Sweden to support Makerere University to spur economic growth

Nov 23, 2022

“Intellectual property rights support innovation and creativity and can be used as a bridge between research and commercialization,” Bemanya said.

Participants of the Sweden Makerere Days of Excellence event pose for a photo at Makerere University. ( Courtesy Photos)

Carol Kasujja Adii
Journalist @New Vision

MUK | SWEDEN | ECONOMY | TRANSFORMATION

The Swedish ambassador to Uganda, Maria Håkansson has highlighted the critical role universities should play in the realization and management of economic transformation.

Håkansson was presenting during the Sweden Makerere Days of Excellence event at Makerere University.

"At Makerere University, Sweden sees not only a friend but a key player in the efforts to create a more prosperous Uganda." Research, science, and innovation are key building blocks for creating economic growth, no matter the current economic status of a country. "With this two-day engagement, we wish to celebrate and highlight the importance of research and innovation,” Ambassador Håkansson, said.

Over the last 20 years of collaboration, the Swedish government has invested more than $116 million into institutional building, graduate training, and scientific research. The consistent, long-term, and predictable support has resulted in tangible results.

The envoy pledged to intensify collaboration with Makerere University in areas of research, innovations, student scholarships, and staff training. The support comes at a time when Makerere University plans to focus on research and innovation in the next 100 years to find solutions for the country’s challenges.

The ambassador and Vice-chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, hailed the Uganda-Sweden Research Collaboration for having contributed to the strengthening of capacity for research and research training. More than 400 scholars have received individual training and qualification at the master’s, Ph.D., and postdoctoral levels. Under the current five-year agreement, 390 staff members of the five universities have been awarded scholarships at different levels.

Barnabas Nawangwe, The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Addressing The Participants During The Sweden Makerere Days Of Excellence Event At Makerere University.

Barnabas Nawangwe, The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Addressing The Participants During The Sweden Makerere Days Of Excellence Event At Makerere University.

Other benefits from the collaboration include the development of quality assurance policies and structures for research and the establishment of networks that attract new funds and collaborators outside the program.

Speaking during the event, Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University vice-chancellor, noted that there is power in collaboration, because funding by the SIDA program from Sweden, has helped graduates and researchers from the program build strong research teams working on diverse research projects that are influencing society.

Bemanya Twebaze, the director of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation, advised innovators at Makerere University, that the best way to protect their ideas and works from being stolen by somebody else is by securing one or more of the four different types of intellectual property (IP), namely; trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

Intellectual property rights, according to Bemanya, whose role among other things includes registering patents and intellectual property rights, grant the owner of the work exclusive rights to exploit and benefit from the creation. Intellectual property rights can include copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets.

“Intellectual property rights support innovation and creativity and can be used as a bridge between research and commercialization,” Bemanya said.

The two-day event did not only celebrate and showcase the results of the long and far-reaching cooperation between Sweden and Makerere University, but it also inspired students and researchers to recognize the transformational power of research, science, and innovation.

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