- June 7, 2018
Dr. Jude Ssebuwufu
Centre Leader/Director, African Centre for Agro-Ecology & Livelihood Systems
Dipl.Philosophy (KNS), BA Philosophy (MAK), BA Education (UNISAL), BA Theology (UNISAL), MSc. Educ Management and Admin (UNISAL), PhD Management and Admin (UNISAL)
I feel very proud to be part of this great project of World Bank and Government of Uganda known as Eastern and Southern Africa Centres of Excellence Project (ACE II). I thank the Government of Uganda and indeed the governments of the eight countries within this region for having expressed interest in participating in this regional project. The Government of Uganda not only expressed interest in the project but also (unlike other governments within the region) permitted all eligible Universities within Uganda, including Private Universities, to submit their proposals so that the best proposals are competitively selected. This is how our University, a privately owned (not-for-profit University, belonging to the Uganda Episcopal Conference) was selected. The Centre is making a difference in the area of Agro-ecology and Livelihood Systems (ACALISE).
ACALISE is the acronym for African Centre for Agro-ecology and Livelihood Systems. It is one of the 24 regional Centres of Excellence for Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The African Centres of Excellence (ACEs) project was mooted by the World Bank, after realising that in order to ensure sustained growth and socio-economic transformation of Africa, as well as enhancing global competitiveness, Africa needed skilled human resources, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In order to provide these skills, the role of higher education was considered critical. The project was first piloted in Western Africa as ACE I before rolling it over to East and Southern Africa as ACE II.
The overall Project Development Objective of the ACE project is to enhance the capacity of higher education institutions in Africa to deliver high quality postgraduate education and build collaborative research capacity in the region’s priority areas. The critical areas identified by the African governments, that are key to real development of African include: 1) Industry, 2) Agriculture, 3) STEM, 4) Health, 5) Science Education 6) STI and Applied Statistics, and 7) Oil and Gas.
At ACALISE we are focusing on environment-smart agriculture as well as enhancement of livelihood systems to advance real development. Though naturally endowed with enormous natural resources and with rich environment conducive to agricultural production, Africa is characterized by low productivity in agriculture and limited value addition thereby dismally enhancing people’s livelihoods. ACALISE is making her contribution to redress this state of affairs by coming up with very rich postgraduate academic programmes and collaborative research in 1)Agro-ecology, 2)Livelihood Systems, 3)Microfinance, 4)Development Economics, and 5)Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as providing hands on skills to the rural poor to transform their lives through sustainable agricultural practices and innovations. Gone are the days when the Universities were regarded as ivory towers, separated from the community and industry. As a Centre of Excellence, ACALISE is working with the communities, government agencies, and the productive sector, to transform society. I hereby gladly invite everybody as individual, group, registered company, researcher, etc.. to come and join us in this noble task of contributing to the transformation of the region, particularly in the agricultural sector where majority of Africans earn a living. As the old saying goes, “If you want to move fast, move alone, but if you want to move far, move with others.”