My Blog

Google Unveils Self Driving Car

Google Self Drive CarGoogle has unveiled a self-driving car with no steering wheel, brakes or accelerator.The vehicle, which the company has built from scratch, relies solely on built-in sensors and a software system.

Google CEO Sergey Brin unveiled the two-seater prototype during an onstage interview at the Recode Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California.

Unlike the search giant's other self-driving cars which are carefully monitored by two Google employees (who are ready to take control at any moment) every time they hit the road, the new prototype car is entirely driven by computers.

Google says the car, which has virtually no blind spots, is capable of seeing what’s going on up to a distance of two football fields.

Although the car has experienced zero crashes during testing, it's still limited to a maximum speed of 25 MPH so that there's less destruction in case of a crash.

Google started working on self-driving cars back in 2009. Since then the search giant's robo-cars have racked up 70,000 miles on the road. The company expects to have them ready for public use between 2017 and 2020.

Note From the Editor 37


With great pleasure, I present to you Vol.1 Issue 37 of UTAMU News.

In this issue, Prof. Baryamureeba gives us insights on the significance of decentralizing higher education institutions to create autonomous colleges that can effectively handle the administrative, financial and management affairs of University colleges.

An UTAMU student also presents an in-depth relevance of Uganda martyrs in our Christian/ Islamic Life today. Does their deed ring a bell in your life? Read on!

Also this week, one of our students on community engagement shares with us her experience and the lessons she has learnt so far.

Read details of these stories and much more.

How to Manage Oil Revenue in Uganda

Enock Nyorekwa
The 3.5 Billion barrels reserves of Oil find present Uganda with an opportunity of windfall revenue when oil production commences. Commercial production is expected to commence 2017 and the estimates of oil revenues are in the range of 2- 3.5 Billion dollars annualy which is more than 50% of the current cumulative national debt. The current reserves are expected to last 20-24 years if production is at 200,000 bpd.

In essence, if oil revenues are managed well, they will not only go a long way in leveraging Uganda from its debt, but will also deliver critical development infrastructure.

Oil Revenue Management will be guided by the Oil Revenue Management Policy (2012) and the Public Finance Bill (PFB) currently before parliament. The proposed law provides for a single petroleum fund in Bank of Uganda (BoU) where all oil revenue collections will be deposited.

All oil revenue collections and administration will be done by Uganda Revenue Authority while the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development will be in charge of the petroleum fund with a delegated authority of management of the petroleum funds to BoU.

The Petroleum fund has twin objectives of financing the budget and Investing/saving for future Generations. The withdrawal of funds to cater for the national budget will be through Parliamentary approval on a year-by-year basis. In the short run, the oil funds will be limited to funding the non-oil Budget deficit agreed as part of the Budget process. The withdrawals of petroleum funds to the budget left to discretion of Parliament presents a clear risk that political pressure that could result in revenues being spent rather than invested.

The funds that then remain on the petroleum fund will be invested in accordance with the petroleum revenue investment policy issued by the Minister in consultation with the Secretary to the Treasury and on the advice of the Investment Advisory Committee. The members of the Investment Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Minister after approved by Parliament‖.

The future savings provision withstanding, the bill does not explicitly provide for the stabilization fund which would provide a steady level of government revenue in the face of oil price fluctuations.

There are various forms of accountability and transparency provided in current bill which include the Minister tabling table the annual report to parliament. The Office of the auditor general will audit both the funds on the petroleum fund and the funds transferred to the budget and present annual reports to Parliament.

The proposed legal framework provides Uganda a strong foundation for management of oil revenues; however the main challenge lies in the implementation of its laws. The implementation gap between policies and regulatory frameworks on the one hand, and actual performance on the other must not be allowed for the petroleum sector in Uganda.

The legal framework provides the necessary foundation but to realize full benefits, open transparency is key- information for all. As much as the proposed law requires the Government of Uganda (GOU) to publish incoming revenue receipts, it does not specify how reported receipts will be disaggregated, nor does it require companies to publicly disclose the payments that they make to the GOU. A critical and more urgent action for Uganda is to adhere to the International standards of transparency.

An example of these International standards is the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which requires its member Countries to publish all payments made by oil, gas, and mining companies to government, and all revenues received by the government from those companies.

EITI implementers also commit to closely involving civil society in the design and monitoring of the EITI process. Also the Dodd-Frank Act in the US and the Accounting and Transparency Directives in the EU require all private oil companies that fall under the jurisdiction of these requirements to publish annually details of all revenue payments to the host governments, including taxes, royalties, licensing fees and bonuses.

If Uganda truly intends to join the EITI, as it has been repeatedly stated by President and the respective ministers, it perhaps makes logical sense, harmonizing its reporting requirements with the EITI Standard in order to limit administrative burden going forward.

In fact some international companies, including Tullow Oil, Total E&P, Dominion Petroleum and CNOOC will be required to report their payments to the GOU by virtue of their stock exchange listings or home jurisdiction law.

As such, it would be wise to include a requirement in the Public Finance Bill to require companies to declare their payments to the GOU in line with international transparency requirements. In fact, Ghana which signed to the EITI in 2003 has a separate EITI bill.

EITI compliance helps to prevent oil, gas or mining revenues being mismanaged or lost to corruption. Experience shows it also leads to improvements in the tax collection process and boosts public finances as it has in Ghana and Nigeria. Nigeria’s first EITI audit report found a discrepancy of $230 million between what the companies reported to have paid, and what the Nigerian Central Bank reported to have received.

To attain shared benefits for all from oil, it requires shared information for all. Informed citizenry, civil society organisations and the media are and will be crucial healthy transparency and accountability organs.

Community Engagement has Greatly Shaped me

Sarah Owembabazi
Having to wake up early in the morning to get to work before 8am daily is no easy task. It reminds me of winter times back in High School, when we had to wake up and make revision. I am slowly adapting to the rush that most people go through every day to just to earn a living.

As a student, I am at liberty to attend classes. But in a working environment, things are different. I have to report to work daily unless I have a strong reason not to.

Our human resource and communication lecturer once advised us to be of great value and create a discrepancy in our workplaces. This sounded quite easy and obvious but now that am in the field, it’s a little challenging.

I am currently undertaking community engagement at UTAMU head office at Twed Towers and I do a number of tasks. I mainly provide secretarial support to staff, manage office equipment and stationery, record keeping and filing of company documents, receive and direct company visitors as well as perform other duties that are assigned to me from time to time.

I interact with a number of people with different professions and disposition daily. At times, people taunt me when they ask for details about topics that I have little knowledge about. But the team I work with has been very supportive and cooperative.

One day I received a call from South Africa and the lady was speaking and I could hardly understand her message. But like a trained person, I gave her the contacts of the person she wanted to speak to and she was helped.

As a student, I never paid much attention to dress code. Today, I have to think twice about what I am going to wear because it communicates a lot about me and the organization I am representing in the eyes of the public.

I have had a chance to work with a number of Professors and this has enlightened me about several things and given me insights on how things are done professionally. There is no room for laxity. All tasks must be well accomplished and I will definitely benefit from such brilliant minds.

The few weeks I have been on community engagement, my communication, writing, secretarial skills (scanning, printing, photocopying among others) have greatly improved. I want to thank the team I am working with for being considerate and their tireless efforts in helping me to be a better person.

I have learnt that developing friendly relationships with other employees is one of the ways through which one can get the best out of community engagement. They are always willing to guide me when am stuck.

Another aspect that I have found very useful is the power of consulting. We tend to think that by asking what we don’t know, people think of us as less knowledgeable. But the reverse is true. It is those that have the willingness to learn and yearn to know that are known to be knowledgeable. So whenever am assigned an unclear task, I always ask.

By the end of my internship, I will have acquired excellent communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism and make great contacts for future use.

What do we Learn from our Martyrs?

Ali Akiim Ojok
The Uganda Martyrs are a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity in the historical kingdom of Buganda, now part of Uganda, who were executed between November 1885 and January 1887.

The publication in Britain of an 1875 letter purporting to be an invitation from the king of Buganda, Muteesa I, to send missionaries, resulted in the arrival of the Anglican Church Missionary Society to Buganda in 1877. A group of French Catholic White Fathers appeared two years later. This was followed by a Zanzibar-based Arab attempt to introduce Islam in the region.What followed was a three-way religious struggle for political influence over Buganda. By the mid-1880s, many members of the royal court had converted and become agents in the religious and political conflict being played out in the court.

Kabaka Mwanga II, upon his ascent to the throne at the age of 16 after the untimely death of his father, was concerned at the increasing role of priests and missionaries, which he felt threatened his power and privileges enjoyed by his predecessors.

According to old tradition the king was the center of power and authority and could dispense with any life as he felt. Nobody questioned the authority of the king. It was unheard of for mere pages to reject the wishes of a king to molest them at will. Adultery with another man’s wife was a “blessing” to their family.The ultimate humiliation for Kabaka Mwanga was the insolence he received from the (male) pages of his court in resisting his sexual advances; an act considered sinful before Christianity.

Given those conflicting values, Mwanga was determined to rid his kingdom of the new teaching and its followers. He took an aggressive approach, expelling missionaries and insisting that Christian converts abandon their faith or face death.

A year after becoming king he executed Yusufu Rugarama, Makko Kakumba, and Nuwa Serwanga, who had converted to Christianity. On 29 October 1885, he had the incoming Anglican archbishop James Hannington assassinated on the eastern border of his kingdom.

He instructed the killing of all the young men who disobeyed him. The murdered young men were considered martyrs because they resolved to die for their new religion rather than surrendering their bodies to the king.

In total, at least forty-five Catholic and Protestant neophytes met their death; although the actual number is likely to be higher. Twenty-two of the men, who had converted to Catholicism, were burned alive at Namugongo in 1886 and later became known as the Uganda Martyrs. Among those executed were two Christians who held the court position of Master of the Pages, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe and Charles Lwanga.

A shrine dedicated to the catholic martyrs of Uganda in Namugongo

They had repeatedly defied the king by rescuing royal pages in their care from sexual exploitation by Mwanga which they believed was contrary to Christian teachingWorth mentioning are the two martyrs of Northern Uganda, Blessed Daudi Okelo and Blessed Jildo Irwa. These two Catechists were pierced to death with a spear immediately the years following the establishment of Kitgum mission by the Comboni missionaries in 1915.

A few years later, the English Church Missionary Society used the deaths to enlist wider public support for the British acquisition of Uganda for the Empire. The martyrs were venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion and Lutheranism; beatified by Pope Benedict XV on 6th June 1920 and later canonized by Pope John Paul on 18th October 1964.

Christians all over the world commemorate the Uganda martyrs on 3rd June every year. Regardless of all political forces and targets then; these gallant young men exhibited utmost faith in God. They defied all odds to be an example for all Christians to appreciate and understand the fact that faith is the evidence of what we hope for and the substance of what we don’t see. Truth always conquers!

What are you doing as person to express your faith? You don’t have to die like the martyrs did. What seeds are you sowing in your community as a Christian? Are you exemplary and do you uphold moral values in your community? How are we representing Christ on earth?

It’s not enough for us to be Christians or believers because faith without action is dead. As we celebrate this year’s Martyrs Day, let’s not just wine and dine but also reflect on all these and gauge whether we stand for Christ or we are a bunch of hypocrites who think going to church every Sunday is all we can do.

Happy Martyrs Day!!!

UTAMU Dons for eLearning Africa Conference

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba and his Deputy , Prof. Jude T. Lubega are taking part in the 9th International eLearning Conference at Common Wealth Resort in Munyonyo.

E-learning Africa conference is the largest gathering of eLearning and ICT supported education and training professionals in Africa which enables participants to develop multinational and cross-industry partnerships.

While Prof. Baryamureeba is expected to deliver a key note address today 30th May 2014, Prof. Lubega on the other hand has been the Deputy Chairperson of the organizing committee the 2014 eLearning Africa conference.

The conference aims at developing sustainable and effective systems for education, learning modern flagship projects and connecting participants with leading figures involved in ICT and education initiatives in Africa.

Baryamureeba will address participants in his capacity as an education practitioner, researcher and a renowned professor of computer Science.

The conference has attracted Ministers, Government Officials, Policy Makers, leaders of Professional Associations, Local and Regional Authorities, NGOs, Researchers from Universities and other Institutions of Higher Education, ICT Directors and Service Providers, curriculum designers, Education Policy Makers among others.

A number of special events also are taking place including product launches, sponsored workshops, best practice showcases among others.

UTAMU to Obtain Rotaract Charter

Alex Bob Tumwizere
The Roract Club of UTAMU (RUTAMU) is set to acquire a charter that will see it perform internationally recognized activities under Rotary Club. The revelation was made by the President of the club, Alex Tumwizere.

The charter is an official document which declares that a club has officially been established and describes the basic laws and principles under which the club operates. According to Tumwizere, the Club will be chartered on Thursday 5th June 2014.

RUTAMU was launched on 30th November 2013 and several dignitaries from various Rotary clubs in and around Kampala graced the occasion.

Apparently, RUTAMU has over 30 members who have actively engaged in community service activities including cleaning areas around Kiswa and a voluntary car wash exercise for all UTAMU staff cars in the recent past.

“As UTAMU students, we celebrate the news of our club joining the Rotary family. On behalf of RUTAMU, we look forward to engaging in programs that will impact society positively”, Alex reiterated. Rotaract brings together young people aged between 18 and 30 in universities and communities worldwide to organize service activities, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun. Rotaract clubs are sponsored by Rotary International.

Autonomous Colleges, the Way to go for a World-Class University

Prof. V. Baryamureeba
For quite a while, Universities in Uganda have pioneered research on the need to decentralize administration to local governments in Uganda. Unfortunately, these higher education institutions have failed to embrace this good concept which they have often recommended for governments!

Decentralization is no doubt a good tool for smooth and effective administration of not only governments but university affairs too. Once a University exceeds 5,000 students it becomes complex to manage as one centralized entity. In Uganda today, the big universities have failed to decentralize administration to autonomous colleges as regards to the management of the academic, administrative and financial affairs. It is no wonder that our universities have had persistent unrest over the last couple of years due to gaps in administration and management.

Taking an example of Kyambogo University, the constituent colleges’ model was proposed for this University in the Macgregor Visitation Committee Report of 2007, which is now 7 years old. This was never implemented. And we may have seen, Kyambogo has been faced with unrelenting challenges; the most recent leading to a change in leadership.

Makerere University on the other hand already has constituent colleges in place but has failed to allow academic, administrative and financial autonomy to these colleges so that they can have the freedom to raise a big part of the funds for their budgets and also decide on how to spend the funds in addition to autonomously administering the academic and administrative affairs of the colleges with some minimal oversight from the centre particularly in areas of quality assurance and efficient service delivery.

The best universities in the world have practiced decentralization for a very long time. For instance University of London, Cambridge and Oxford do not have more than 5,000 students in each of their colleges. These colleges are autonomous as regards handling the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the college. All the big US universities decentralized academic, administrative and financial affairs to either university campuses or big autonomous colleges/schools.

In South African universities, the academic, administrative and financial affairs were decentralized to the big faculties that are headed by Executive Deans and each of these faculties has decentralized staff to handle the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the faculty.

Makerere University Business School (MUBS) that has largely been peaceful could have been a good model for Uganda. However, Government failed to completely decentralize academic affairs including approval of programmes to MUBS and this has always been the point of conflict with Makerere University. London School of Economics (LSE) is an independent constituent college of University of London that autonomously handles all its affairs including the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the college; with the University taking an upper hand in quality assurance. MUBS should have operated with a status like that of LSE. However, MUBS now with over 15,000 students can longer operate as an affiliate institution or college. MUBS itself needs to be split into bigger autonomous units of about 5,000 students each for more efficient and effective management.

The case of MUBS increases fragility every passing year. The continued failure by government to transform MUBS into an independent institution/University is a calamity in waiting. The early warning sign is in the over 15,000 MUBS students, over 5 MUBS upcountry campuses and over 10 institutions affiliated to MUBS alone. With all this growth and mandate, MUBS is still expected to operate as an institution affiliated to Makerere University! How possible can it be that Makerere can efficiently and effectively manage affairs of this affiliate?

For decades, there have been concerns globally that universities are being bogged down by the number of institutes they had to manage. The developed world took a step of decentralization and green-lit the concept of autonomy of university colleges/ Faculties. We are yet to take serious steps!

Federated colleges are the way to go for big universities in Uganda if we are to improve efficiency and minimize unrest in the large universities in Uganda. Aiming to reverse falling standards in our universities and increase the focus on research and innovation, autonomy of university colleges should be considered pre-requisite.

As the world becomes more dynamic every passing day, different sectors have quickly adapted to the changing patterns. The higher education sector should be no option. The managerial patterns of a university system must have an inbuilt flexibility to adapt it to the global changing needs.

Decentralization has been widely lauded as a key component of good governance and development in the 21st century. It has been tried and tested in governments, education institutions and corporations among others worldwide.

It is a concept I highly recommend for Ugandan universities. The academic freedom that this decentralized structure will provide will be critical in making world class universities in Uganda.

Note From the Editor 36


On behalf of the Editorial team, I am delighted to bring you Issue 36 of UTAMU News.

In this issue, you will read about the partnership between UTAMU and the Ministry of Education and Sports that will see Technical and Vocational institutions in the country acquire ICT skills.

UTAMU students have been nominated to contest for the “Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Award”; an international competition that aims at empowering youth to bring about positive change in their communities.

In our opinion section this week, Enock Nyorekwa Twinoburyo gives us insights on what it will take for Uganda to reap big from the recently discovered Oil in Western region.

For details of these stories and much more, enjoy Vol. 1 Issue 36.

The Economic Benefits of Oil are far from REAL

Enock Nyorekwa
Often times, transparency and accountability dominate the oil discussion among key stakeholders and attention is hardly paid to the economic consequences. The two are necessary but not sufficient for sustainable management of the resource and are arguably strongly correlated negative economic consequences including the oil curse.

Way back in 2006 when oil was discovered, there was great optimism among many Ugandans about the oil prospects. Today, a section of Uganda’s population prefers to have the oil unexploited for the foreseeable future. This could be attributed to the fact that as much as Uganda enjoyed commendable macro-economic stability from the early 1990s to mid-2000s, the economy has since then, faced some hard times in couple of years including the 20 year record low economic growth of 3.2% and record high inflation of 23.5% in financial year 2011/12.

It is also notable that annual exchange rate (bureau mid-rate) has depreciated from 1$ =1772 Ug. Shs in financial year 2006/07 to1$ =2585 Ug. Shs the last financial year. The exchange rate is expected to depreciate further in the next couple of years. This calls for investing in enhancing the non-oil sector export competiveness.

In 2006, Uganda’s debt burden was reduced from $4.1bn to $1.6bn under the World Bank/IMF led Highly-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. However, the debt stock has already shot back to the 2006 levels.

In this current financial year – Uganda intends to borrow 1 trillion shilling from the domestic market. In the same year, the interest bill accounts for almost the same amount in our current appropriated budget. This represents 7.5% of the national budget and is more than the share appropriated for the health sector.

Despite recent assessments showing that Uganda’s debt is sustainable, it is evident that the cost of the debt is on the rise. Uganda Plans to borrow from the Non concessionary sources 2.2 bn dollars to fund Karuma dam (600MW), Isimba power plant (180MW), and some road projects.

In addition, Uganda has agreed to a regional railway project which is projected to cost Uganda about 3bn Dollars, which funds could also be sourced through the non-concessionary borrowing. According to the IMF 2013, the Public domestic debt has risen by 5.5% of GDP between 2007 and 2013 leading to a high debt service to revenue ratio.

Depending on which school of thought one subscribes to, there are indications that the rising debt stock is due to the expectations of future oil revenues.

It is therefore not a coincidence that the period of economic hardship coincides with the period of oil discovery. Hypothetically, the other factors withstanding, it is arguable that there is a correlation between the discovery of oil and the economic trend over the period.

Prospectively, Uganda will defacto face some economic challenges ahead of oil extraction. The first challenge is the high expectations that oil has cast on Ugandans. The recent Tullow Oil report indicates 150,000 jobs both direct and indirectly. It is also worth noting that Uganda on average churns out about 400,000 graduates from its higher levels of education annually. According to the Uganda National Household Survey 2009/10, the unemployed were 480,300– accounting for of 4.2% of the labor force. Evidently the oil jobs will not significantly bridge the unemployment gap.

Related is the skeweness of the economic activity towards oil, likely leading to slow progress. Over the last 7 years, the services and manufacturing sectors that have strong linkages with the oil sector, increasingly account for the economy cake relative to agriculture. Commendably, Uganda has enacted a local content policy, but this also risks skewing attention to the oil sector. It is of critical importance that the next development plan incorporates a holistic plan of the economy local content which incorporates the oil local content.

On a positive note, the Oil revenue management policy envisages the economic challenges associated with the oil revenue management and proposes measures to address them and has developed a public finance bill, once passed will operationalize the management of the bill. The bill was submitted to parliament in March 2012 and is yet to be passed. A set of 55 amendments have since been re-submitted to the responsible parliamentary committee for consideration. The delay in passing the bill has its own economic implications including; delay in setting up the respective institutions and structures the bill intends to create, and consequently the oil production. Further delays of oil production beyond 2018 will compound the recovery costs.

Oil is a finite resource and its prices are highly volatile. Worryingly, the proposed law does envisage creation of the stabilization fund. The stabilization fundis a mechanism that aims toinsulate the domestic economy from large influxes of revenue, as from commodities such as oil.It is indeed important to follow up the recommendation of the ORMP and ensure that pricing stability /benchmarking mechanisms are to be put in place. A pricing committee could be established to consult the Government and Parliament on medium term oil price projections with a view to smoothing future spending based on expected oil receipts.

There are some best practice cases for Uganda including Norway who have been in the oil business for 40 years and boasts of oil fund reserves of over 760bn dollars for just 5 million people. The reserves by any standard are astronomical more so compared to Uganda forex reserves of about 3bn dollars. The key principle in the Norwegian model is that Legislation and institutional frameworks must be correct from the start. Capacity should be built while enabling all actors to perform their roles especially the institutions responsible for the management of the resources.

Unveiling "Armor-2XL Project"

"There are those who watch things as they happen, others wait for things to miraculously happen and the other percentage makes things happen". There goes a common adage.

Armor-2XL truly attests that Peter is a no ‘sit and watch things happen man’.

Peter Ivan Otiim, a student at UTAMU is one of those minds that believe that change is a collective responsibility. He has barely completed his course at the University but he is already a ray of hope among his peers.

He is passionate about seeing youth doing things differently to change the world they live in. While most projects and innovations simply remain on paper, his hard work has seen his project nominated for an international entrepreneurship award.

“The Youth today face many challenges ranging from unemployment, lack of access to finances, poverty, exposure to STDs and AIDs, drug abuse among others”.

“This is why I came up with "Armor-2XL Project", Armor means shield. So I want to provide youth with emotional, social, economic sheild. 2XL comes from two words:"To Excel", which I modified for the interest of my friends who wanted a catchy name.

‘Armor-2XL’, aims at developing digital media production to help youth in communities share life stories, raise awareness of different sexual reproductive health issues and rights, relationships and ways of poverty alleviation. Peter says his goal is to encourage and empower each youth with knowledge on how to handle different life challenges.

Peter presents one of his ideas during the
innovation Saturday at UTAMU Resource

Peter also currently works with Uganda Youth Joint, a community-based organization in Kyambogo which aims at creating opportunities for marginalized youth in regions of Banda, Kireka, Bweyogerere, Ntinda and other areas around Nakawa division.

He says most of the national programs aimed at addressing problems affecting the youth are not relevant to their needs. “It is very important to engage today’s youth in designing and implementing effective and sustainable programs so that the public can gain a deeper understanding of the issues they are facing, and ensure that their joint effort brings about positive effects in individual and community development”.

He believes that sharing stories of personal experiences with others brings people together and helps build healthier relationships. According to him, as people share their experiences, they begin to reflect on their life, modify their behavior, treat others with compassion, speak out on injustices, become confident and involved in developmental issues.

Armor2XL will show motivational videos of youth doing business and those engaged in sports in the community, sharing their life stories, challenges they face, successes thus inspiring other youth. The project will be a platform to inform youth of business opportunities in the community they can take up and also the value of volunteering and supporting those in need. The project will also create avenues for youth to benefit from different programs provided by government other youth groups.

Unlike most youth who blame their fate on their parents, government, schools and other surroundings, Peter believes in championing the cause for change. “We can’t be part of those who say “Government should come to our rescue”. Government cannot attend to each and every problem. We must actively seek for ways of tackling issues that affect us as youth and not to wait for anyone to do it for us”.

He looks towards engaging in skit production on sexual and reproductive health and rights, which we will be categorized in thirteen episodes with different stories to learn from. Episodes include; Sex, body changes, peer pressure, drug abuse, human rights, pregnancy, relationships, HIV/AIDS, Self-esteem, menstruation, gender and defilement.

Peter says the skills he has acquired so far have already jumpstarted him to think outside the box and create the change that he looks forward to. He already knows how to develop ideas and make them viable ventures that can earn him a living.

“I was inspired and motivated by my lectures who always encourage us to stand out and make a difference in our communities. Participating in innovation Saturdays has also pushed me to think of what I can do personally to change the status quo”.

He chose take part in the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship competition because he believes he has got what it takes. “We Africans are as brilliant and creative as whites. If we believe in our abilities and take on the challenges, we will be amazed by the results”.

Peter says he has been exposed to a number of innovations, shared his idea with his peers and he only waits to emerge as a winner in the best ideas category.

“I would like to request everyone to vote for me and tell your friends to vote for me as well. You and I can make this dream of changing lives a reality.

To vote for Peter, log on He hopes to recruit his friends at UTAMU to work with him during its implementation in December this year.

Admission for Sep 2014 Intake Opened

Assoc.Prof.Dr.Rehema Baguma

UTAMU has officially opened admission for September 2014 intake.

According to the Director for Academic affairs, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rehema Baguma, prospective students are now free to apply for over 20 degree programmes, master’s and PhD programmes as well as short courses.

Baguma revealed that all UTAMU programmes have been carefully designed and creatively blended to give students the much needed skills and knowledge in today’s competitive world.

“All our programmes have ICT and Management foundational courses that are aimed at producing all round graduates who can compete favorably in today’s aggressive job market”, she emphasized.

Application forms are available at UTAMU Resource Centre, Plot 6 & 8 Erisa Road, Bugolobi or candidates can as well download them on

UTAMU Students Set to Win Entrepreneurship Contest

Peter Ivan Otim
UTAMU students have been nominated to take part in an international contest codenamed “Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition”.

According to the Group’s Representative, Peter Ivan Otiim, a Bachelor of Information Technology (BIST) student at UTAMU, the competition is aimed at empowering the youth to create positive change in their communities.

Peter says “Armor-2XL” project has been nominated among the most outstanding projects competing for an international entrepreneurship grand prize.

“Our project is “Armor-2XL” and it aims at using digital media to enable all youth to share their life stories which will empower them to handle youth challenges like Sexual reproductive health, unemployment, relationships, poverty among others.

The competition intends to empower the young generation to take an initiative in social innovation and become pioneers in building a harmonious and sustainable society.

All participants will receive free online training that provides methods and techniques for developing ideas into solid business models.

The competition is organized by the Goi Peace Foundation, Stiftung Entrepreneurship and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Winners of this competition will present their projects to an international audience during the Entrepreneurship Summit award ceremony in Berlin in October 2014.

UTAMU to Offer ICT skills to Tech Institutes

Florence Tushabe
UTAMU has sealed off a deal with the Ministry of Education and Sports that will see Uganda’s Technical and Vocational institutions acquire Information Communication and Technology skills needed to cope with the changing times.

UTAMU agreed to partner with Government of Uganda represented by Ministry of Education and Sports on 16th May 2014 to train staff in all technical and vocational Institutions in the country in ICT literacy skills.

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Florence Tushabe, UTAMU’s Director for Engagement, Research and Innovation, also a signatory to the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the training will commence in June 2014.

“This project is aimed at empowering management staff in these institutions with ICT skills to help them pass on skills and knowledge relevant to development”, she highlighted.

UTAMU continues to spread her wings beyond the private sector in a bid to realize her vision of becoming a leading global institution in technology, management, research and innovation.

Tushabe also noted that it was about time Ugandans embraced technology for it has not only simplified life but also connected remote areas to the global world.

UTAMU won the contract given her indubitable capacity of staff, whose experience, knowledge and expertise in ICT and management are unrivaled.

Pensions Sector Liberalisation

Enock Nyorekwa
One of my favourite African sayings is: Only a fool tests the depth of water with both feet. This is not just a saying; it is an important life principle as well as an important risk management principle.

Basically in life, in business and almost in everything, when you are not sure of something you have to be foolish to jump right into it.

It is always wise to first do a pilot test; putting in a little of your resources, then slowly observing the results before you can make a decision to put in more, go in fully or cut your losses and look for other alternatives. Otherwise, it is outright silly to make the mistake of jumping right into the waters because it could be miles until the bottom. If you are going into a new situation, you must be very careful and make sure you know what you are getting into before there is no way back.

The modern day capitalist will tell you that the higher the risk, the higher the pay- but again this is not a principle to be applied across the board, especially if it is people’s life time savings.

I have closely followed the debate regarding the liberalisation of the pension’s sector right from the start and I must say, there is still a lot of time for us to take deep reflection before we sign The Retirements Benefits Sector Liberalisation Bill 2011, into law.

Particularly, I am concerned at the March 28, 2014 letter by ministry of finance that recommends that out of the 15% social security contributions, a trifle 5% should be entrusted with a national pensions scheme. In this case, NSSF and the rest- 10%, be left in the hands of the private schemes. Muhakanizi’s letter was in response to what, in my view, was a more sane recommendation by a sub-committee headed by Gender and Labour Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana.

The Bigirimana committee, among other 12 recommendations, advised that rather than get rid of NSSF as we know it today, the NSSF ACT be amended and that NSSF be constituted into a national savings scheme to manage the basic retirement contributions.

It is also recommended that out of the current 15% mandatory contributions, the 10% be retained by the national scheme to fund the basic retirement benefit and the remaining 5% be placed in a scheme of the employee’s choice, to be run by registered and regulated fund managers.

This arrangement and split would then be reviewed after five years, with a view of increasing or decreasing, either side by 2.5%, and a second review be conducted after another five years, with a view of increasing or decreasing either side by 2.5%. The review would be conducted by a tripartite committee comprising of the Government, workers and employer representatives.

After studying experiences of various countries like Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay and the various stakeholder concerns in Uganda, the committee also recommended that instead of the Retirement Benefits Sector Liberalisation Bill, 2011, the Bill be renamed into the “Retirement Benefits Sector Reform Bill 2011”.

Among other proposals, it also recommends that individual members be given the right to choose the mode of receiving his/her benefit; either lumpsum or annuity over and above recommending midterm access of up to 50% of their savings for the purposes of securing a mortgage or a loan.

The sub-committee also recommended that the current public pension’s scheme which is characterised by the non-contributory arrangement should gradually phase out; and a contributory public service pension’s scheme should be introduced for the new entrants into the civil service.

Whereas the ministry of finance, who are the sponsors of the Bill, are largely in agreement with most of the proposals, the ministry insists that a larger portion of the savings- 10% should be opened up to competition by other players and that only 5% should be left to NSSF to manage. Of course competition- other factors constant, is a good thing that should yield good returns especially when the fresh players have gotten their act together. From a risk management perspective, I feel giving opening 10% is giving away too much too soon, especially that this is people’s lifetime savings.

In managing pensions, managing risk is almost more important than managing returns on investment. A delicate balance must be struck- through a serious of cautious steps that allows all the stakeholders- the savers, the fund managers and the regulators to learn.

In this case, the individual savers need to be given time to understand how this whole game works, that way they will have enough empowerment to make decisions regarding where they want to transfer their funds too. They need to be given time to appreciate the processes, the costs and the intricate details involved, otherwise rushing this will expose them to costly mistakes.

Some of the fund managers- especially the new ones will need to be subjected to the test of time to see if they are as good as their promises. Even the existing ones as well as those coming in from other markets, will need to be studied to see how well they perform in the new regime.

More importantly, even the regulator will need to be given time to understand the sector and better be able to regulate it- especially that many of the players whom the regulator will be out to check have more experience than the regulator.

All these are risks that need to be managed before we allow the private players, access to a larger chunk of our savings.

With the above risks in mind, I am in favour of the move to keep 10% with the national scheme and after a thorough review, consider ceding more ground.

Pensions are too serious a business, to risk with.

The writer is a Lecturer in the School of Business and Management at UTAMU

January Semester Results to be Released

Some SBM staff discuss results before the School Board Meeting

UTAMU Boards for the School of Computing and Engineering and the School of Business and Management are set to release results for both September 2013 and January 2014 intakes.

According to the Acting Registrar, Martha Nahumachi, everything has been finalized and results will be released pretty soon.

“Members of school boards have received results and have resolved to have them released in a week’s time”, she disclosed.

Students will access their results on all UTAMU noticeboards as well as online.

Prof. Baryamureeba Hands Over RENU Chair

Prof. Professor Michel Lejeune receives instruments of power
from UTAMU VC Prof. V. Baryamureeba
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. V. Baryamureeba has handed over the chairmanship of Research and Education Network of Uganda (RENU).

He handed over office to the Vice Chancellor of Virtual University of Uganda Prof. Prof. Professor Michel Lejeune on Thursday 15th May 2014.

Baryamureeba has served two terms in office both as Chairman and Director for RENU for four years. He has been the Chairman of the Board since June 2012 Chairman and Director since April 2009 respectively.

RENU is an ICT-enabled organization whose mandate is to promote and facilitate research and education networking among Ugandan Universities and Research Organization. It also promotes knowledge creation and sharing amongst scholars and researchers through the provision of advanced network services.

Prof. Baryamureeba has an enviable record not only in academia but also research and leadership.This has seen him grow from rank to rank and taking on various responsibilities both in private and public sectors.

He is currently the Chairperson, Uganda Vice Chancellors Forum, Chairperson of Council, Makerere University Business School, Chairperson, COMESA Innovations Council and a member of several boards at national and regional levels; besides serving as Vice Chancellor of UTAMU (Uganda Technology & Management University).

Students Must Spearhead Fight Against AIDS

Peter Ivan Otim
Have you ever thought of the role you could play in keeping the young generation free from HIV/AIDS? Ever had time to reflect what can be done to reverse the course of the epidemic?

I am writing this article believing that anyone reading this has got the power to protect themselves, their spouses, their children and those around them against this deadly virus!

The issue of HIV is no longer a household issue for it spreads like a bushfire and knows no boundaries. While it is true that everyone can catch the virus, we all choose to ignore and assume this is none of our business.

On 24th April 2014, I was privileged to represent UTAMU together with my colleagues in the National Coordination meeting for University Ambassadors against HIV/AIDS. Participants were mainly student Ambassadors of Anti-Aids Action Clubs (AAACs) under the Generation Free of HIV/AIDS Awareness Initiative (GFHAI). It was organized by the Ministry Of Gender, Labor and Social Development and was held at Mt. Zion Hotel in Kampala.

The day’s theme was,” Saying No to HIV/AIDS spread in young people is my responsibility”. I personally was challenged to think of how I can take a bold step to rescue thousands of lives from catching HIV/AIDS.

Generation Free of HIV/AIDS Awareness Initiative (GFHAI) is a student organization whose mandate is to create awareness about the deadly disease, make students part of the ‘Fight against AIDS’ campaign and reduce the spreading of the virus in higher institutions of learning. The organization provides a platform through which government and other service providers can reach the student community with HIV/AIDS control programs. It also acknowledges the risk associated factors which expose students to HIV/AIDS.

Students in Universities continue to live recklessly, make uninformed decisions and succumb to peer pressure which put their lives at risk.

The behavioral characteristics and lifestyles of students in higher institutions of learning are more often associated with too much freedom and bandwagon activities. It is evident that such a lifestyle is bound to impact on the decisions students make in connection to their reproductive health.

I am glad to be one of the Student Ambassadors at UTAMU of the ANTI-AIDS ACTION CLUB (AAACs). The Club will be officially launched at the University. We all ought to be goodwill ambassadors: by volunteering our time, energy and talents to help others. Goodwill ambassadors seek to address risk associated behaviors that are likely to expose students in institutions of higher learning to HIV/AIDS. And I believe it will be achievable with our focus on practicing the GFHAI objectives.

I am aware that every Ugandan has heard a thing or two about AIDS but this will not stop me from passing on this message: Fighting AIDS is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s all rise and get involved in creating an AIDS free generation.

We young people need to know that if we choose to protect ourselves, we will not only live longer and have healthier lives but also take on opportunities that will make Uganda a better country than it is today.

The elders are have passed on the mantle to us. We are young, energetic, vibrant, creative and innovative that the world cannot miss out on our talents due to a mere disease like AIDS.

Even if the journey we are taking seems to be of a thousand miles and characterized by lots of temptations, our motivation should come from never looking back and trusting the single steps we make daily towards achieving our goals. Others have made it, you too can make it!

My vote of thanks goes to GFHAI and UTAMU for having confidence in us to share relevant resources with our friends in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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