Students and staff in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Makerere University continue to reap big from the Torino-Makerere Cooperation programme. Supported by the Erasmus Partner Countries Programme (EU), the project promotes joint scientific and didactic activities in the fields of Anthropology and Sociology and in the study and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Great Lakes region. In this framework, several Italian and Ugandan students and scholars have had the opportunity to spend a research period in the partner institution.
Presenting updates on the Torino-Makerere Cooperation at a workshop held at Makerere University on 2nd October, 2018, Prof. Elana Ochse said the programme had in 2017 supported four students (2 PhD and 2 MAs) and two members of staff from Makerere University to visit and learn more from the University of Torino. Likewise, the Programme supported two Professors (Elana Ochse and Cecilia Pennacini) from the University of Torino to visit Makerere University on a mission to improve the research capacity of graduate students of sociology and anthropology. The Professors taught audited courses to graduate students in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Makerere University. Prof. Cecilia Pennacini taught Ethnographic Methodology and Visual Anthropology whereas Prof. Elana Ochse taught English Debating and Writing Skills. This year, 2018, the Professors conducted a five-week course of the same programmes in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Makerere University.
According to Prof. Ochse, the programme will continue supporting similar activities up to 2020.
During the workshop, Prof. Cecilia Pennacini delivered a presentation in which she emphasized the significance of the Italian-Ugandan partnership in the development of anthropological research in the Great Lakes Region. “To achieve the best results, anthropological research must be carried out within a collaborative framework, actively involving local institutions and communities. A cooperation agreement between the University of Torino and Makerere, signed in 2004 and constantly renewed, offers us the fertile field where we can build a better knowledge of African cultures,” she noted.
Speaking at the workshop, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Prof. Edward K. Kirumira appreciated the Italian government for its continued support towards capacity building programmes at Makerere University. Besides research capacity building, the Italian Government supports the teaching and learning of Italian at Makerere University.
The Italian Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Domenico Fornara expressed commitment towards supporting various activities at Makerere University, including bilateral cultural exchanges. He pledged support towards the formation of an Italian alumni association as one of the ways of keeping Italian supported students active in the development of their countries.
The representative of the European Union Head of Delegation called on the leadership of Universities to align curriculum to the requirements of the youth.
At the end of the workshop, students of Anthropology showcased a film titled At Makerere that they developed in the course of their five-week training in visual anthropology. The film highlighted the daily life of a cleaner, a food vendor and student at Makerere University.
See below Prof. Pennacini and Prof. Ochse's presentations.