- February 20, 2023
- Posted by: Mariam Kasemiire
- Category: Uncategorized
The Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Ezra Suruma has commended the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) for the significant research output that is greatly transforming the Agricultural Sector of Uganda. Presiding over the second day of the 73rd Graduation Ceremony of Makerere University on 14th February 2023, the Chancellor equally appreciated CAES for dedicating 30 acres of land at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) to the establishment of Botanical Gardens. “I trust that this will further add to the national drive for higher agricultural productivity and sustainability,” he said.
CAES research and innovations
CAES continues to rank high in research and innovations that address the national and global development challenges. Over the years, the CAES faculty have produced cutting-edge research and innovations that include; i) the Makerere University Soil Test Kit; ii) the disease, pest and climate stress tolerant cow peas, and sorghum under the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI); iii) the drought, disease and high yielding varieties with short maturity periods Mak Soybeans – Maksoy 1N, Maksoy 2N, Maksoy 3N and Maksoy 4N and 5N and 6N providing an affordable source of protein; iv) the bio-fertilizer formulations to unlock crop productivity for improved food security, v) production and promotion of protocols for Banana Tissue Culture for quick multiplication and disease control to improve yields; vi) value addition on Sweet Potato-Sorghum enterprises; vii) pig artificial insemination and elite genetics to improve farmer’s income; viii) provision of alternative source of protein for poultry and fish feeds through rearing blue flies, maggots and earthworms to supplement silver fish; ix) production of a livestock milk booster- produced from sugarcane industrial wastes to mitigate malnutrition, extreme hunger and poverty through improved milk production, nutrition and improved daily cash flow among farmers; x) development of a three wheeled multipurpose farmers’ tractor, MV Mulimi; xi) automation of the Communal Hand Water Pumps to Eliminate COVID-19 Transmission (Mak-Nayi); development of a Green Low Cost Touch-less Hand wash Technology (TW20 Kit) for public shared spaces; xii) Refractance Window Drying Technology (RWDT) for production of high quality bio- products; xiii) development and automation of a spray drier for egg powder production for use in bakery industries of Uganda; xiv) the KeBERA ICT based solution to detect inorganic contaminants as well as mycotoxins in food; and xv) the introduction of 24 new sweet potato varieties on the Ugandan Market.
Chancellor’s message to graduands
The Chancellor congratulated the graduands for successfully completing their respective programmes. “One of my favorite quotations is from the Gospel of John chapter 17. Jesus is praying to God and He says: I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John17:4)NIV. This implies that finishing the task God has given us to do brings glory to God and to us. So by accomplishing what brought you to Makerere University, you have brought glory to God, to your parents, to your supporters and to your country.” Prof. Suruma paid special tribute to members of staff for the excellent work done to prepare the graduands. “Despite the severe challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to both staff and students, today provides irrefutable evidence that perseverance and faith in God can overcome the worst challenges in the world,” he noted. He also appreciated the parents and guardians for the sacrifices made to educate their children.
Awards of excellence to MasterCard sponsored students
During the ceremony, the Chancellor presented awards of excellence to four MasterCard sponsored students from CAES and the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) who attained First Class Degrees. Ms. Nampeera Gertrude from CAES attained a CGPA of 4.44 in the Bachelor of Agribusiness Management.
Overall, CAES Management led by the Principal, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga presented 627 students (300 female and 327 male) for the award of degrees and diplomas in various disciplines. Of these, 14 graduated with PhDs (6 female, 8 male), 105 MSc (53 female, 52 male) and 503 BSc (240 female, 263 male). The PhD graduates include; Dr Akong Graceline Obong, Dr Arinaitwe Abel Byarugaba, Dr Kwikiriza Noman, Dr Modi Jackson Venusto Lado, Dr Namubiru Lenah Leatitiah; Dr Namugwanya Margaret, Dr Nelson Quartey Amagloh Flora, Dr Oketcho Chombo, Dr Owoyesigire Brian Britex, Dr Rugema Semaana Hilary, Dr Sonnie Rose Keselly, Dr Samula Alexander, Dr Ssonko Umar Lule, and Dr Tamubula Irene.
A total of 13,221 students will be awarded degrees and diplomas of Makerere University during the 73rd graduation ceremony that ends on Friday, 17th February 2023. Of these, 102 will graduate with PhDs, 1,378 with Masters Degrees, 11,598 with Bachelor’s degrees, and 143 with undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas. 52% of the graduands are female and 48% male. 41 of the 102 PhD graduands and 563 of the 1,378 Masters graduands are female.
Remarks by the Vice Chancellor
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor congratulated the graduands for the milestone and urged them to remain proud of their Alma Mater and be her good ambassadors.
He expressed gratitude to the Government of Uganda, particularly the President, H.E. Gen. Yoweri Katuta Tibuhaburwa Museveni for the massive support extended towards research at Makerere University. “The government supported Research and Innovations Fund created in the 2019/2020 financial year with initial funding of UGX 30 Billion has transformed Makerere tremendously, with very many innovations in agriculture and food security, health, engineering, education, and the social sciences that are already changing the lives of our people. Beyond the 826 grants issued by Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund to date, we have taken a strategic decision to use part of the funding to support PhD research grants. This is in line with Government efforts to develop Uganda’s knowledge economy. We are hopeful that this will help unlock the potential of Makerere to substantively contribute to national development,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor informed the congregation that the Management resolved to introduce a cross-cutting course in mind education with effect from the next academic year. “Many studies have shown that imparting technical skills alone without soft skills is one of the problems hindering Africa’s development. We believe that mindset education will not only unlock the enormous potential in our youthful nation but will also provide the requisite soft skills.”