Makerere University has been advised to play a transformative role in Uganda’s present and future survival and improvement of standards of living through knowledge generation.
The call was made by the Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Ezra Suruma, while presiding over the 5th and last session of the 73rd Graduation ceremony held Friday 17thFebruary 2023 at Freedom Square.
‘I’am encouraged that Makerere researchers are actually tackling important real life problems. It is imperative that Makerere leads the country in defining, creating and transmitting the knowledge we need to survive. We must lead the transformation of Uganda into a knowledge society, he said.
Prof. Suruma extended his felicitations to the graduands from the College of Engineering, Design, art and Technology (CEDAT) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) who were presented by respective College Principals and Deans.
The Chancellor further cited a study by CEDAT’s Kayiwa Ronald on the use of “Activated carbon from cassava peels for removal of active pharmaceutical ingredients from wastewater” which he described as fascinating. The study proved for the first time ever that cassava peel-activated carbon could absorb pharmaceutical residues from water systems. He observed that the continued abuse of antibiotics and poor disposal thereof implied that they were increasingly making their way into our water systems. It is very important that our researchers are responding to these social and environmental challenges and offering insights into possible solutions, he emphasized.
He also extended his appreciation to the University management and staff for steering the University satisfactorily. He said more than ever, the University was churning out research that was responsive to the needs of society. Citing work by Ph.D. graduand Mr. Were Andrew Gilbert from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology titled “How to plan and manage street vending activities in Central Division of Kampala City”, Prof Suruma said the study that focused on how street spaces could be better planned and their possible implications for increasing employment offers insights into decentralized-community led street planning, design, management and policy guidelines for street vending.
Prof. Suruma extended his felicitations to the graduands from the College of Engineering, Design, art and Technology (CEDAT) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS).‘I truly thank God for enabling you to survive Covid-19 and for enabling you to bear the emotional and financial hardships that the pandemic imposed upon us’, he said and also congratulated the parents, guardians and sponsors who endured the many long years to enable the students reach Makerere and to complete their studies. He said this was done despite the pain caused by covid-19, the food shortages arising from drought and other climate changes and the huge increases in commodity prices nationally and globally.
During the event, the Chancellor handed over Awards to the best performing students at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology namely Mr. Sseruwo Sulaiman CGPA 4.81 from the Margaret Trowel School of Fine Art (MTSIFA), Ms. Imanirakiza Sylvia CGPA 4.77 and Mr. Katamba Moses CGPA 4.77both from the School of Engineering (SOE), Mr. Kamba Shadada Moses CGPA 4.53 and Mr. Latim Brian CGPA 4.53 both from the School of the Built Environment (SBE)
While informing the congregation about the statistics of the 73rd graduation, The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said in total he presented 13,221 graduands for the award of degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, a total of 102 graduands graduated with PhDs, 1,378 with Masters degrees, 11,598 with Bachelor’s degrees and 143 with undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas. He pointed out that the women graduands were the highest at 52% compared to the males at48%.
While mentioning the Mak@100 Celebrations, Prof. Nawangwe took cognizance of CEDAT’s Prof. George Kyeyune and Mr. Joseph Sematimba who designed and builtthe flying birdmonument that stands opposite the entrance to the Freedom Square. This monument he said, will forever symbolize both Makerere University’s 100 years of impactful service to humanity and readiness to soar even higher as we embrace the next century.
In the area of research output, Prof. Nawangwe said Makerere’s strategic goal is to transform into a more research-led and more research-intensive University. The Research and Innovations Fund that was made possible through a Government grant of UGX 30 billion annually had transformed Makerere tremendously, with very many innovations in agriculture and food security, health, engineering, education, veterinary medicine, artificial intelligence, economics and business management, and the social sciences that are already changing the lives of our people.
He said work from the two colleges, CEDAT and CHUSS were among the most research-intensive at Makerere and were making a tremendous contribution in research and community outreach. He noted that the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology continues to conduct cutting edge research citing the example of nanotechnology and its use in the manufacture of medicines and vaccines and other engineering products.
‘The College is providing leadership in research in renewable energy and alternative sanitation and water purification methods. Through the PLUS Alliance, a consortium of top research universities in Europe, the United States, Africa and Australia, of which Makerere is a member, the College has embarked on a PhD in Engineering by research and all the participating universities have accepted to use the Makerere PhD for all their students.’ He noted, while emphasizing the tremendous leap in the area of research.
While addressing himself to the graduating students, Prof. Nawangwe said that as graduates of one of the best universities in the world, they occupied a special place in Uganda’s development agenda. ‘The whole Country is looking at you as the people who will move our masses out of poverty. With the abundance of natural resources with which this Country is endowed, we have no reason to continue living in abject poverty. We have done our best to impart on you the knowledge that should enable you to face the world out there with confidence, to become part of the solution and not part of the problem. We have empowered you to be critical thinkers and to be entrepreneurs and good managers of our economy.
He reminded them that successwas not only through the technical knowledge they acquired but more importantly through the soft skills of knowing that they were part of a small privileged elite tasked to move our people out of poverty, hence the need to be humane and humble, but with the determination to succeed.
The Principal, College of Engineering, Design, Art and technology Prof. Henry Alinaitwe presented the Ph.D. graduands, while the Deputy Principal, Dr. Venny Nakazibwe presented the Master’s Degree graduands and the respective Deans of Schools presented the Bachelor Degree graduates. These included Assoc. Prof. Amanda Tumusiime from the Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and Fine Art, Assoc. Prof. Anthony Gidudu from the School of the Built Environment, Assoc. Prof. Dorothy Okello from the School of Engineering.
Here is the live Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6onK2fhFMU
Written by Musinguzi Harriet, Principal Communication Officer, CEDAT
Posted by Isemaghendera Alex, Web Administrator, CEDAT