KAMPALA – The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, H.E. Per Lindgärde has lauded the Government of Uganda’s recent allocation of UGX30Billion to support research at Makerere University, noting that this was a “testimony of recognizing the critical role that home-grown research plays in the development of Uganda as articulated in the NDP (National Development Plan) and Vision 2040.”
Mr. Lindgärde was speaking at the launch of the Makerere-Sweden Bilateral Research Programme Annual Review Meeting on Monday September 30 2019 in the Main Hall, Makerere University.
The Ambassador noted that Sweden as a major long-term funder of capacity strengthening in Uganda had consistently raised the need to sustainably fund research, and the allocation by Government was welcome news.
The current and fourth phase of the Bilateral Research Programme is centred on 17 research projects and comes to an end in June 2020. The Ambassador therefore welcomed a continued discussion with his Embassy “on strengthening the ownership and securing the sustainability of the Swedish investment”, in Uganda’s Higher Education, particularly at Makerere University.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe appreciated the Royal Government of Sweden and its citizens for the support extended to Makerere University over the exceptionally successful 18 years of collaboration. He added that the Swedish Government played a fundamental role in augmenting the internally generated funds at Makerere University, which intervention helped to substantially tackle the chronic shortage of funds for research.
“The significant movement from individually-based projects to the integration of the programme within the broader research agenda at the Colleges, institutional and national level is itself appreciated as an invaluable lesson, opportunity as well as challenge” remarked Prof. Nawangwe, adding that Makerere and the various stakeholders would forever cherish this generous support.
The Vice Chancellor further paid tribute to the Government of Uganda for the allocation of UGX30Billion to Makerere University for Research and Innovations effective financial year 2019/2020, as well as securing over US$200 million from the African Development Bank to finance improvements and expansion of Higher Education Science and Technology (HEST) facilities. He nevertheless called for a strategic and continued investment by Government in Research and Development so as to enhance Universities’ contribution to economic growth and human capacity development in the country.
In his remarks, the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) and Overall Coordinator of the Mak-Sida Bilateral Research Programme, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi praised the Royal Government of Sweden as a strategic partner in building the next generation of researchers for Uganda. He reiterated the commitment of Makerere University and her Swedish collaborators to continue conducting a regular inventory and audit of the advances made in research through the Annual Review Meetings.
“Makerere University and the four Public Partner Universities (PPUs) of Kyambogo, Mbarara, Busitema and Gulu have greatly benefitted from the Bilateral Research Programme through building infrastructure and human capacity development. We appreciate the guidance and visionary leadership of His Excellency the Ambassador as well as the First Secretary Research Cooperation, Dr. Gity Behravan for being a good friend and colleague to the PPUs” remarked Prof. Buyinza.