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MAK holds the Inaugural Memorial Lecture in honour of the Late Dr. Festus Bagoora


L-R: Ag Principal CAES, Assoc. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga, Min. of State for Environment Hon. Dr. Gorreti Kitutu and  Ag. VC MAK, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang during the opening the opening of the Memorial lecture (singing the National and Makerere University anthem)


Makerere University on 7th October, 2016 held the first Memorial Lecture to commemorate the Late Dr. Festus Kibirige Bagoora.

The memorial lecture was organized by the Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic Sciences in honor of  Dr. Bagoora's great contribution to the academic, practice and policy fraternity especially in the field of environmental management.

The function was held at Makerere University’s main Main Hall, and presided over by the Minister of State for Environment Hon. Dr. Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono who is also Woman MP Manafwa district. The main speaker on the day was Dr. Mugisha Aryamanya. Dr Aramanya gave a lecture on the theme centered on, “The Environmental Management Framework in Uganda. A challenge to Practice.”

The function was also attended by Makerere University Vice Chancellor represented by the DVC (AA) Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, Principal College of Agricultural and Envronmental Sciences represented by his Deputy, Associate Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga, staff from academic institutions, NEMA representatives, family members and students.

Some of the participants who attended the memorial lecture

Dr. Festus Bagoora passed away a year ago in 2015. The Late Dr. Festus Bagoora was an instrumental and long serving member of the Makerere University’s Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic Sciences. He taught and supervised many staff members at Masters and PhD level.  He also worked as NEMA’s Natural Resources Management Specialist (Soils and Land Use).

Speaker after speaker described the Late Dr. Bagoora as a genius, patriotic and selfless man who devoted the better part of his adult life to teaching not only at Makerere University but other Universities as well.

The State Minister for the Environment, Hon. Dr. Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono described the Late Dr. Festus Bagoora as “a no-nosense man”.

“Bagoora was a colleague and we executed several tasks with him in NEMA. He was a no - nonsense man. It was upon you to move away so long as what he was doing was right. He was dependable and once sent on assignment he was committed”, The Minister said.

Hon. Dr. Kitutu emphasized that what the Late Bagoora left behind was unforgettable.

“ NEMA is utilizing what he left behind. He held debates in crisis meeting on environmental sector and gave advice to avert danger. As we speak now, the forest sector needed people like Dr. Festus Bagoora who do not look into the face but action”, The minister observed.

 Hon. Dr. Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono addresing participants

Hon. Dr. Kitutu reported that before 1990 Uganda had 1.8 hectares of forest cover but Uganda has suffered the greatest loss when forests were decentralized under the local governments and private ownership adding that 400 hactares of what was left under UWA and NFA has been lost.

“If you are a Ugandan, be patriotic and stop cutting trees. Let us not wait for NEMA. As I speak now government has embarked on the process of cancelling land titles in wetlands”

In his speech read for him by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, Makerere University Vice Chancellor told participants that the university takes pride in organizing and hosting this event in honour of the great contribution made by the Late Dr. Bagoora to the development of human resources and serving the nation in the area of environmental protection.

“ Dr. Festus Bagoora was a teacher by calling, always putting his students’ needs above material rewards. To Dr. Bagoora, the lecture room and fieldwork were simply a hobby pursued with zeal. Therefore, there is no other fitting way to remember such a personality than initiating a memorial lecture series to enable us reflect on the virtues that drove the actions of a committed academic, researcher, public servant and environmental advocate that the Late Festus Bagoora was” The VC stated.

    Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang reading the Vice Chancellor's speech

The Vice Chancellor said as a public servant, Dr. Festus Bagoora is known to have actively participated in nurturing the nascent environmental management regime in Uganda and was a real mentor to many professionals both in academia and practice.

“The publication of “our common future” by the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development (UNCED) in the mid 80s gave birth to the demand for shrewd  global environmental stewardship and Uganda was no exception. It is around this time that Dr. Festus Bagoora; then a budding young academic joined the pioneer environmental educators, managers and researchers. Throughout his illustrious career, he built national and international networks that are testimony to his tenacity”. He added.

The family members to the Late Dr. Festus Bagoora attending the memorial lecture

The Vice Chancellor said the choice of the theme for this inaugural memorial lecture “Environmental Regulatory & Institutional Framework in Uganda: Practical challenges to sustainability “ was guided by the desire to reflect on what Dr. Festus Bagoora strived to contribute to.

He noted that it will be comforting to discover that his efforts towards environmental sustainability cannot be wiped; neither wished away but should be part of the collective responsibility for posterity.

“The challenge to build a National Environment Management Framework for Uganda fell on him and it was no surprise that he later served with distinction as Executive Director, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)”.

Ag. Vice Chancellor (R) presents a gift to the Guest speaker Dr. Aryamanya Mugisha (L)

Working tirelessly, the Vice Chancellor recognized the late Dr. Bagoora and colleagues for spearheading the NEAP process that produced the Uganda National Environment Policy, the institutional framework and the current Environmental Legislation guiding sustainability in Uganda.

The Ag. Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Asso. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga thanked the family members for nurturing the Late Bagoora in quest of knowledge that the university and nation has greatly benefitted from.

Dr. Nabanoga hailed the departed colleague for the entire legacy pledging the college’s commitment to hold annual memorial lectures as the only way to remember the works of the Late Dr. Bagoora.

Ag. Principal CAES, Assoc. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga giving her remarks

The Head, Department of Geography, Geo informatics and climatic Sciences Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze xpressed gratitude to the university management for allowing the department to organize the function and staff members for mooting the idea of memorial lecture to commemorate an intellectual giant, Dr. Festus Bagoora and honor his great work as an academic (Geomorphology), dedicated public servant and practitioner (Environment).

Dr. Bamutaze observed that academicians were being confronted with numerous challenges and needs; issues within-competing boundaries(a) intra discipline issues; interdisciplinary, cross disciplinarily, multi-disciplinarily; outside-supply versus demand (b) inter issues; close the link between science and policy to accelerate development; produce dynamic graduates, develop innovations. These he said was a great calling and the issues are intricate and complex.

“But here we are commemorating a man whose deeds manifest a strong desire and commitment to address these complex issues; (a) he pervasively believed and worked to bridge science, policy and practice (b) excelled in providing critical insights as a harbinger for intellectual growth especially in the discipline of geography (c) relentlessly pursued with conviction the notion of sustainable human environmental interaction which has of late evolved globally and is being traded as the “socio-ecological systems” (d) passionately and admirably engaged, mentored and inspired the young scientists particularly in the field of geomorphology”. The Department head recalled.

Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze speaking during the function.

Cognizant of these good deeds and the attendant values, Dr. Bamutaze challenged the academia to see that the values the Late Dr. Bagoora espoused and lived for are sustained. He pledged that:

“ As a department, we proffer to sustain this by; (i) continuously organizing these intellectual meeting to re-echo and remind generations of the works of Festus Bagoora (ii) designing academic programmes that embrace these virtues”. Dr. Bamutaze promised.

Dr. Bamutaze told participants that the department has a number of academic programme currently running, some being restructured and new ones proposed. The overarching goal according to the head of department was to build and produce competent graduates who are “articulate, dynamic, vibrant and competent” in light of the changing conditions and demands. In other words, graduates of the caliber or with a DNA of Dr. Festus Bagoora.

A section of the participants who attended the memorial lecture

He appealed to staff to prepare lectures that go beyond stimulating intellectual discourse and to address immediate and expected societal development issue of demand and supply curve.

“We would like to see the ideals he espoused, practically contributing to the realization of the Global development Agenda 2030 (People, planet, and prosperity), Uganda Vision 2040 (transformed Uganda society). We will have to trace thrivability of societies, organized space, sustainability of the earth which we can link to the giant works of Festus Bagoora.” Dr. Bamutaze appealed.

Story compiled by:

Jane Anyango,

Communication Officer, CAES


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