MakerereAt100: Govt renews commitment to supporting research, innovations

Thomas Tayebwa, Government ChiefWhip in Parliament (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA —Government has renewed its commitment to supporting research and scientific innovations at Makerere and other public institutions.

Officiating at the activities to mark the 100 years of existence, government Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa —representing the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, pledged government’s commitment to supporting scientists and researchers to enable them improve and expand on their various undertakings.

“The Speaker of Parliament has promised that he will support strongly that element [of research and innovations] and I will assure you on behalf of Government that we are to look at that,” Tayebwa said.

“We must set our own agenda and direction as Government. We can’t rely on donors to finance that direction, because if donors do, they will take you to their direction,” he Tayebwa added.

He also rallied all the university alumni community both in Uganda and in the diaspora to support Makerere University— saying that it has transformed lives of hundreds of thousands of students—noting that “it’s time to pay back”.

“Makerere University you have transformed us, you have changed us and it’s our time to pay back. Its now our responsibility and some of us will do whatever we can to make Makerere much better than we found it,” he said.

Makerere was established in 1922 with only 14 students but has since grown over the years to become one of the leading universities in the world.

Mrs. Lorna Magara Chairperson of Makerere University Council said that all the rich history of Makerere has been well documented by several authors.

Key among others, she cited Margaret MacPherson who spent nearly 40 years at Makerere University, shaping lives and instilling the spirit of thoroughness in all she had the opportunity to mentor. Her book; They Built for the Future:
A Chronicle Of Makerere University College 1922-1962 is widely regarded as the most authoritative history of this institution for the period.

She noted that MacPherson’s work is complemented by that of others such as Carol Sicherman’s book; Becoming an African University: Makerere 1922-2000.

“As grateful as we are of these accounts of Makerere’s rich history, we are also mindful that a lot remains to be told, especially of the modern era. We are nevertheless cognizant that a lot of scholarly work has been published about the modern day Makerere”.

Magara revealed that the University Council has embarked on a book project whose publication is planned to be an easy-to-read and well-documented book around six broad themes including providing skilled human resources for East African Society and production of knowledge through research and innovation.

Other themes include Makerere’s contribution to democratic governance and the building of social institutions in East Africa, Makerere’s contribution to the economic development ofEast Africa, Makerere and Curriculum Development in East Africa and Challenges.

“I therefore call upon all of you our stakeholders to visit our online platforms and learn how you can make your respective contributions to this historic project before 31st December this year”.

Besides reviewing history, Magara said the year-long celebration presents great prospects for Makerere and her stakeholders to renew their commitment to make the University more impactful in its activities in the years to come.

Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded stakeholders for supporting Makerere University over the years and called upon them to take a keen interest in the celebrations.

“We want to mark 100 years of excellence with all our stakeholders. In the days ahead we will reach out to the broader University community of students, staff, alumni, development partners both nationally and internationally, and well-wishers for their participation in the centennial celebrations,” Nawangwe said.

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