Earth Finds

Earth Finds

How Academic Freedom Is Driving Victoria University To Greatness

The new Victoria University (VU) vice chancellor Dr. Krishna N. Sharma has described the young Jinja road based high institution of learning as a new age university with fresh ideas and young energy.

“Unlike many international universities, it has a very experienced and active university council that gives academic freedom to the academicians,” Dr. Sharma said in an exclusive interview with this website, a few days after taking over the VC office.

He added “Our faculties are well qualified and internationally exposed. I think the strongest aspect is that, in VU, we all work as a strong team with same vision and mission.”

“It is a young university and here you get an opportunity to “create” history and leave legacy. VU provides good environment, autonomy, research opportunities and nice human resource policy. I don’t see a reason why shouldn’t it attract an academician.

As far as my contribution as a dean is concerned, I brought collaborations, organized free international workshop, and worked on Quality Assurance. There are few other projects coming soon from the faculty of health sciences.

I am happy to share with you that this faculty is now being led by Prof. Stephen Lawoko- an eminent researcher with more than 50 publications and more than 28 years experience in Sweden.”

The University owned by the Ruparelia Group has the faculty of health science, faculty of science and technology, faculty of business and management, faculty of humanities and social sciences, and department of oil and gas.

The university, during this August-September intake, is currently accepting students for the upcoming academic year.

Bunyoro MPs Advise Government To Withdraw Constitutional Amendment Bill On Land

By George Busiinge
Members of Parliament (MPs) from Hoima district have advised government to withdraw constitutional amendment bill on the compulsory land acquisition by government.

This was after residents in their public hearing meetings opposed the bill on grounds that once passed would weaken bibanja owners’ rights on their land.

The last consultative meeting was held at Kabwoya sub-county headquarters this week in Buhaguzi County where residents warned the area member of parliament Dan Muhairwe against supporting it.

The residents instead challenged the legislatures to address issues affecting national development citing corruption, unemployment, poverty among others other than wasting time to discuss on laws aimed at depriving them their right to own land.

Speaking to Earthfinds reporter, Dan Muhairwe, the Buhaguzi legislature said government should drop the bill since the public is opposed to it.

Tophus Kaahwa, the district woman Member of Parliament said they can’t support something which has been rejected by Ugandans. According Baguma  Bitera  and Kaahwa  Leornard from Bugahya and Buhaguzi says that, the Country is likely to face civil disobedience should the bill be passed against the locals will.

Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya county MP and Lawrence Bategeka of Hoima Municipality said there is no need for more consultations on this. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 provides for how government can acquire disputed land for infrastructural development and investment projects.

Dairy Development Authority Supervise Fresh Dairy’s School’s Program

Dairy Development Authority (DDA) officials have on Thursday paid a supervisory visit to the Fresh Dairy school’s program held at City Parents School in Rubaga division.

The on-going Fresh Dairy school’s program is aimed at educating children on nutrition with an inclination towards encouraging the consumption of 1-Yoghurt-a-Day’ as a healthy and nutritious snack.

The program which started on 2nd July is scheduled to run the entire 2nd Term and will be held in 350 primary schools in Kampala, Mukono and Entebbe.

The Dairy Development Authority (DDA) is mandated with performing regulatory and dairy development services for stakeholders in the dairy sector in Uganda.

The Dairy development function supports the development of the dairy sector into a sustainable, competitive and vibrant sector as well serving as an advisor to government on dairy industry development policies and legislative measures in respect to the provision of linkages between research, extension staff and support to dairy farmers.

While the regulatory services function offers a basis for policy and advocacy activities in terms of evidence based, appropriate, affordable and culturally sensitive dairy practices.

Musa Kubula, Principal Dairy Development Authority Officer Representative said, ‘DDA’s participation in Fresh Dairy’s school program is to ensure that we start work ahead of time to encourage milk consumption in Uganda.

Currently, Uganda has a very low milk consumption of 60 litres per person per year, which is too less compared to the World Health Organization recommendation of 200 litres per person per year.’

Kubula further said that DDA would like to see a gradual increase of milk consumption to happen over the coming years, which will in turn increase on the farmer’s income from raw milk sales to the processors.

Kubula also noted that on DDA is also working with other processors that promote milk consumption everywhere to ensure that the general milk consumption among people in Uganda is increased.

Caroline Muchobia, Health and Nutrition Manager Fresh Dairy said, ‘The Fresh Dairy school’s program is informed by the prevalence of malnutrition in children under 5 years of age in Uganda that is persistently high with over 38percent of them suffering from chronic malnutrition (stunting), 16 percent being underweight (low weight-for-age) and 6 percent are suffering from acute malnutrition (wasting, or low-weight-for-height).

The Fresh Dairy school program is therefore an intervention initiative that uses edutainment in form of an engaging show, theatre, song and dance to educate children on nutrition and the benefits of consuming 1-Yoghurt-a-Day.’

Muchobia said, ‘One of our key priority areas at Fresh Dairy is Health and Nutrition. We do this through:

  • Promoting healthy nutrition through educational programs and services for both parents and healthcare professionals.
  • Establishing common goals to measure improvement in dietary habits and improvement of short and long term health.
  • Investing in scientific research in the field of nutrition, and working with healthcare professionals to develop innovative solutions to help improve the health of current and future generations.

The Deputy Head teacher City Parents School, Paul Richard Kasadha thanked Fresh Dairy for running the school’s program that will go along-way in helping children learn more about the benefits of having a balanced diet, and more especially, the importance of including dairy products as part of their daily meals.


Kansai Plascon Acquires Sadolin Paints Uganda

Kansai Plascon Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Japan based Kansai Paint Co, has concluded its agreement to purchase the Sadolin Paints operations in Uganda and other East African countries.

This was announced by Sadolin’s Managing Director Chris Nugent during a press briefing at the Plascon Factory in Namanve.

Kansai Paint is a global company with major operations in Japan, China, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Its product offering covers the decorative, industrial, protective coatings and automotive segment. It has research and development facilities in Japan, India and South Africa.

“We are thrilled at this acquisition. Through it, we will be able to tap into Kansai’s strong brand heritage, global technical capability, and trusted performance, providing us new capabilities, access to technology and knowhow which is very key in continuing to drive growth for this brand,” said Chris Nugent.

Speaking about the rationale for the acquisition Wim Bramer, MD Kansai Plascon East Africa said that this acquisition signals Kansai Plascon’s commitment to global expansion.

“East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions on the continent, with a rapidly emerging middle class, increased spending power, growing urbanization therefore, this is a good time to launch into a market that will need our wide range of products to enhance their lifestyles while also increasing our global footprint.” 

The acquisition will see no changes in top management and any other positions at Sadolin. The company will continue to operate as optimally as it has been with the current employee base.

Chris Nugent who stays on as Managing Director says this acquisition will see even better and more efficient output by the paint company which will benefit from new and improved technologies from Kansai Paint which is a top ten coatings company in the world. 

Since establishment in 1963 in Uganda, Sadolin Paints has grown to become the country’s largest paint manufacturer, boasting greater than 50% of the market share. The company manufactures its product line locally and recently set up a $10 million world class plant in Namanve.
Chris Nugent reassures customers that this move will have no impact on current operations but comes with more streamlined operations to serve customers better, more efficiently with the quality product they have come to expect.

“All our local dealerships, stores and shops will remain open to serve you at the same great price you have enjoyed over the years. Over the next few months, as we complete the transition, we shall subject to our contractual commitments, phase out the Sadolin brand from the shelves and encourage our customers to ask for Plascon from their local dealer.” 

Noting that acquisitions and mergers come with uncertainty both from a human resources perspective and an operations perspective, Wim Bramer commented that since Sadolin as a business was already operating impressively, the strategic input would be to enhance and plug into the existing operations to improve efficacy.

“We will only work to expand the already existing high quality technology that we have found in place. Our commitment remains to investing in cutting-edge technology to provide our customers with the best quality paint on the market,” he said.

Our focus is to maintain our place as the leading paint manufacturer in Uganda and East Africa through continuous innovation to best meet the ever changing needs of our customers and remain competitive in the market.

"The Ugandan market can look forward to the Plascon Visualizer mobile phone app which allows people to play and experiment with colours for their homes and projects before they head to the store to place their orders.”

Sadolin has enjoyed a huge presence and dominated the regional paint market. This acquisition will boost Kansai Plascon’s revenue and presence as it seeks to strengthen its position as the leading paint company in Africa.


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