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RUFORUM TRAINING AT COCIS

 

By: Prossy Tulinomubezi 

Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) staff  have discussed ways of corporating with The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) so as to incorporate their work in boosting the agriculture sector.

Dr. Moses Osiru, Deputy Executive Secretary RUFORUM says they offer various opportunities to member universities and also support the various roles that universities play in contributing to the well‐being of small‐scale farmers and economic development of countries throughout the sub‐ Saharan Africa region.

"We modify the way they train students and do research, links universities and institutions to sources of funds and warrants that students finish on time. We also intend to see how Makerere University work with other universities to strengthen them since our major target is to bring more universities together,” he remarked .

 

RUFORUM TRAINING IN SESION

RUFORUM also has an Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Program and a granting mechanism that focuses on strengthening the ICT capacity and supporting member universities to effectively connect to ICT opportunities which exploited, CoCIS can momentously benefit from it.

 

“Our programs supports member universities to implement technology-mediated learning, teaching and research, create and use open educational resources, and above all using ICT to publish and disseminate agricultural information and knowledge effectively,” Osiru added.

Dr. Paul Nampala, Program Manager-Grants RUFORUM says they also enhance networking and close cooperation, inform curriculum development, build outreach and engagement platforms for increased reach, address commodity value as well as a vibrant platforms that links universities to non-academic stake holders at the National and International levels which opportunities may be of value to CoCIS.

“We work with institutions and universities dealing in processes like research, procedures, teaching methods, research outreach and community engagement using different categories of competitive grants which help in putting up development projects for member universities,” he said 

Dr. Evelyn Kigozi-Kahiigi addressing visitors on behalf of the college thanked RUFORUM for exposing the college to such an animated opportunity. “We appreciate this opportunity and the next time you will come here will not be for training but to address us basing on the proposal we are going to write,” said Kahiigi.

The RUFORUM Secretariat views ICT as a strategic tool for effectively servicing the growing membership and it strives to ensure that ICT opportunities are used by the network to rationalize training and research infrastructure.

 

PARTICIPANTS AT THE AGSHARE II TOOLKIT WORKSHOP AT COCIS

By: Nyerere Geoffrey and Tulinomubezi Prossy

 

Makerere University’s College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) in collaboration with College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)and South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide) came together on Monday June 29, 2015 to evaluate theAgShare Toolkit.

The toolkit is designed to provide resources which can be used and referred to by trainers, faculty, staff and graduate students.

It will guarantee that outputs for research and farm communities will follow best practices.

AgShare II, an Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK) project aims at improving agricultural teachings, sharing and empowering farming stakeholders so that they can use the indigenous methods to boost farm production.

Speaking at the workshop Andrew Moose a project manager at Saide categorically stated that modern knowledge washed away the IAK methods that farmers used and therefore there is need for its revival.

The project is aimed at understanding how IAK methods like the use of human urine by farmers can be used to prevent banana weevils, other methods including the use of cattle urine to enhance soil fertility, the use of red pepper mixed with ash and water to control Coccidiosis in birds.

Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello-Obura said that researches should come on board to understand how the use of IAK methods works effectively ‘Researchers should understand the real component that is contained in the urine that kill weevils and extract the component for efficient use.’

The workshop is aimed at collecting information that can be used to better the project and make it easy for the farmers to access information through mobile phones directly from the server

The AgShare II project is sponsored by the Bill Gates foundation alongside Saide in South Afric

 

CERAMIC ORGANIC FILTER

 

By Nyerere Geoffrey & Jacky Achan

Disease prevention, vaccination, health education and reestablishing family links have been identified as key areas that need critical innovations. This came to light in a humanitarian innovation event organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Friday 19th June 2015 at Makerere University to address areas of access to safe water, access to health care and reestablishing family links.

 

ROOTIO

“These areas of health are not as effective as we want them to be, innovators must start thinking in that direction,” appealed Dr. Roy William Mayega Deputy Chief of Party Resilient Africa Network (RAN) and Lecturer at the School of Public Health Makerere University.

 

Attendants drew lessons from successful students from the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) and the School of Public Health Makerere in collaboration with Resilience Africa Network (RAN) who showcased their innovations that can be used in tragedy situations.


Among the showcased novelties was the Ceramic Organic Filterwhich is used to decontaminate water without boiling it first, which is a good innovation that people in areas with hardships can use to disinfect water and bar water borne diseases.

An emergency Telemedicine system (E-Musawo), a mobile appliance used in examining patients’ pressure was also exhibited along withMusawo Drugs, a mobile app that helps to authenticate drugs, show drugs details, identify the cheapest drugs and the nearest hospital from which people can access those drugs. This is to help people to access quality medical services at affordable prices.

Other innovations include a Blind Mobile user app, RootIO -a community radio which uses a mobile phone to broadcast-Low Cost Solar Pump and Gasifier Stoves for purifying water.

 

MARY NSABAGWA

Mary Nsabagwa Assistant Lecturer and supervisor final year projects for students at College of Computing and Information Sciences Makerere University said other than teaching and research they are to ensure community outreach is strongly undertaken by lecturers.

 

Speaking at the conference, Dr. Mayega, Team leader of the next generation Ergonomic tent design and laureate in 2015 of the International Grand Challenge for development to target Ebola organized by USAID revealed that innovations in the area of policy is still lacking. He also said the environment of innovation must move with the community for the developed systems to work.

“Look at the case of Bududa, locals are being told to leave their homes to be safe from  mudslides but the question that lingers in their mind is who is going to take over my land,” Mayega explains.

Dr. Moses Kizza Musaazi a Senior Lecturer at CEDAT Makerere University equally stated budding innovators in the humanitarian must involve end users.
“You must innovate for or with the people or both if your work is to be embraced. Go out there, experience what people go through and involve end users to come up with successful solutions,” he emphasized.

While commending innovations in the humanitarian front, the Acting Director Disaster Risk Management Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) Simon Peter Anyanzo Lenin called for novelty to ensure aid is accessed by all in need.

Zoran Javanovic the head of the delegation ICRC in Uganda said that the youths should be mentored and given a chance to take part in the innovations that can see humanitarian aid reach the people in emergency situations.

But Dr. Mayega called for the innovations to cut across disciplines from production, conservation, processing and marketing. 
Adding that the innovations must be global and competitive if it is to be sustainable, attract private sector partnership, save time and improve service delivery.

Dr. Okello speaking on behalf of Associate Proffessor William Bazeyo Dean School of Public Health and Chief of Party RAN part urged young innovators mostly students to take responsibility for pushing through their innovations.

Other panelists included Onen David Ongweh Program Manager Gender and Sexualit, Refugee Law Project School of Law Makerere University and Florence Okatch from Doctors without Borders or Medicin Sans Frontieres (MSF)

For the ICRC the innovation initiative rotates around pillars of Catalysis and Aspiration, Exploring, Testing, Validation and Replication, Open Innovation, and Identifying the right model for innovation which enable innovation to continuously take place.

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