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By Fregence Gumula  

All photos taken by Isaac Wandubile

The Director General Uganda Management Institute Dr. James Nkata has made an elaborate case explaining why UMI deserves more government funding to especially amplify its research activities and mandate.

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Speaking at a function where 2,839 Institute participants graduated with PhDs, Master’s degrees and PGDs, Nkata enumerated indicators which saw that the Jinja Road-based Institute (in existence since 1969) has registered tremendous success amidst scarcity of financial resources and infrastructural constraints.

Reflecting on the 21 publications by academic staff to coincide with the Friday graduation ceremony (compared to the previous graduation’s 17), Nkata said he was proud to lead an Institute that is demonstrably contributing to the creation of new knowledge for use by decision-makers in Uganda and globally through its research-led approaches. He revealed that, because UMI is deliberate on prioritizing a research-led approach to learning and training, each of the 4 PhD and 362 Masters graduands had carry out and publish research findings to qualify for graduation.

The Director General also made reference to the recently concluded International Conference which focused on sustainable service delivery & innovations in developing countries. The Conference had up to 200 international delegates from 13 countries and a total of 168 papers were presented on governance, service delivery and other related topics.

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Taking advantage of chief guest Speaker Anita Among, who was represented by GCW Hamson Obua, Dr. Nkata suggested a collaborative partnership between UMI and the Parliament of Uganda. Nkata suggested that since Among has been deliberate insisting on MPs making research-based submissions, it would be prudent taking advantage of the UMI Research Center to sharpen the capabilities of individual legislators and Committee Chairpersons both at plenary and Committee levels. He suggested that under the same arrangement, UMI could be obliged to sharpen the skills and expertise of individual research assistants attached to the different Committees. He said UMI can also be contracted to carry out all the high quality research that MPs require to legislate effectively.

Besides partnering with the Republics of South Sudan and Burundi, Nkata reported that UMI had secured partnerships which will see it offer training programs leading to prestigious awards such as the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). They are both beginning January next year and they are very prestigious training programs which are being introduced in Uganda for the first time. The nearest Ugandan HR and PR practitioners have been able to access the same has been Nairobi Kenya which consumed more time and financial resources than is going to be the case effective next year.

Dr. Nkata also made reference to the ongoing partnership between UMI and the Public Service Ministry which seeks to enhance the Civil Service College in Jinja which Chancellor Bart Katureebe suggested should become part of UMI. Nkata demanded that the GoU makes use of the expert services abundantly available at UMI as the rationalization of MDAs gets underway.

He also made reference to other collaborations and partnerships including that between UMI and the Office of the President on whose behalf the anti-corruption Magazine will have to be developed and published sometime next year by UMI. Others are the Ministry of Defense regarding their Jinja-based Defense & Service Staff College at Kimaka; Uganda Police Force’s Staff College in Bwebajja, GiZ Uganda, URBRA, Wazalendo SACCO and International Institute of Fiscal Development of Netherlands.

Nkata also talked about the progress being made via the UMI’s Research & Innovations Center before making reference to the Uganda Journal of Public Management Studies which UMI produces twice a year and has been coming out for the last 19 years. The DG also bragged about the policy dialogues under which leading policy makers, business and CSOs leaders regularly converge at the Institute to work towards ensuring that research that UMI undertakes ends up informing practices.

Before highlighting what has been accomplished so far through the School of Civil Service, Public Administration & Governance (which carried on the legacy of IPA whose mandate UMI inherited), the DG Nkata suggested that the GoU should increase its funding towards research activities at UMI since it’s purely a postgraduate Institute.

The School of Civil Service has lately been very innovative as manifested in the programs that have been added on the Institute’s training menu. These include the PGD in Journalism & Communications management; Education Leadership & Management; Health Service Management & Administration plus the one in Public Administration & Community Development which is tailored for the Parish chiefs & other local government structure leaders who are at the forefront of implementing the PDM. Next year, the same School of Civil Service will be introducing the PGD in Diplomacy & International Relations.

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Dr. Nkata also discussed the implications of the collaborative partnerships UMI has with the School of Public Management of South Korea (KDI to facilitate technology-enabled learning), University of Applied Sciences in Germany (which will support digitization of PGD programs at UMI), Oracle Academy of United States of America and the Kosovo Institute of Public Administration (KIPA). Nkata asserted that even though Uganda doesn’t recognize the Independence of Kosovo as yet, the UMI collaboration with KIPA will go a long way in accelerating North-South relations besides providing an entry point for Ugandan business leaders into doing deals with the private sector in Kosovo.

The Director General also talked about UMI management heeding the 2018 call President Museveni (the Visitor) made to them as he presided over graduation that year. The veteran leader from Rwakitura demanded that academic institutions like UMI become more vigilant against corruption by being deliberate in the way they design their training & research programs.

Nkata enumerated several ways in which UMI has positively impacted the fight against corruption through its anti-corruption studies Center which works with key anti-corruption agencies to amplify ethics among accounting officers while popularizing strategies put in place to fight corruption. This same Anti-corruption Unit will be critical in developing and publishing the Anti-corruption Magazine in close collaboration with the Office of the President early next year. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us








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