VC chatting with some members of staff as they move to the JICA parking.
Under the Consolidation and growth phase 2016-2021, CAES will implement actions that ground it as a leader in agricultural and environmental training, research and development. The targets during this phase include stabilizing funding for mission fulfillment; Consolidating community and national development and, strategically expand its international programmes in R&D and training.
Through this strategy, CAES is pursuing that agenda and will require investments worth 250 bn. This include 1) Revamping of MUARIK as a training and agribusiness support center(1, 924, 184 USD (4, 579, 581, 720 UgX); 2) Shifting of CAES Campus to MUARIK (15, 679, 169 USD (37, 316, 422, 600 UgX). 3) Annual Operations and training 540, 930 USD or (1, 287, 408, 975 UgX); and 4) Ten year expenditure on Research and Development 72, 671, 226 USD or 172,957,518,303UgX).
These investments will unlock the contribution of agriculture towards; wealth creation and competitiveness, high quality human capital, physical infrastructure development and well-targeted research innovations that increase factor productivity, expand market niches, improve incomes and competitiveness as well as sustainable environmental management to stimulate and support rural transformation and economic growth.
Report compiled by:
Communication Officer, CAES.