Professor, mentor, golfer, father and friend celebrated

Prof. Kerali sent off in honor

Staff of Makerere University on February 23, 2021 honorably bid farewell to their fallen comrade Prof. Anthony G. Kerali. As if to mimic the elegant and flamboyant lifestyle that he lived, the academic staff led by the Vice Chancellor, donning their academic gowns, escorted the casket into the church.

Prof. Kerali was described by many as a simple, quiet and intelligent individual who performed exceptionally well in everything he did.

Prof. Nawangwe addressing mourners

“We are sincerely grateful to God that Prof. Kerali was able to share his knowledge with thousands of students through teaching, mentoring, field work supervision and his day to-day life. He was a man who offered distinguished service to Makerere University and the country,” the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, said.

Prof. Kerali was described as a prolific writer who won research grants worth USD2 million. He was passionate about education, its transformative impact on society and an individual’s upward mobility.

One of his Colleagues at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, Dr. Dans Naturinda shared his education journey with Prof. Kerali. “Dr Anthony Kerali was one of the lecturers who had to teach me in a one-man class; he taught me Strategic Management in Construction, one of the courses that shaped my outlook to inspire and influence the Ugandan construction industry,” he said. Dr. Dans described Kerali as a good father-figure and professional.

Prof. Nawangwe eulogized Prof. Kerali as a resourceful person, developmental, dedicated and innovative academic who brought developed the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) during his tenure as vice chairperson. The Principal of CEDAT, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, described the deceased as a man of his word, one no known to mince his words. If he didn’t agree with a decision made, he made it very clear why and offered alternative views, a thing the principal said helped him as a manager.

Prof. Alinaitwe and Dr. Nakazibwe laying wreath on the casket of Late Prof. Kerali

The Head of Department Construction Economics and Management, Dr. Nathan Kibwami, where Prof. Kerali worked described him as an extra-ordinary member of the department. “He is the founder of the department, having been the driver and architect of the proposals leading to creating of this department in 2004, starting with three programs, 67 students, and a handful of staff. The department currently has over 30 permanent and temporary staff, and over 700 students,” Dr. Kibwami added.

“Prof. was deeply concerned with improving systems and the way things worked; he was very keen to innovate for any problem. He initiated and implemented a number of things during the (almost) 20 years that he has worked at CEDAT, and Makerere.”

Prof. Kerali is credited for having prepared the first ever time-bound Master plan for the optimization of space use at Makerere, worked with MUASA (vice chair) and spearheaded efforts for the significant increase in staff salaries (2004-2006). He also spearheaded the start of the Dept. of Construction Economics and Management.

As a consultant on various road projects, his contribution to the construction industry in Uganda was appreciated. 

As an avid golfer Prof. Kerali supported the golfing fraternity, with sponsorships every time he could.  The golfers honoured him by forming an arch using golf clubs to salute their former club captain.


Prof. Kerali joined Makerere University service in 1985 as a Senior Assistant Engineer shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from this institution. Because of his hard work, in 1988 he was promoted to Estates and Works Engineer, a position he held until 2001. He then went on to pursue an MSc in Construction from Loughborough University as well as a PhD from the University of Warwick, both in the United Kingdom. After completing his PhD in 2002, he was transferred to the Faculty of Technology as a Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. It was during this time that he started the Construction Economics and Management Course where he went on to be the Head of Department.  He served in this capacity from 2007 to 2009 and in 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

Prof. Kerali was a highly qualified Professional Civil Engineer with extensive experience in teaching, research, administration and consultancy work spanning a period of 30 years. He also held several postgraduate qualifications including one in International Construction Management from Lund University in Sweden, and another in Heavy Construction Plant and Practical Training from the Construction Industry Training Board of England.

Prof. Kerali served on the Makerere University Senate from 2012, a duty he performed exceptionally well. Everything he did, he did with dedication and determination. He equally served as the Chairman of the University Infrastructure Committee and was an active Consultant with TECO consults – an Engineering Firm at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, as well as with various international firms.

Prof. Kerali was today Wednesday February 25, 2021 laid to rest at his ancestral home in Erussi, 25km south of Nebbi Town.

You will be dearly missed. Rest in Peace Prof. Kerali.

Story by Betty Kyakuwa