The African Institute for
Capacity Development (AICAD), a project at Makerere University has expressed
the need to finance projects aimed at poverty eradication in the country.
The appeal was made by Prof. Dominic Byarugaba, the AICAD ‘s
acting executive Director while hosting the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda His
Excellence Kazuaki Kameda at Makerere on Wednesday.
AICAD is a Regional International Institute dealing with poverty reduction in
Africa through human capacity development.
It was a brainchild of Japan’s Prime minister in 2000 and was supported through
Japan International Agency –JICA.
Since its inception, Prof. Byarugaba says the institute has made major
contributions through human capacity development where most Africans who used
to study from abroad have now been trained within local Universities and other
institutions that they partner with like Makerere University, Jomo Kenyatta
University, Dar es Salaam University and others.
The project has supported various institutions to conduct research, train and
form networking initiatives to support improved farming of Bananas in Western
Uganda, Sim-Sim in Northern Uganda and Rice growing in Eastern Uganda.
The ambassador’s visit to the institute was a follow-up to the
2016 Nairobi AICAD conference in which African Presidents and other delegations
in partnership with Japan Government came up will declarations revolving around
value addition to agricultural products on the continent.
Prof. Byaruhanga contends that the collaboration with the Japanese
government seeks to exploit its experience and expertise, particularly that
which has seen its agro-researchers’ sustained efforts produce resilient
varieties of Japonica rice resulting in the achievement of self-sufficiency in
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Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor decried
the reduced JICA funding.
“Governments couldn’t match the support that was given by JICA.
What they contribute can only sustain the secretariat and maybe fund a few
research projects compared to hundreds of projects that were being funded by
JICA,” says Nawangwe.
In the first phase of the project implementation in 2000-2002, JICA injected approximately
5.6 billion shillings towards the institute.
By the time the third phase ended in 2007-2012, according to Prof.
Byaruhanga, JICA had injected in the institute up to a tune of 11.2 billion
The three East African governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have so far
jointly contributed 3.7 billion shillings to the institute.
Prof. Byaruhanga requested Kameda to consider more funding for the
institute to be able meet the sustainable development goals and agenda 2063 of
the African Union.
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Kameda promised to report the Institute’s expectations from JICA’s
to his government to support its sustainability.