The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu, welcomed delegates from NC State to Uganda this past week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalizes a new strategic partnership in East Africa and serves as a bridge for the exchange of knowledge and ideas as well as students, faculty and visiting scholars. The visit culminates three years of engagement between NC State faculty with counterparts at Makerere University that will open up new opportunities for collaboration.
Makerere University is one of the oldest universities in Africa, and has trained three current African presidents. The partnership leverages mutual strengths at both institutions. Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo, a native of Uganda and associate professor of communication at NC State, points out that “Makerere University is currently ranked third in research publications in Africa,” making it an ideal partner for NC State. Delegates from NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Office of International Affairs traveled to Kampala, Uganda September 14-18 to advance opportunities for joint research and student mobility. The delegation met with faculty from several colleges at Makerere University, including the College of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences College of Natural Sciences and College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology.
During the visit to Kampala, NC State also signed a MOU with TASO (The AIDS Support Organization). TASO’s mission is to contribute to a process of preventing HIV infection, restoring hope and improving the quality of life of persons, families and communities affected by HIV infection and disease. It is the largest AIDS organization in Uganda and one of the most respected and impactful AIDS organizations on the continent. Dr. Kiwanuka-Tondo has been involved with the organization since 1996 and Dr. Sheila Smith McKoy, Director of Africana Studies was also instrumental in the development of the partnerships with NC State. Through the investment of time and energies in the development of exchange opportunities for students, faculty and members of the community – there are meaningful opportunities for high impact collaboration.
These strategic linkages in Uganda, along with others including USAID Mission, Ministry of Public Health and the National Agricultural Research Organization, set the stage for deeper engagement in East Africa as an important regional hub for NC State with many new and exciting interdisciplinary opportunities in the future. The Office of International Affairs will announce a new seed funding program soon for faculty interested in collaboration with East African institutions.
News from Makerere University: