The Innovation Advisory Boards at the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) have continued to support the Innovation process towards trans-formatively addressing communities’ most pressing challenges. The EA RILab Innovation Advisory Board meeting was successfully held on September 29, 2016 at the Innovation Lab with 5 Board members (Bank of Uganda, Makerere University-Gender Mainstreaming, Member of Parliament Budadiri East and Makerere University-College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (CAES) and a Consultant) who engaged in discussing how best to move innovations from the incubation lab to positively impact the communities in need.

The Board members strongly noted that they are willing to actively participate in all RAN activities including physically engaging the communities for innovation. “The RAN team should feel free to engage us more than you have been doing, contact us early enough so that we can even join you as you go for the community consultations. Even if it is as far as Adjumani in Northern Uganda, once we plan for it, some of us ca come with you and the innovators. We all need to be fully immersed in all RAN’s activities because we are strongly behind the success of this project” shared Hon. Vincent Woboya, one of the RAN Innovation Advisory Board members.  He also pledged to link to link RAN to the Parliament of Uganda Wealth Creation Team and to join in further disseminating RAN’s Policy Briefs among other activities. The RAN team was also encouraged to explore partnership with the new Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in order to leverage from the same opportunity.

It was also during this meeting that the RAN EA RILab Director, Nathan Tumuhamye shared with the board members a status update on RAN noting that there are 68 innovative solutions under incubation (receiving SEED funding) at RAN, 40 of which are directly under the EA RILab and 32 from Uganda. Nathan thanked board members for actively serving as judges for RAN’s Resilience Innovation Challenges. Some board members committed to closely working with the RAN team on Grants’ writing for sustainability. The Board members also appreciated the regular updates they receive from the RAN Team highlighting the fact that the RAN Monthly Bulletin is timely, precise, informative and attractive to read. “I would like to thank the RAN team for the regular and timely updates, in particular for the RAN Monthly Bulletin, this piece keeps all of us up-to-date moreover other than being written in simple and easy to understand English, it is informative and attractive to the eyes. One cannot easily miss it out, please keep up the good work” noted Ruth Ochieng one of the Board members. Majority of the Board members are interested in using most of the RAN Innovations including the Solar Powered Irrigation Pump, Solar Dryer, Pedal Tap, Improved Push and Pull Technology among others. It is therefore vital that an in-depth exposure to Innovations under incubation at RAN to all the board members including their networks. It was also in this meeting that members agreed that all board members would be more involved in all RAN activities and they would also regularly schedule their meetings to keep up-to speed with RAN’s operations.