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MAK signs a Memorundum of Academic Cooperation with University of Western Sydney, Australia: Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti appointed Co-ordinator

The Vice Chancellor, Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba - Ssentamu has appointed Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti as coordinator towards the operationalisation of the Memorundum of Understanding (MoU) of Academic cooperation between Makerere University and University of Western Sydney, Australia. 


This was contained in the letter written by Prof. John Ddumba -Ssentamu to the Ag. Vice Chancellor and President, University of Western Sydney Prof. Scott Holmes, dated February 17, 2015

“Following the signing of a Memorandum of Academic cooperation between our two universities dated February 2, 2015; I am pleased to appoint Prof. Elly N.Sabiiti as Makerere University’s Coordinator towards the operationalisation of the memorandum”, Part of the letter copied to the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Dean School of Agricultural Sciences and Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti read. 

In the letter the Vice Chancellor reiterated Makerere University’s great interest in this cooperation which will strengthen the research and training capacity in the CAES in the fields of peri-urban water management, peri - urban food production, liveability of outer urban areas, sanitation and waste management.

“ These fields are important as they fall under the broad themes of research focus in our current Research Agenda including Environment and Natural Resources Management and Agricultural Production and Productivity, Nutrition, Food Security and Value addition”, part of the VC’s statement read. In an interview, Prof. Sabiiti expressed willingness to take on the new assignment and thanked the Vice Chancellor for the confidence entrusted in him.

“It is a very important appointment at the Vice Chancellor’s level and a recognition of my performance. So it is very important for me, my college, the whole university, and the country because this is the first time to have a collaboration with that university”, He said. 

Prof. Sabiiti pledged his commitment to perform to the expectations of the cooperation.

“And if I do not perform, it means I have spoilt it. So I will make sure that I perform so that we get our expectations from PhD research, student and staff exchange”

According to this agreement, staff from University of Western Sydney who are specialised in certain areas lacking at Makerere will be coming here. Makerere staff will also be going to Australia. A similar arrangement will apply for PhD students.

Prof. Sabiiti attributes his appointment to his efforts in the initiation of this cooperation. In July, 2014, he was invited to the University of Western Sydney to present a paper in a conference on urban agriculture, landscapes, changing scenarios and liveability in cities. His paper which is about to be published is about what is happening in Kampala and how people are coping with increased pressure. 

He reports that, it is being predicted that in 2050, more people will be leaving in the cities so, they will need food and people who want to make money should invest in Agriculture that is why the focus is in urban agriculture.

“Right now, the challenge we are facing is high migration to urban cities but food is becoming scarce. As people come in, there is high demand for food so now we are looking for ways of producing food in urban centres”

While at the University of Western Sydney Prof. Sabiiti says he was impressed by its set up, the capacity and the Vice Chancellor’s willingness to support the cooperation. The professor started working on the modalities of this cooperation in July, 2014 and an MoU was signed in February, 2015. “Since the first focus was from CAES the Principal felt I should lead it, he sent the nomination to the Vice Chancellor who positively accepted. He could have rejected but, he knows me very well that I can deliver”, He said

As coordinator, Prof. Sabiiti will ensure that what is written in the MoU is operationalised university wide. There is part for CAES, CEDAT CHUSS, CoVAB ,CoBAMS and CEES all embracing.

“ So my duty will be to inform and send this memorandum to all colleges about this opportunity and interest them. We want to first focus on CAES and when we register progress, then we can spread to other colleges. For us we are sure of support from that university. The Vice Chancellor of that university hinted that he could provide PhD scholarship for Makerere staff to go to that university, study and work,” Prof. Sabiiti added.

Prof. Sabiiti observed that with this memorandum of academic cooperation, Makerere has to strive to be truly global and have a reference given her age and excellent performance.

“We must become global because 93 years plus of a university is not a short time and there are many good things we have done and excelled in. I know we have this vision of being the best in Africa. 

For me, I want to go beyond Africa because today, if you are not global you will not have the impact”, He advised 

University of Western Sydney, Australia is a top ranking university in Law, Agriculture environment, food science and technology among other fields. Makerere University and University of Western Sydney on February 2, 2015, signed an MoU of the Academic Cooperation for the next three years. 

The MoU was signed by Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba -Ssentamu on behalf of Makerere and witnessed by the Legal officer Goddy Muhangizi Muhumuza. Prof. Scott Holmes signed for and on behalf of University of Western Sydney witnessed by the Senior Project and Strategy Officer, Tanya Adoson.

About Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti
Prof. Elly .N. Sabiiti is a Professor of Crop Sciences who has served Makerere University for over 30 years. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in various fields of agricultural and environmental sciences.

He attained a Post-doctoral Research Fellow from the International Livestock Centre (ILCA) Ibadan, Nigeria (1989-1991) and a PhD from the University of New Brunswick Canada (1983 – 1985) after graduating with an M.Sc. Agric (1976 – 1979) and B.Sc. Agriculture at Makerere University between (1973-1976 ).

He has administrative experience on over 35 national, international boards and committees and has participated in 11 consultancies. Prof. Sabiiti has visited over 45 countries in Africa and overseas and belongs to over 22 professional bodies.

He has mentored 27 graduate students at Masters and PhD levels. At PhD level, he has supervised 7 candidates to completion and 1 is ongoing while at Masters level, he has supervised 20 students to completion and 2 are ongoing.

Prof. Sabiiti has been recognised by many local, regional and international institutions because of his outstanding contributions to science and technology, his leadership skills and community service. He has won 15 National awards, 2 regional awards and 6 international awards. 

He has on record over 150 science and technology publications that have been of value to Government and many public /private and communities. 
The list is long. For more details please click here to follow the link. 

Report compiled by 
Jane Anyango
Communication Officer, CAES

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