Govt commits extra Shs25b towards research at Makerere

Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Prof Nawangwe urged government to double the annual research and science money to Shs60b from the current Shs30b for better research results.

Government has earmarked an extra Shs25b to support research and innovation at Makerere University, Education minister Janet Kataha Museveni has revealed.

This is in addition to the annual Shs30b that the university gets to carry out its research and innovations.

In a speech delivered for her by the State minister in charge of Primary Education, Dr Joyce Kaducu, during the celebration of two decades of Uganda-Sweden research cooperation yesterday, Ms Museveni said: “The funds illustrate the increasing importance that government of Uganda attaches to research and innovations as a driver of socio-economic transformation. Indeed the current progress in agriculture, health, and the environmental sector, science, engineering and technology is heavily dependent on the application of research results and innovations.”

Some of the research areas that the government is funding include natural resources utilisation; energy and environmental sustainability; agriculture, food security , safety and value addition; health promotions and health systems; and culture, socio- economic development, governance, conflict and social justice.

Other areas of research included climate change and disaster management, advances in education, science and technology, gender and women empowerment, Information Communication Technology, library, research environment and knowledge translation.  

The First Lady also pledged that government will continue supporting initiatives aimed at promoting research and innovation development in the country.

During the 2021/2022 Financial Year, the government earmarked Shs358b to support scientists in the country to further their research and product development.

Ms Museveni said the Uganda-Swedish research partnership that started in 2000, will be ending in June and has since benefited more than 800 staff from five public universities in graduate training and research.

The head of development cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, Mr Ola Hallgren, said in the emerging reality of knowledge based societies, analytical capacity has to be continuously upgraded.

This, he said, is why the Swedish government has continued to support higher education and research for development cooperation.

The vice chancellor of Makerere University, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, said to date, the Swedish government has supported teaching and learning as well as research staff at the institution to a tune of SEK816m (Shs289b).

Prof Nawangwe urged government to double the annual research and science money to Shs60b from the current Shs30b for better research results.

He said funding from the Swedish government has enabled the university to carry out a number of things including upgrade of Internet bandwidth and improving the online library resources with a system of more than 20,000 e-journals accessible across the country, development of centres of excellence in various fields health systems research, and renewable energy

The same funding he said has enabled the training of more than 400 PhD students, 100 postdocs and a host of masters students from across the university and partner public universities of Kyambogo, Mbarara, Busitema, and Gulu.  

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