The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs(DVC(AA) Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba was speaking during the second day of the JICA Chair and Japan week organized under CHUSS as part of the activities to commemorate the 100 years of Makerere University’s service to humanity at the Auditorium in CTF 2 on 23rd March 2022.
Dr. Kakumba said Makerere University is to be linked to Kyoto university through a program initiated by the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan called, “ Innovative Africa: Educational Networking Programs for Human Resource development in Africa’s SDGs.
“This collaboration will kick-start the next 100 years of Makerere University in international exchange and I believe people- to- people exchanges are essential in enhancing knowledge and academic activities”.
Kakumba noted that the already existing academic exchanges if scaled up, will be of intrinsic value to the university as it aspires to be research-led.
“I am also informed that Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan has awarded the Department of History, Archeology and Heritage Studies a Teaching Assistant Scholarship. Such opportunities will enable the department to provide a critical mass that will strengthen its research capacity”, Dr. Kakumba stated.
The DVC AA said the university is privileged to be joined by various distinguished dignitaries and officials from JICA and the Embassy of Japan in Uganda adding that this is a testimony to the long-lasting relations and collaboration in various aspect of teaching, learning, research and innovation.
“As we celebrate a century of existence, our goal is to leverage our varied experiences of excellence in building a transformed society. We are therefore excited to renew and strengthen our relationship with the Government of Japan in line with the theme of the current JICA Chair Week, which is, “Learning from Japan’s unique experiences of development”, Dr. Kakumba stated.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor also expressed happiness that what started as a request for a collaboration in teaching has materialized into the JICA Chair hosted in the Department of History, Archeology and Heritage Studies.
The Japan Chair program will include short intensive lectures conducted by lecturers from Japan, interuniversity celebrations and supply of teaching aids and library materials. A consignment of books from Japan was recently received by the university library.
Dr. Kakumba observed that Department of History has been teaching Japanese history within the wider curriculum of the Asian history focusing on the Tokugawa and Meija era with limited focus on Japan’s rapid development and modernization.
“We are thus grateful to JICA and the Embassy of Japan in Uganda for the efforts to organize the history of Japan’s modernization onto Digital Versatile Disks (DVDs) to ease the teaching of the entire modernization history,” Kakumba appreciated.
The DVC AA also expressed hope that this mutually beneficial initiative will also include all the 40 universities where the JICA Chair is housed adding that the university looks forward to the prospects of setting up a Japan Study center.
He said while for now the Department of History, Archeology and Heritage Studies is the beneficiary, the possibility of scaling up the use of the seven chapters of the DVDs in the respective colleges is most welcome.
Other events of the 2nd day of the JICA Chair and Japan week
The day started with special lectures on Archives, Museums and Public History in Uganda’’. presented by Dr. Edgar Curtis Taylor from the Department of History. Archeology and Heritage Studies and Mr. Nelson A Abiti the Principal Conservator Museum Services Uganda National Museum.
The Ambassador of Japan to Uganda H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto presented a special lecture on Japanese Corporation in Post-war era and economic growth” and later his on his career as a business man.