The director general of the Norwegian Development Agency (Norad) Jon Lomoy has hailed Makerere University for using its research output to support other institutions.
Lomoy, who was at Makerere last week on a familiarization tour, was impressed that researchers who had benefitted from Norad support were now sharing their skills with other universities.
“I’m impressed that our support is now benefitting others such as the University of Juba in South Sudan and others,” he said.
“We are hopeful that our support will continue … but in the long run, you will also be able to support others in the same way.”
Lomoy was also impressed with what had been achieved since Norway started supporting research at Makerere University in the 1940s. This was on the back of a presentation by the university’s director of Planning and Development, Dr Florence Nakayiwa, who gave an overview of Norwegian support to Makerere.
“There is a footprint of Norway on almost every part of Makerere, in the form of buildings, improved facilities and skilled professionals,” she said.
Norwegian support has seen at least 15 major buildings set up, including the School of Gender and Women Studies, which is due for an upgrade in 2018. The upgrade will see three storeys added to the three-story structure.
Other benefitting colleges include Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (Forestry building), Engineering Design Art and Technology (new engineering building), Computing and Information Sciences as well as the University Library.
Norad support is now going to the institute of open, distance and e-learning, which will see the university’s online learning enhanced. In her remarks, the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda, Susan Eckey, commended the university for
its prudent use of funds extended to Makerere. The Norwegian government has invested over 500m NOK (about Shs 220bn).
“I want to commend you for putting the money to good use, which is why Makerere is the largest beneficiary of Norwegian funds,” she said. “I’m looking forward to new developments including the new performing arts centre [to be built at Makerere] start next year.”
Speaking on behalf of Makerere’s vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Prof Elia Hisali, said the university was committed in its drive towards becoming a research-led institution. He commended Norad for supporting Makerere’s drive to excel in research.
“Makerere is now ranked among the top 10 in Africa on account of its research output and we are grateful to Norad for this support,” he said.
Prof Hisali assured his guests that with more support, Makerere would strive to reach the top of the rankings.