KAMPALA – Makerere PhD Fellows (PF @MaK), a grouping of students pursuing graduate studies at PhD level at Makerere University, has today inaugurated a new leadership.
The function which took place at the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) at the Senate Building, was witnessed by the PF @MaK Patron, Prof Buyinza Mukadasi, who also doubles as the DRGT Director.
The inauguration was also marked with a peaceful handover ceremony from the outgoing leadership led by Mr. Simon Peter Okiror, PhD Fellow- Agricultural Economics, to Mr. Gerald Ahabwe, PhD Fellow – Sociology.
In his remarks, Prof Buyinza welcomed the new leadership and congratulated the old leaders upon peacefully handing over their office and for the job well done during their tenure.
“I am very much aware that your tenure was disrupted by Covid-19. Nevertheless, you were able to achieve a lot,” he said.
Prof Buyinza called on the new leaders to emulate the outgoing leadership and serve with dignity and above self.
“The University acknowledges and appreciates this Forum as a springboard for Peer Learning where students take stock of shared challenges and benchmark amongst themselves best practices. We will continue engaging the University Top Management to support PhD students with a Common Room for PhD Colloquium and provide orientation to new students,” he said.
He thanked the outgoing executive for the many achievements despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He wished the incoming executive the best of success in their tenure.
Speaking on behalf of the outgoing executive, retiring Pf@Mak Speaker, Mr Nathan Tumuhamye, thanked his colleagues for providing extra effort in advancing the Fellowship’s objectives and urged the incoming executive to leverage on the goodwill of the University Management to ensure PhD Students’ learning landscape is enhanced.
The incoming Pf@Mak President, Mr. Gerald Zihembire Ahabwe, a PhD Fellow in the Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, promised to build on previous successes to work tirelessly towards a vibrant PhD Community at Makerere University in line with the University’s strategic direction of being a research-led institution.
“We promise to constructively engage Management and other stakeholders within Academia, Government and Industry for a turn-around in the way PhD students are organized and supported in their doctoral journeys for the socio-economic transformation of their communities,” he pledged.
The outgoing President Simon Peter Okiror said in a prepared text that his leadership managed to organize a successful Doctoral Convention on Thursday 14th November 2019 at CTF 1 which was graced by Dr. Joseph Muvawala, the ED National Planning Authority.
The forum also won a grant from DAAD (The German Academic Exchange Service) which was used to organize a workshop on Enhancing Graduate Completion Rates at Makerere University on 5th and 6th March 2020 in conjunction with Association of Ugandan-German Alumni (AUGA).
He however acknowledged that the Covid19 lockdown announced on 18th March 2020 by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, hampered their progress.
Despite the pandemic, the group went ahead to coordinate with DRGT in order to host a number of cross curting courses which have enabled many PhD Fellows to benefit their academic journeys.
Mr Okiror admitted that efforts to H.E. the President of Uganda to support the establishment of a Doctoral Students Centre at Makerere University were unsuccessful and urged the new leadership to pursue the proposal.
The New Top Leadership:
President: Gerald Ahabwe
Vice President: James Mukoki
Speaker: Arinaitwe Rugyendo
General Secretary: Lillian Tukahiirwa
Finance Secretary: Monica Mbabazi
Chief- Welfare: Claire Cheromoi