Center Director Dr. Richard Edema (in yellow) on a guided tour of the structure

As part of the World Bank Eastern & Southern Africa Higher Education   Centres of Excellence (ACEII) project., Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement  (MaRCCI)  was allowed to invest about 2.8 billion shillings into the construction  her  home at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK).

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on 16th July 2019 opened  the ground marking the start of the construction of the Office block and Lecture theaters for MaRCCI under the Eastern & Southern Africa Higher Education   Centres of Excellence (ACEII) project.

The construction work being undertaken by Build Base under the supervision of Arch Designs was meant to take 12 months ending July 2020. Unfortunately, after some miles into it, COVID-19 hit stalling the works for nine months. However, the building is expected to be complete within the next 3 or 4 months.

Roofing works of the structure

This facility is part of the $ 6 million grant for MaRCCI which provides for additional scientific and staff support, enhancement of facilities and equipment aimed at modernizing and expanding the teaching, research, and service activities of MaRCCI.

Makerere University is among the beneficiaries of the World Bank Loan extended to the Government of Uganda under the ACE II Project aimed at promoting regional specialization among participating universities within areas that address particular common development challenges, and strengthening the capacities of these universities to deliver high quality training and applied research.

The Director MaRCCI said the clearance to use part of the funds followed the World Bank team mission to the university to assess what the centre was doing. The team according to the Director discovered that, the centre had basically got temporary places to house what is MaRCCI.

“So we proposed it would be good to have a real home. So for a centre like us, it was important to have a home that will always shelter us, provide adequate office space, classroom space and other important amenities.

This is a one storied building.  It has two classrooms, 60 and 40 student capacities, so in total we have 100 seater classroom, probably the largest in Kabanyolo right now.

We have a cafeteria where we will be able to serve food, offices for visiting professors and post docs. We have offices for all the MaRCCI staff. We have a library and we have a conference and board rooms. So basically with all that, we will have really good and spacious place, which will be used to execute all our activities,’ Dr. Edema explained.

Workers on site with Arch Designs Consultant inspecting the structure

The Director said the new structure is a beautiful addition to Makerere University increasing office space, and in the long run, it forms part of the goal of the university and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to move many activities to Kabanyolo because the farm has a lot of land but with limited infrastructure.

Dr. Edema appreciated all stakeholders for the support and the Vice Chancellor for being very instrumental in aiding and helping the center this far. Others are the Estates Department, the Procurement and Disposal unit, the University Secretary and more so the Principal of the College of agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Report compiled by:
Jane Anyango
Principal, Communication Officer, CAES

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