Makerere University joined the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction-October 13, 2014.
This celebration was crowned with the Innovation and Knowledge Management Exhibition held in Makerere University Main Hall on Tuesday October 14, 2014.The event was aimed at; showcasing and sharing knowledge and the application of digital technology in promoting resilience, disaster and climate risk management in the country. The exhibition attracted over 250 participants of which about 15 exhibitors doing work in relation to Innovation and Knowledge Management shared their ideas, concepts and prototypes with the public. The exhibitors included; The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), Makerere University College of Computing and Information Technology, Department of Geography in Makerere University, Root IO, International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Global Eye, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), NECOC, Geo Gecko and Strengthen Climate Information and Early Warning Systems- United Nations Development Program (UNDP) among others.
The Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director, Prof William Bazeyo in his welcome remarks noted that the Universities are now moving from the universities to the communities to answer the most pressing needs of the communities. That this was one of the reasons the young innovators at the event were speaking with passion about their projects targeting creating resilience in African communities. “We live with these disasters, the question all of us should ask is, how we can get African communities out of the disasters” Prof. Bazeyo added. That projects like the Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) is here to support innovative or demonstrable solutions or approaches that have the potential to strengthen the resilience of individuals, households or communities affected by natural or man-made shocks and stresses presenting as disasters.
The Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof.John David Kabaasa who hosted the event on behalf of Makerere University defined an Innovation as creating something new to provide a solution. In addition, he urged the Innovators to create Innovations outside the silos in order to realise transformation in the communities. “Innovation calls for multi-disciplinarity, so that each member contributes to the general pool”. We need to work together to transform the African communities” He noted.
Disaster Management is key to UNDP and combining Innovation and knowledge management greatly contributes to disaster reduction, shared Ms. Almaz Gebru, the UNDP Country Director. She called upon all the development partners to join in the fight noting that UNDP is committed to fighting disasters to the last nail.
The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon Hillary Onek who graced the occasion as Chief Guest in his remarks encouraged Makerere University to do more research in an effort to help African communities. In his remarks, he said “UNDP, I urge you to allocate more resources to Makerere University to help African communities being faced with different disasters”. While addressing the exhibitors, he noted thatour future was in the hands of the young Innovators. Innovation is the way to go, it is not enough to conduct research and not implement the findings. He re-echoed that the Government of Uganda is more than ready and happy to work with all stakeholders highlighting that together each one achieves more for the benefit of the communities in need.
“Solutions through Innovation as we Build for the Future, For God and my Country!”
Left to Right: The UNDP Country Director, Ms. Almaz Gebru, the then Ag. Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. John David Kabaasa, Hon Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon. Hillary Onek, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director, Prof .William Bazeyo, the Disaster Risk Management Advisor UNDP Uganda/DDPM, Office of the Prime Minister, GoU, Mr. Jose Neil A. C. “Bong” Manzano and the RAN Deputy Chief of Party, Dr. Roy William Mayega pose for a group photo after the Innovations and Knowledge Management Exhibition at Makerere University Main Hall.