Makerere Signs Pact with Tottori University Japan: Student/staff exchange, Establishment of an Agro – Technology Park, part of the deal
Makerere and Tottori university have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Memorandum on Student Exchange Based on Academic Exchange (MOSE), the first of its kind with the Japanese institution.
The collaboration is expected to benefit the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) in terms of training, research, curriculum development, quality assurance, institutional development through student /staff exchange and the establishment of an Agro – Technology Park at Makerere University Research Institute - Kabanyolo (MUARIK).
The proposed Agro –Technology park system in the University farm would consist of an Aquaponic production, Bio char and Manure compositing production from crop residues and animal dung, Horticultural production in glass house, Plant factory, Micro Hydraulic Power unit and crop production including Agro - forestry among others.
The signing ceremony was presided over by the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba -Ssentamu at the Main building Council room witnessed by Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Uganda, H.E Junji Yamazaki on November 15, 2012.
Also present were the Representative Director Centre for International Affairs, Tottori University Dr. Dagnachew Aklog, Representative Principal School of Agricultural Sciences Dr. Eiji Nishihara, Makerere University Secretary and Accounting Officer, Mr. David Kahundha Muhwezi, Senior Legal Officer Goddy Muhanguzi Muhumuza, Principals , Deans and staff from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,
In his welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba- Ssentamu expressed gratitude for the good will of the Government and People of Japan for the value they attach to academic partnership and choosing Makerere University for partnership saying, it will provide a broader platform to strengthen the good relationship between the people of Uganda and Japan.
Prof. John Ddumba said Makerere university has continued to raise from a humble technical school that was established in 1922 with 14 students to become one of the leading universities in Africa that has registered a lot of achievements in terms of research and innovations. He attributed the growth to the ability to engage in strategic partnerships and collaborations aimed at improving the quality of teaching and learning, research, knowledge and skills transfer among members of staff.
He said, the Makerere University Strategic Plan (2007/08-2017/18) provides a direction to reposition Makerere into a research-led university with each college coming up with mechanisms to turn into a centre of excellence.
“As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Makerere University (1922-2012), the future of this great institution lies in strategic partnerships with reputable institutions and universities. We, at Makerere, therefore take this opportunity to thank The President of Tottori University-Professor Takayuki Nose and the entire administration of Tottori University for identifying Makerere University as a strategic partner for research and collaborative training in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
Prof. John Ddumba told participants that Uganda is an agricultural country with most of the citizenry deriving their livelihood from this sector pointing out that the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences had a cardinal duty in the development of the agricultural sector as well as contributing to the efforts of guaranteeing food security for our nation.
He welcomed Tottori University’s commitment to tap into the expertise at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences describing it as an opportunity for Makerere University students to acquire knowledge and skills from Japan.
“It is my greatest desire that our students privileged to be trained by staff from Japan will also acquire the hard-working nature of Japanese. Everywhere in the world, the Japanese are famous for their hard-work and commitment to duty, a virtue that I pray will be emulated by Makerere University exchange students”, The Vice Chancellor said.
In a message read for Tottori University President, the Representative Director, Centre for International Affairs, Dr. Dagnachew Aklog said, the university was proud to have established academic exchange and collaborative exchange programs with Makerere University.
He said Tottori University recently embarked on a 5 year “Global Human Resources Development Project financed by MEXT geared towards increasing international awareness and exposure of its students including countries in the Eastern Africa Region namely Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
“Considering the political stability of Uganda and the high status of Makerere, I personally feel that Makerere will be the leading partner for Tottori University in this region. I hope the signing of this MoU will open a way for meaningful exchange and collaboration between Makerere and Tottori University and in addition to collaborative researches, we will be able to see more Uganda students in Tottori and Japanese students in Makerere” Dr. Dagnachew Aklog said.
Deputy Head of Mission of Japan in Uganda, H.E Junji Yamazaki, said research and development in Agriculture was key to Uganda’s strategic and comparative advantage as a regional food basket and agro exporting country.
“If Uganda advances in agriculture, then not only Ugandans but also neighbouring people in Kenya, South Sudan Rwanda and DR. Congo will also be much happier” The ambassador said.
He extended invitation to Makerere University on the upcoming Tokyo conference on African Development slated for June next year where issues on new style of cooperation in Agriculture, education, human resources development, health and infrastructure will top the agenda.
Speaking on behalf of the Ag. Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Prof. John Muyonga who is also Dean School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio- engineering welcomed the collaborations describing it as key in contributing to the university core functions of research, training and outreach as well as responding to national challenges such as mounting demographic pressure and rural-urban migration.
“The proposed establishment of a state- of- the-art Agro-Technology Park at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute, Kabanyolo (MUARIK) clearly aligns our strategic goals and will serve as a hub for regional engagement with the Universities in East Africa and beyond.
Prof. Muyonga also said the implementation of the MoU for the student and staff exchange between Uganda and Japan will help to improve the quality of training graduates and effectively contribute to national development and improvement of lives of the peoples of Uganda and Japan.” Part of his statement read.
This collaboration was spearheaded by Prof. Moses Tenywa who is also Director Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK). Prof. Tenywa and Her Royal Highness Prince Irene Ndagire from Uganda Embassy in Tokyo attended the first leg of this signing ceremony in which the President of Tottori University Takayuki Nose fixed his signature on October 17, 2012.