Skip to main content

NC State Coordinates East Africa Higher Education Summit

As part of the Global Engagement Institute, NC State University and Makerere University co-organized the East Africa Higher Education Summit: Building Communities for Resilience, which took place March 11-13 in Kampala, Uganda.

Sixteen NC State faculty and staff members traveled to Uganda during spring break for the inaugural partnership visit as a part of the Global Engagement Institute. The summit provided a platform for the East African universities to have a dialogue on the transformation of higher education to support research and economic development, capacity building through partnerships, and regional implementation mechanisms. 

Representatives from Gulu University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, and Mount Kenya University also attended and contributed to the discussions and plans for future collaboration.  

During the summit, participants developed strategies to strengthen higher education in the East Africa region by building upon the active partnership between Makerere University and NC State.

Addressing important global challenges, such as food security, public health, and climate change within the context of community engagement provided a framework for interactions among scientists, researchers, academics and students during the three-day summit.

As a graduate of Makerere University, Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo, associate professor in NC State’s Department of Communication, shared his insights about the importance of maintaining strong partnerships to create high-impact experiences for faculty and students. Dr. Steve Lommel and Dr. Craig Yencho gave presentations about NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as well as major ongoing projects. Participants also met with faculty at Makerere University to discuss their research and proposals for new collaborations.  

In addition to the presentations, administrators from Gulu University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, and Mount Kenya University signed a commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership between the universities by pursuing excellence in research and increased staff and student mobility.

Now back at NC State, the Global Engagement Institute will continue to guide its participants as they collaborate on international projects with partners in the region. The projects – ranging from STEM teacher training in Rwanda to building sustainable health enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa – encompass the interdisciplinarity goals of the program.

The Global Engagement Institute provides professional development, support, guidance, and consultation for faculty and staff interested in developing research, scholarship or academic programs with an international focus. The Office of Global Engagement will facilitate another Global Engagement Institute trip focused on a different region next spring.


Global Engagement Institute members:

  • Josip Simunovic – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • DeLeon Gray – College of Education
  • Matthew Booker – College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Moses Khisa – College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Lokendra Pal – College of Natural Resources
  • Veronica Catete – College of Education
  • Sid Thakur –College of Veterinary Medicine; Comparative Medicine Institute
  • Jessica Murphy – Division of Academic and Student Affairs
  • Daniel Findley – Institute for Transportation Research and Education

NC State participants:

  • Bailian Li, Office of Global Engagement
  • Jose Cisneros, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • David Dixon, Office of Global Engagement
  • James Kiwanuka-Tondo, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Steven Lommel, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Juliana Nfah-Abennyi, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Craig Yencho, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences