Makerere University, Kampala (//; Mak) is Uganda's largest and oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922. It became an independent national university in 1970. Today, Makerere University is composed of nine colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates. The main administrative block was gutted by fire in September 2020 and the cause of the fire is yet to be established.
|Motto||"We build for the future"|
|Campus||Urban, 300 acres|
U.S. News & World Report has ranked Makerere University as the eighth best university in Africa and the 569th best university worldwide. In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking, Makerere is the highest-ranked university in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2016 ranked it as the fourth best university in Africa.
Makerere University is the alma mater of many post-independence African leaders, including Ugandan president Milton Obote and Tanzanian presidents Julius Nyerere and Benjamin Mkapa. The former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, and former Kenyan president the late Mwai Kibaki are also Makerere alumni.
In the years immediately after Uganda's independence, Makerere University was a focal point for the literary activity that was central to African nationalist culture. Many prominent writers, including Nuruddin Farah, Ali Mazrui, David Rubadiri, Okello Oculi, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, John Ruganda, Paul Theroux, Nobel Prize laureate V. S. Naipaul, and Peter Nazareth, were at Makerere University at one point in their writing and academic careers.
Because of student unrest and faculty disenchantment, the university was closed three times between 2006 and 2016. The final time was on 1 November 2016 when President Yoweri Museveni declared it closed indefinitely. The university was reopened in January 2017.
Founding of the technical schoolEdit
The trade school that became Makerere University began operating in 1921 with the first classes in carpentry, building construction and mechanics. In 1922 it was founded as the "Uganda Technical College" with additional courses in the arts, education, agriculture and medicine. That same year it was again renamed as Makerere College. In 1928, the vocational classes were separated from the college and renamed Kampala Technical School. In 1937 the college began offering post-secondary education certificate courses.
In 1943, the British Protectorate government proposed the university, which led to a controversial struggle. It was described as "a plot to steal African soil for European settlement," by the Bataka Party. In response to this campaign, there was rioting in the capital of Kampala.
In 1949 Makerere College was granted university status and its name became Makerere College, University of East Africa. In the same year, the Bataka Party had been banned by the British Protectorate government, because of acts of riot and arson committed after a Bataka protest gathering.
Unrest in the 2000sEdit
The university was closed three times between 2006 and 2016.
Beginning on 1 August 2016, the non-teaching staff went on strike demanding their back pay. The strike lasted three weeks and the government agreed to pay them by the end of October; however, the government failed to do so. This was but one more broken promise in the cycle of failed promises, strikes and more promises. That strike was followed by a strike of the lecturers over unpaid incentive pay, and that strike was joined by students in solidarity. This led to President Yoweri Museveni closing the university "indefinitely". Additional protests, including from parents whose children were left hanging in mid-semester, led to Museveni appointing a special commission to try to rectify the situation but with no promises of reopening. The commission's report was due in late February 2017.
On the 20th of September, 2020, the main building of Makerere University (the Ivory Tower) was severely damaged by fire, allegedly following a probe by Uganda Parliament into financial mismanagement by university authorities.
Rankings and reputationEdit
|Global – Overall|
|CWUR World||923 (2020-2021)|
|CWTS World||1159 (2020)|
|QS World||1001+ (2021)|
|THE World||401–500 (2021)|
|USNWR Global||=631 (2021)|
|Regional – Overall|
|THE Africa||=5 (2021)|
|USNWR Africa||14 (2021)|
|National – Overall|
|CWTS National||1 (2020)|
|CWUR National||1 (2020-21)|
|THE National||1 (2021)|
The University Council is the supreme governing body of the university while Senate is the chief academic organ of the university.
Subcommittees of the University CouncilEdit
- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
- College of Business and Management Sciences
- College of Computing & Information Sciences
- College of Education and External Studies
- College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- College of Natural Sciences
- College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal resources and BioSecurity
- School of Law
- Makerere University Business School
Notable former and current faculty administratorsEdit
- Barnabas Nawangwe, architect, academic and current Vice Chancellor
- John Ddumba Ssentamu, economist, academic and banker, former Vice Chancellor
- Venansius Baryamureeba, computer scientist, former Vice Chancellor
- Hugh Dinwiddy, lecturer in literature, warden of Northcote Hall
- George Kirya, microbiologist, diplomat, academic, former Vice Chancellor at Makerere and former Chairman of Uganda Health Services Commission
- Mahmood Mamdani, political scientist and historian
- Ali Mazrui, academic, historian and political scientist
- Apolo Nsibambi, former Prime Minister of Uganda and former Chancellor of Makerere University
- Joe Oloka-Onyango, former Dean of Law and human rights expert
- Okot p'Bitek, poet
- John Ssebuwufu, a renowned chemist, former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, current Chancellor of Kyambogo University
- David Serwadda, former dean, School of Public Health
- Nelson Sewankambo, principal, College of Health Sciences
- Harriet Mayanja-Kizza, current dean of students, Makerere University School of Medicine
- Sylvia Tamale, lawyer, academic, women's rights activist
- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, novelist
- Timothy Wangusa, author, poet, one time minister of education
- David Wasawo, zoologist and educationist, former vice principal
- William Bazeyo, former Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health (2009–2017). Deputy Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, responsible for Finance and Administration, since September 2017.
- Rose Mbowa - Theatre academic, playwright and actress - formerly Head of Department of Music, Dance and Drama
- Hakim Sendagire - Physician, biochemist and microbiologist. Current Dean of Habib Medical School
- Charles Olweny - Physician, oncologist, medical researcher. Former Vice Chancellor of Uganda Martyrs University. Current Chancellor of Mbarara University.
- Paul D'Arbela - Physician, cardiologist, academic. Dean of the Mother Kevin Postgraduate Medical School, Nsambya.
- Celestino Obua - Physician, pharmacologist, academic. Current Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University.
- Catherine Abbo, medical doctor and researcher
- Raphael Owor, medical doctor, former Chancellor of Mbarara University, former professor of Pathology at Makerere University School of Medicine.
Political figures and government employeesEdit
- Lucy Akello, Ugandan politician, who serves as the elected member of parliament for the Amuru District Women's Constituency, in the 10th Parliament.
- Samuel Awich (1973), justice of the Supreme Court of Belize
- Kizza Besigye, physician, retired colonel in the Uganda People's Defence Force. Opposition politician, former leader of the Forum for Democratic Change party, presidential candidate in 2001, 2006, and 2011.
- Godfrey Binaisa, former president of Uganda
- Gilbert Bukenya, former vice-president of Uganda
- Kanyama Chiume, a Malawian who worked for the independence of Nyasaland (now Malawi)
- Moses Ebuk, physician, neurophyiologist, former lecturer and tutor in the department of physiology at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, diplomat. Ambassador of Uganda to the Russian Federation.
- Daphrosa Gahakwa, Rwandan education minister
- Aloisea Inyumba, Rwandan minister for gender and family promotion
- Joseph Kabila, Congolese politician and president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Allen Kagina, Public Administrator
- Filemona F. Indire former Kenyan ambassador, leading educator and member of parliament.
- Patrick Karegeya, former Rwandan head of intelligence
- Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Uganda, a military officer and policeman. He was the Spokesperson of Uganda Police Force from August 2016 to 2017.
- Specioza Kazibwe, former vice-president of Uganda
- Mwai Kibaki, the third president of Kenya from December 2002 until April 2013. Graduated at the top of his class (summa cum laude) in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
- Samson Kisekka, former vice-president of Uganda
- Benedicto Kiwanuka, first prime minister and first chief justice of Uganda
- Crispus Kiyonga, physician, minister of defense of Uganda
- Sam Kutesa, Uganda's foreign affairs minister. president of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly
- Henry Kyemba, minister of health under Idi Amin
- Catherine Kyobutungi, Director of the
- Yusuf Lule, former president of Uganda
- Norbert Mao, former guild president of Makerere University and current president of Democratic Party
- Amama Mbabazi, former secretary general of the National Resistance Movement and former prime minister of Uganda
- Benjamin Mkapa, former Tanzanian politician and former president of Tanzania
- Jennifer Musisi, Lawyer and Public Administrator
- Ifedayo Adetifa, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
- Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi, government minister and former Katikkiro of Buganda (1964–1966, 1993–1994)
- Apolo Nsibambi, former prime minister of Uganda and former chancellor of Makerere University
- Julius Nyerere, Tanzanian politician and the first president of Tanzania
- Anthony Ochaya, Ugandan Minister of Planning and Economic Development under the UNLF regime, World Bank official
- Oginga Odinga, Kenyan politician and the first vice president of Kenya
- Milton Obote, two-time former president of Uganda
- Ruhakana Rugunda, prime minister of Uganda, physician, and former permanent representative of Uganda to the United Nations
- Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, governor, Bank of Uganda
- Bobi Wine, (Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu), Ugandan politician, businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, musician, freedom fighter and actor
- Anita Annet Among, Speaker of the 11th Parliament of Uganda (2021 - 2026), from 25 March 2022, after serving as the Deputy Speaker from 24 May 2021 until 25 March 2022.
Film, Television and RadioEdit
- Cleopatra Koheirwe, Ugandan actress, singer and media personality
- Alex Muhangi, Ugandan Comedian and actor
- Mowzey Radio Aka Moses Nakintije Ssekibogo, Ugandan Singer, Notable, Best Song Writer of His Era and Actor R.I.P
- Housen Mushema, Ugandan actor and model
- Rehema Nanfuka, Ugandan Actress, director and producer
- Crystal Newman, Ugandan media personality, MC and motivational speaker.
- Gladys Oyenbot, Ugandan actress and producer
- Edwin Musiime, television host
- Morris Mugisha, actor, producer and director
- Henry Osinde – Ugandan born Cricketer currently Canadian fast bowler.
- Moses Muhangi - president of Uganda Boxing Federation
Writers and journalistsEdit
- Christopher Henry Muwanga Barlow
- Jane Kaberuka, novelist
- Daniel Kalinaki, journalist
- Micere Githae Mugo Kenyan novelist, poet, activist
- John Nagenda, writer, political commentator and adviser to the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni
- Peter Nazareth, author, critic
- Michael Nsimbi, "Father of Ganda literature"
- Barbie Kyagulanyi, writer and activist
- Okello Oculi, author, poet
- Charles Onyango-Obbo, journalist and political commentator
- Mark Ouma, athletics journalist and former philosophy lecturer at Makerere
- David Rubadiri, poet, novelist, diplomat
- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Kenyan novelist
- Hilda Twongyeirwe, editor, poet, shortstory writer
- Timothy Wangusa, author, poet, one-time minister of education
- Elvania Namukwaya Zirimu, poet and dramatist
- Anthony Omoro Mbai, Writer, Educationist, Historian
- David Duli, Forester and environmentalist, founder of CARE Uganda and co founder of WWF Uganda
- Andrew Kambugu, physician, Sande-McKinnell Executive Director at the Uganda Infectious Disease Institute
- Robert Kezaala, physician, Senior Health Advisor at UNICEF
- Matthew Lukwiya, physician in Gulu during the 2000 Ebola outbreak
- Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu, psychiatrist and epidemiologist
- Christine Obbo, socio-cultural anthropologist
- Iddah Asin, lawyer and Johnson & Johnson executive 
- Maria Auma, climate activist
- Nkulanga Enock, children's rights activist
- Busingye Kabumba, poet, lawyer and lecturer at law.
- Anne Kansiime, comedian
- Laeticia Kikonyogo, lawyer and judge
- Patrick Mazimhaka, deputy chairperson of the African Union's African Commission
- Andrew Mwenda, the managing director of the "Independent" Newspaper in Uganda
- Kato Mukasa, co-founder of the Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity and Accountability
- Lilian Mary Nabulime, sculptor
- Harry Nkumbula, a leader during Zambia's struggle for independence
- Olara Otunnu, former United Nations under-secretary general and special representative for children and armed conflict
- John Sentamu, Anglican Archbishop of York, England, the first black Archbishop of the Church of England
- Martin Ssempa, controversial Ugandan pastor and AIDS activist
Halls of residenceEdit
As of September 2015, the halls of residence at Makerere University included the following:
- Livingstone Hall
- Lumumba Hall
- Mitchell Hall
- Nkrumah Hall
- Nsibirwa Hall
- University Hall
- Africa Hall
- Mary Stuart Hall
- Complex Hall
For students of medicine in their final yearsEdit
- Galloway House
- Dag Hammarskjöld Hostel
In January 2010, the university announced the opening of two new campuses, one in the city of Fort Portal, approximately 310 kilometres (190 mi), by road, west of Kampala, and another one in the city of Jinja, approximately 85 kilometres (53 mi), by road, east of Kampala. The following courses will be offered at the upcountry campuses:
Eastern Campus, JinjaEdit
Replacement of main buildingEdit
In September 2020 a fire gutted the Main Building of Makerere University, normally called the Main Building, destroying university records and the building structure. A subsequent investigation by an eleven-person team could not establish a definite cause of the fire but pointed to an electric fault as a likely cause.
In August 2021, the Cabinet of Uganda resolved to break down what remained of the Main Building after the fire. A new building, which will be designed to look like the original structure, will be erected at the same location, at a budgeted cost of UGX:21 billion (approx. US$6 million).
The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was awarded to Excel Construction Company Limited. a Ugandan company and a subsidiary of the Madhvani Group. The reconstruction process began in April 2022, starting with tearing down the structurally unsound original building, built in the 1930s and commissioned in 1941.
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