IDRC Visits CAES
A six member team from the IDRC- the sponsors of Makerere University Change Management on February 22, 2013 Visited Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Science to ascertain the level of progress under the new collegiate system. The university turned collegiate two years ago.
The team, met the Ag. Principal CAES Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa and members of staff where they discussed issues pertaining the progress and challenges in the implementation of the collegiate system where a number of issues were raised.
The college team raised concerns over the need for the centre to devolve some powers functions and finances for example the amount of procurement to enable the smooth running of the college. Other issues raised included lack of key personnel like the college bursar and registrar that have impeded the operations of the college.
The Ag. Principal later led the team to the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering where they a held a brief meeting with the Dean and also toured the Food Technology and Business incubation centre and the Food Parlour.
The School Dean Prof. John Muyonga told the team that the staff had a changed mindset ready for the journey and briefly explained the school structure, programs and staff establishment.
He said the incubation process at the school involves staff and students with research that finally ends up with prototypes and engagement of the private sector. Prof Muyonga told the team that with a start up capital of from Norway, the incubation program has helped the university to work with graduates to better their business ideas, look for finances to grow and transformed research into consumeable products.
He pointed out that so far twelve enterprises have been set up while two dozen products have been introduced on the market and leading were in retail outlets.
He enumerated some of challenges as lack substancial financing and financing structure to support the young graduates to face the competition, lack of facilities for entrepreneurs for commercial production as well as legal and financial constraint for incubates to fully pertent their products.
Speaking on the issue of th resource envolop for post graduate programs, Prof. Muyonga reported that financing was reasonable but not adequate on grounds that there were limited opening for grants commpetion while grants frpm IDRC were unpredictable and where oppotunities came, the school failed to get patners .
He said the students write proposals and get projects and that the university was partnering with RUFORUM to look for more opportunities.
The visiting team included Prof. Celestino Obua who is the Deputy Principal college of Health Sciences, the incharge, communication and Partnership IDRC Vivianne Ngungi , Kathy Kahn the senior program Oficer Bill and Melinda Gates, Tonn Machacha the Finance Associate Bill and Melinda Gates and the Director Makerere University department of Women and Gender Studies Margret Kanabahita among others.