Profiles of Makerere new PhD graduates

PhD graduates pose with Prof Buyinza Mukadasi, the director of Graduate Research and Training  (right), at the 72 graduation ceremony yesterday. Photo / Michael Kakumirizi

What you need to know:

  • Makerere University will today hold its fourth session of the 72nd  graduation ceremony. More than 12,000 students are set to graduate and of these 100 will be graduating with doctorate degrees. In this article, Amos Ngwomoya profiles some of the high academic achievers.

Makerere University will today hold its fourth session of the 72nd  graduation ceremony. More than 12,000 students are set to graduate and of these 100 will be graduating with doctorate degrees. In this article, Amos Ngwomoya profiles some of the high academic achievers.


Ambrose Mukisa

Topic: Role of blood lead on the anemia status of malaria-infected children.

Mr Mukisa investigated the effect of concomitant exposure to both lead pollution and malaria infection on the anemia status of Uganda’s urban children. The findings show that having both blood lead and malaria infection exacerbates anemia pathogenesis.

Their interaction during anemia development is strong and significant. Further, blood lead complicates the management of anemia disease and this could account for the high anemia prevalence of 52 percent among Uganda’s children.

Christopher Kusemererwa

Topic: Self-employment among the Youth in Uganda

Mr Kusemererwa investigated self-employment among the youth in Uganda using a multi-theoretical approach. Specifically, he focused on youth who have finished university and Tertiary education. Using a cross-sectional research design, he established that social capital, learning behaviour, initiative conduct and business self-efficacy do matter in self-employment among the youth.

He further established that business self-efficacy plays a partial mediating role in the relationship between social capital, learning behaviour, and initiative conduct in self-employment among the youth.


Joseph Lwanyaga Ddumba 

Topic: Application of process technologies for improved salt production from Lake Katwe, Uganda

Eng Lwanyaga designed a process that selectively extracts salt from the brines of Lake Katwe coupled with a techno-economic analysis to foster commercial exploitation of the Salt Lake.  Through thermodynamic modelling, the study revealed that the mineral precipitation sequence mainly started with sulfate followed by chlorides and lastly carbonates with halite as the most abundant mineral.

His study further revealed that the salt pan should be as shallow as practically possible with an optimal depth of 0.1 m.

Brian Makabayi

Topic: Ground deformation modelling based on causal factors in  landslide-prone areas. A case study of Bududa District,  Uganda.

Mr Makabayi undertook a study to model ground deformation in Bududa landslide-prone area.

He developed a model for predicting ground deformation hence the occurrence of landslides resulting from a number of casual factors such as rainfall, soil, slope and infiltration. He tested the model using two space technologies namely Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) techniques.

This model can be used by stakeholders such as the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Ministry of Disaster  Preparedness and Refugees and local authorities to predict ground deformation as a precursor to landslides. This study was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and supervised by Prof Moses Musinguzi and Dr John Richard Otukei.  

Allan Mazimwe 

Topic: Pattern Driven Data interoperability in situation awareness systems. A case of the disaster management community in Uganda.

Mr Mazimwe studied how to manage semantic barriers to data sharing and integration in disaster situation awareness systems for early warning purposes.

Such barriers arise from the fact that stakeholders manage information using different policies and interfaces while at the same time describing data using different vocabularies and conceptualisations.

As a solution, the study adopts the use of patterns (best practices) as building blocks for interoperable architectures that address semantic barriers in line with Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) principles.

Aisha Nakitto Musaazi Sebunya

 Topic: Solanum anguivi Lam. fruits’ nutritional quality and potential effect on type 2 diabetes mellitus. 

Ms Nakitto investigated the morphological characteristics, bioactive compound contents (BCC) and antioxidant activity (AA) of 14 accessions of Solanum anguivi Lam. The impact of various ripeness stages and thermal treatments on the BCC and AA of Solanum anguivi Lam. fruits (SALF) was determined, where the unripe stage and boiling exhibited the highest AA.  Further, the potential of dietary SALF to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)-like phenotypes was investigated using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) model organism.

Sarah Nakisanze 

Topic: Social sustainability and the ugandan haute couture visual aesthetic: Articulating the contemporary value of  past tradition

Ms Nakisanze interrogated haute couture artefacts which exhibit Uganda’s traditional cultural heritage fused with aspects of contemporary dress to produce haute couture as a visual language representing social sustainability. Sarah was intrigued by the stride backwards to move forward amidst modern fashion aesthetic innovations, and has established and articulated the value of the traditional aesthetic in the present.  The traditional aesthetic is an engender of sustainable development; and haute couture shaped by the aesthetic is an inclusive knowledge dissemination platform.

Ismail Wadembere Mugumbu

 Topic: A localised geometrical alignment technique for updating geo-spatial databases

MrMugumbu Ismail developed a Localised Geometrical Alignment Technique (LGAT) for Updating Geo-spatial databases.  The innovative technique uses differences between corresponding objects so that only the changed parts are updated than copying entire objects between geodatabases.

This helps to minimise geometrical errors emanating from openings or overlaps of objects. This technique will facilitate efficient data update within the Uganda national spatial data infrastructures. It will also exploit the potential presented by the Internet computing paradigm in terms of data sharing, utilisation of volunteered geographic information, and lead to more use of spatial information in decision-making

Perpetua Arinaitwe  

Topic: Kiswahili at crossroads: cultural politics and language policy in Uganda.

Ms Arinaitwe studied historical narratives of different language policies and factors that impacted Kiswahili growth across the different historical periods; the pre-colonial period (1840-1894); the colonial period (1894-1962); and the post-colonial period (1962-2019).

A blend of three approaches to language policy and planning (LPP); the Historical-structural model, the neo-classical model and language management theory (LMT). A narrative technique enabled the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data. Findings revealed that Kiswahili growth has been dependent on numerous language policies stretching from the pre, during and postcolonial epochs.

Constant shift in cultural and political leadership meant that whoever held power determined the language policies that favoured their leadership ideology.

Donnah Atwagala

Topic: A comparative analysis of land ownership and land conflicts in post-conflict areas of Luwero and Amuru  Districts, Uganda: A gender perspective 

Ms Atwagala analysed the effects of landownership and land conflicts on gender perspectives in post-conflict areas of Luwero and Amuru Districts in Uganda. The findings show that the nature and causes of land conflicts have evolved, transforming from being local to becoming international. Actors and conflicts have become more sophisticated and complex to identify and analyse, respectively.

Stediare Asiimwe 

Topic: Female survivors’ experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and access to justice in Uganda 

Ms Asiimwe investigated female survivors’ experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and access to justice in Uganda, with a focus on relationships involving male police officers.

The study was carried out in Jinja police barracks in eastern Uganda. Methodologically, qualitative approach was employed, using case study design. Findings indicate that female survivors of IPV experienced physical, sexual, economic and psychological violence.

Richard Balikoowa 

Topic: Sociocultural exploration of children’s experiences and perspectives on gender-based violence in primary schools in Busoga Sub-region, Uganda

Mr Balikoowa explored the experiences and perspectives of primary school children regarding gender-based violence in and around schools and its impact on their schooling; in Uganda’s Busoga Sub-region.  Using a sociocultural approach, Balikoowa adopted a multimethod design through which he involved 450 male and female school children from 10 to 14 years in participatory visual activities; including draw-and-talk.

Ignas Fedeo

Topic: Myth and mythmaking in the narratives about Mwalimu Julius Nyerere among the Banyakyusa.

 Mr Fredeo studied the recreation of Nyerere’s personal life and political career in  Banyakyusa myths. The study offers an alternative understanding of Nyerere’s life and history as perceived by local people. Using oral history interviews and content analysis, Banyakyusa myths which carry their culture, voices, beliefs, and perceptions of Nyerere were recorded.

The myths were interpreted based on Banyakyusa traditional beliefs and their life experiences.with their interests, value system, and skills, thereby compromising the outcome expectations.


Anne Ampaire 

Topic: Career Stereotypes and aspiration as predictors of students’ independence in career choice at education transitional levels in Uganda

Ms Ampaire examined the extent to which career stereotypes and aspirations predict students’ career choice at education transitional levels in Uganda.

This was motivated by the continued challenges that impact on students’ independence in career choice and the extent to which career decisions are based on the available facts.  This has led to students taking up careers that are not in line with their interests, value system, and skills, thereby compromising the outcome expectations.

Overall, the results revealed that reliance on personal independence and career choice facts, is decreased by the prevailing career stereotypes, across the education transitional levels.

Stella Antwiwaa  

Topic: The representation of women in selected plays of Euripides and selected Ghanaian playwrights.

Ms Antwiwaa employed feminist and postcolonial theories to interrogate the representation of women in selected classical Euripidean plays and selected Ghanaian playwrights to examine the ‘universalist’ view that the Classics are models for others to learn from.

The research questions the hegemonic elevation of the classical/western values to examine African experiences. The study reveals that in terms of gender representations, the Classical Greek, through Euripides’ writings, does not provide examples for the Akan (Ghanaian/African) societies.

The study recommends that African scholars need to adopt Afrocentric epistemology to examine African experiences in order to shift and balance the centres of knowledge production and circulation.


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