Second cohort of the NOMA project to advance MSc. in Nutrition, Human Rights and Governance at Makerere University Launched
The second cohort of the Norwegian Programme for Master Development (NOMA) project to advance Master studies in Nutrition, Human Rights and Governance in Norway, South Africa and Uganda has been launched. This pioneer model; involving 5 academic institutions in 3 countries and 2 continents, is the first of this kind in Africa and in the World to link nutrition, human rights and governance issues that are critical conditions for social development.
The ceremony was held at the School of Food science Nutrition and Bio engineering on July 16, 2012 and presided over by the ambassador of the government of Kingdom of Norway to Uganda.
Sissel Idland being welcomed by the Ag. Principal Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa
Speaking on behalf of the Norwegian Ambassador, the First Secretary Norwegian Embassy Sissel Idland expressed the commitment of the Norwegian government to improve capacity and professional development of graduate students in nutrition related disciplines. “Norway considers such cross-country learning and social experiences as very important aspects of bi-lateral and cross-cultural relations needed to strengthen the global development agenda. We believe in democratic societies and equal opportunities for all and therefore emphasize support to professional capacity development and sharing of experiences for the betterment of societies.”
She said this training will provide an opportunity for Makerere and Kyambogo Universities to contribute, and thereby provide a strong foundation for eliminating hunger and malnutrition that are impeding the realization of the Millennium Development Goals in Uganda and Africa.
”Norway values human rights very highly and we are pleased to see the same values being strongly reflected in our development assistance programmes like this. We therefore affirm that this programme is central in promoting the same values that we cherish.” She said.
Sissel Idland and the Ag. Principal during the launch
Sissel described the course as an exciting academic experience that exploits the full interactive and interpersonal abilities of persons from different countries. She congratulated students for participating and contributing to this wonderful cross-cultural South-South-North cooperation.
She also thanked Makerere and the project team for successfully reaching this far, imploring the university to maintain the same enthusiasm and momentum in future projects to build capacity and promote sustainability.
The Ag. Principal Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa thanked the Norwegians government for the support given to developing countries to develop capacities of their Human resources.
He said the interdisciplinary program was in line with the university policy on integration and cross disciplinary learning that will provide the professional expertise in nutrition, human rights and governance crucial to address the challenge of malnutrition and hunger in the region.
“The NOMA program will help the college fulfill the strategic area of internationalizing the college. By developing a new breed of graduates it will help us bring out more critical issues of cultural exchange and understanding each other which has been causing problems ” he said.
Prof. Kyamanywa however cautioned that since the program is science -Human Rights -based, it should not cause more problems. “I hope that we will recognize that whoever does not work should not eat. That one I want to hear it come out clearly in this program because if you want good nutrition, you must think of it and am hoping that graduates will have this value and support us to replicate with other programs.” He warned.
Some of the students on NOMA program during the launch
He implored students to take advantage of the process describing the training as an exciting academic experience with cross cultural exposure that will build strong relations for the future development of the profession.
The NOMA Msc program is a four year project that started in 2010 funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Norway. It is made of two cohorts of students from South Africa, Uganda and Norway. The first cohort started in 2011while the second cohort of students started in April 2012. It involves two Norwegian Institutions: the University of Oslo, and the newly merged Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, the leading institutions in applied sciences and health research in Norway and Europe. Other universities, Stellenbosch from South Africa, Makerere and KyambogoUniversities, are also leading centres for research and professional development in their respecting countries.