News & Updates



USP students share expectations

Through the Uganda Studies Program (USP) at Uganda Christian University (UCU), American students spend the fall or spring semester studying alongside Ugandans and other students from the African continent and beyond. The program involves classes, internships, and living with Ugandan families or peers while providing opportunities for students to authentically engage people, culture, and contemporary realities in Uganda in ways that challenge them to be active participants in Christ’s claim on all aspects of life. 

Pauline Luba, student with the School of Journalism, Media and Communication and a Partners intern, recently talked to some of the USP students to capture a snapshot about their experiences and expectations in the advent semester. In October 2023, there were 16 USP students. 

Lydia Ware on UCU main campus.
Lydia Ware on UCU main campus.

Lydia Ware (New York)

I am from Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, New York, where I am studying Biochemistry. I am studying Global Health this semester. My experience so far has been good. USP has helped us adjust, and the people have been welcoming. USP also has a very good history. My expectations for this semester are to take my classes, learn more about health and grow my faith.

Isabella Garcia (California)

I am from Westmont College in California. It was challenging at first, adjusting to learning new things, knowledge I would not have got in the USA. The USP program has been great. I have had the opportunity to learn more about myself, faith and what it means to experience another culture. My expectation is to seek fellowship with other Christians here and grow my faith.

 Grace Anne Shaw hopes to build her leadership skills during the program.
Grace Anne Shaw hopes to build her leadership skills during the program.

Grace Anne Shaw (Pennsylvania)

I am from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. I am studying social work and biblical and religious studies. This semester in the program, I am doing social work emphasis. I think the program is well organized, and it is challenging our ideas and getting us outside of our comfort zones in a good way. A lot of our conversations are in faith and culture. We are being challenged to think in new ways. My expectations for this semester are to grow in my faith as a Christian, as well as gain good leadership skills.

Lacey Richards says she has learned a lot about Ugandan culture.

USP Lacey Richards (Ohio)

Lacey Richards says she has learned a lot about Ugandan culture.
I am from Cedarville University, a Christian university in southwest Ohio, USA, and I am studying social work there. During this USP program, I am also studying social work. My favorite experience so far has been our trip to northern Uganda. We were able to see Murchison Falls, meet and spend time with the people, as well as learn more about the culture. I am enjoying the program so far and learning a lot about Ugandan culture, as well as spending more time with Ugandans. I expect to grow in thinking. I think about the culture here and compare with that back home, and learn how to work with different groups of people.



The School of Journalism, Media and Communication at Uganda Christian University, with support from the Norwegian government under the NORHED II programme invites applications for the PhD in Journalism, Media and Communication tenable at Uganda Christian University starting 13th November, 2023.

1.0 Background

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) recently accredited the PhD in Journalism, Media and Communication. The programme is designed to attract both full time and part time candidates, with a duration of 3-4 years for full time candidates and 5-6 years for part time students. The programme will be executed by a faculty team drawn from NORHED Partner universities including NLA University College (Norway), University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa), University of Rwanda and Uganda Christian University. It will be by coursework and dissertation. Current expertise lies in the following broad areas:

a) Media, democracy and development in Africa; 

(b) Media, gender,representation and participation; 

(c) The media and crisis 

(d)  Science and Health Communication.  

2.0 Criteria to apply at UCU

Eligible candidates shall: 

2.1 Demonstrate capacity and commitment to complete a rigorous PhD course within the stipulated time period (3-4 years for full-time students and 5-6 years for part-time students) under supervision

2.2 Show affinity and passion for teaching in the field of Journalism, Media and Communication

2.3 Prior teaching experience and/or demonstrable industry practice will be added advantages

N.B. Female candidates are encouraged to apply

  • Admission Requirements for the PhD in Journalism, Media and Communication

Minimum admission requirements to the PhD in Journalism, Media and Communication degree programme shall be as follows:

  1. General Requirements for Admission

a) A Master’s degree in Journalism/Media/Communication or related field, or its equivalent from a higher education institution recognized by NCHE.

N.B. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of accreditation of their relevant degree-awarding institution and academic programme by an equivalent Higher Education authority in the respective country. Additionally, their academic documents may need to be validated by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).

c) A research concept paper that will be reviewed to establish its clarity, relevance and suitability. 

N.B.  Applicants who hold a professional Masters’ degree and wish to pursue a PhD may be required to prove their suitability for admission with a minimum of two publications in reputable research outlets and shall be subjected to an interview by a panel of experts. The need for this will be determined by the admission panel.

 Candidates from related fields may be required to undertake remedial courses prescribed by the School to address gaps in essential knowledge and skills.


Key documents:

  1.  Application form (see
  2.  Two-page motivation letter;

4.3 Current Curriculum Vitae;

4.4 Certified copies of relevant academic papers;

  • A five-page synopsis of your PhD concept

4.6 Three reference letters (one academic, one professional, one character).

4.7 Evidence of publications (if relevant)


All applications must be submitted in hard and soft copy. 

  1. Applications (hard copy) should be submitted to the Director, Directorate of  Postgraduate Studies, Uganda Christian University, P.O Box 4, Mukono, Uganda  Electronic copies of the application should be sent to 




Applications must be submitted not later than 4.00 p.m. Tuesday 24th October, 2023. Shortlisted candidates will receive notification by 31st October, 2023. These will receive guidelines and be invited to present their PhD research concepts before final selection.  


Inquiries may be directed to the Head of Department, Postgraduate Studies and Research, School of Journalism, Media and Communication, Uganda Christian University, Dr. Annette Kezaabu: 




The PhD Coordinator, School of Journalism, Media and Communication, Uganda Christian University

Prof. James Kiwanuka-Tondo



OR call _256 312 350 800 EXT 284-Attention Mrs. Proscovia Sempungu (School Administrative Assistant)/Mr. Franklin Adeka (School Assistant Registrar)


Daily Monitor journalist leaves career to pursue theology

By Pauline Luba
If you meet Esther Irene Nantambi on the Uganda Christian University (UCU) main campus, she will most likely be in “kitten” (thin) heels or sneakers. Her unspoken love for creativity reveals itself as she leisurely strolls through stalls during exhibitions by the School of Journalism, Media and Communication or art and design. Her face displays a hint of makeup.  Her demeanor is friendly. 

In the sea of students at UCU, Nantambi would likely be pegged for a career in journalism. She was. She doesn’t appear to be a student of theology or divinity. But she is. The girl who questioned her brother when he expressed interest in the vocation is pursuing it herself.  

Nantambi says it was not easy for her to make the decision for the career change after a vision she received in September 2022
Nantambi says it was not easy for her to make the decision for the career change after a vision she received in September 2022

Nantambi, a holder of a degree in journalism and communication from Makerere University and a once practicing journalist, is back in school. She is in year one, pursuing a Master of Divinity at UCU. When she completes this course, she will become a reverend. The course equips men and women to preach, evangelize, teach and care for God’s people in knowledge and love of God.

The life of the 28-year-old seems contradictory with a disconnect between her desires and actions.

“Before theology school, I was living like a typical youth in Kampala; attending live band nights. I would also go for at least one trip a year with my friends,” Nantambi says. “In the same breath, I was spending at least 4-6 hours in fellowship with God daily.”

In addition to salsa dancing, her nights involved an hour reading the Bible, an hour praying and interceding and an hour listening to a Bible lesson every day.

“I would drive to and from work in prayer and have private quiet moments at work, too,” she said.

Additionally, every Monday and Wednesday from 7 to 8 a.m., Nantambi and a group of friends would visit the Mulago Hospital children’s cancer ward to pray with patients and give support. 

Nantambi also is a Sunday School teacher at Kampala’s St. Andrew’s Bukoto Church of Uganda. At a younger age, Nantambi trained to teach the gospel to children, something she thanks her mother for, as she did not have much interest in it. 

“My mother was a Sunday school teacher; she was also a nurse at Mulago Hospital,” Nantambi said. “Once every month, she and her friends would pray for sick people in the hospital. It was a testimony to me that the spiritual and the medical world can work well together.”

Her mother’s death in 2021 only seemed to her like a commissioning to carry on her (mother’s) ministry further. 

Table of Contents

When Nantambi chose to pursue a degree in journalism and communication at Makerere University, it was because of her immense love for literature and the hope that the course would improve her writing skills.    

Her breakthrough into the mainstream media came when she participated in an essay writing competition organized by the Media Challenge Initiative. She did not win, but her performance caught the eye of Carol Beyanga, a competition judge and a managing editor at the Daily Monitor, a newspaper in Uganda. 

Several months after her graduation in 2018, when Nantambi showed up for a job interview at the Daily Monitor, Beyanga and her team hired her as a lifestyle and relationships editor in charge of the newspaper’s magazine, My Wedding. It is from that job that she has now moved on to pursue a course in divinity.

Nantambi’s UCU Odyssey

But it was not easy for Nantambi to make the decision for the career change after her call, which she received through a vision in September 2022. At first, Nantambi says she felt like her active prayer life was misleading her, so she ceased all prayers.  

Before theology school, Nantambi was living like a typical youth in Kampala
Before theology school, Nantambi was living like a typical youth in Kampala

However, missing the intimacy that comes with dwelling in God’s presence, she had a change of heart, and also finally applied for the course at UCU. The school of theology demands that its students are university residents and on a full-time study schedule, forcing many to resign from their jobs. Nantambi thus left her job at the Daily Monitor.

At UCU, she says she has found a wealth of knowledge she did not expect. She also says that she is still in the process of adjusting with her new life.

 “My closet desperately needs an update,” she said. “My office pants or jeans, jumpsuits, any sleeveless dresses or blouses are all inappropriate wear for the course. Simple things, such as the shade of lipstick, matter. Even earrings must be low key.” 

Nantambi explained that she also curb her salsa dancing not for God (because I know God doesn’t mind it) but for the communities that may not understand a dancing religious leader.

Nantambi is the sixth of eight children of Dr. Samuel Muwanga Ntambi. She studied at Ladybird Primary School, Matugga and Mengo Senior School for O’ and A’level. Both schools are in central Uganda. Nantambi says she was raised by a strong ever-present father and a dedicated Christian mother, each having a strong impact in her life.


New UCU students share decisions, expectations

The Advent (September) semester at Uganda Christian University (UCU) welcomes a cohort of newly admitted students pursuing various courses at the institution. The university held an induction ceremony for all new students on September 26, 2023, to officially welcome and absorb them into the university culture and community. Just as in other higher institutions of learning, at UCU, the newcomers are commonly referred to as “freshers” since they are embarking on a fresh journey in the university. Kefa Senoga had a chat with some of the freshers. Some expectations are shared here. 

Kazawura Mark Arthur

I am a first-year Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCU. My choice of UCU was influenced by my relatives who have studied at the university and excelled in their careers. I believe that UCU will provide me with the essential training needed to realize my goals. I anticipate encountering a stiff academic environment, given the nature of my course. Nevertheless, I believe that with access to qualified lecturers and a well-equipped Hamu Mukasa Library, I will successfully overcome the challenges.

As a sports enthusiast, I am eagerly anticipating the use of the sports facilities at UCU. I look forward to engaging in various sports activities, such as soccer and basketball, which I actively participated in during my time in high school.

Khauka Ronald
Khauka Ronald

My motivation for enrolling at UCU and pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology was because I wanted to enhance my technological competence. I have already taught myself some aspects of information technology and hope to use the course to further my understanding of the field, as well as receive formal academic recognition, as well as further refine my skills.

I don’t expect to face significant challenges because of my deep passion for the subject. My main concerns at campus revolve around non-academic aspects, particularly to do with social well-being. As a non-resident, my primary concern lies in ensuring I’m well-prepared in terms of food and sustenance.

Nabukalu Vanitah
Nabukalu Vanitah

The first time I visited the main campus at Mukono, I was blown away by its beauty. I am also hopeful that the training that I will receive at UCU will make me one of the best journalists in the country. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communication course.

I also look forward to forming friendships with people who have a strong faith in God during my time at UCU, since the institution is rooted on Christian values. 

Nasasiira Lillian
Nasasiira Lillian

I believe UCU grooms the best law students in Uganda. My parents, too, share this belief, which is why they never considered any other institution for my law studies. UCU has earned a reputation in teaching law, and that’s why I chose it – to excel and build a name in my career.

As a Christian, I was determined to ensure that my Christian values remained steadfast as I embarked on my university journey. That’s why I made the deliberate choice to attend UCU, a prestigious Christian institution. In fact, my hope is to emerge from UCU even stronger in faith. 

Welikhe Sam
I am eager to grow and upgrade in my studies at the institution. After falling short of the required points for my preferred course, which is Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with the support of my parents, I made the decision to enroll in the Higher Education Certificate program so that I can eventually be able to qualify for the engineering course. The minimum duration of the Higher Education Certificate program is nine months.

My other goal at UCU is to seize the opportunity for spiritual growth and development. I plan to engage in chapel services, prayer groups and various Christian ministries as part of my personal journey. This aspect of the university is one of the reasons I find UCU appealing.


School of Journalism unveils first PhD program

By John Semakula
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. 

This is true for Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) School of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMC) whose journey of 22 years has led to the launch of its first PhD program. 

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), a body charged with regulating higher education in Uganda, accredited the advanced degree program on August 21, 2023. The School of JMC then launched the PhD in September. The launch meant advertising, admitting new students and JMC professors initiating a high-quality curriculum. 

In 2002, when  the  UCU Department of Mass Communication started with only one undergraduate degree program, it was not easy to envisage this level of transformation. At that time, 21 years ago, the department had  no academic staff with a PhD.

But today the School of JMC prides itself in having several renowned communication scholars with doctoral degrees. These include Prof. Monica Chibita and Prof. James Kiwanuka Tondo. The PhD accreditation required a detailed consultative needs assessment, which involved industry practitioners, academics, current and prospective students. 

“The assessment established that indeed there was demand for PhD training in communication in Uganda, where only Makerere University was offering a PhD in the field by research,” the statement said.  

Why UCU has introduced the crucial PhD program

Prof. Chibita, the Dean of the School, affirmed the need for the introduction of the PhD. 

“The PhD program seeks to fill a gap in teaching, research and supervision at institutions of higher education in the East African region, using contextual curricular and innovative methods of delivery,” she said. 

She noted that the program is aligned with the University’s strategic vision of growing research, innovations and partnerships. 

“The University aims to promote rigorous focused research that leads to improved understanding and innovations to solve specific challenges in Uganda and abroad,” Chibita said, also emphasizing that the PhD will contribute to the University’s goal of recruiting and retaining staff with excellence in teaching and research.

According to the School, the program started off with an 11-strong faculty, comprising four professors, two associate professors, and five senior lecturers drawn from the UCU School of JMC, the University of Kwa Zulu Natal (South Africa), the University of Rwanda; and NLA University College in Norway.  

Chibita said, “The faculty composition reflects strong collaboration between the partner universities, and continued support for capacity development in higher education and research for development by the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED).” 

The program covers four broad areas: media democracy and development in Africa; media, gender, identity and participation; media and crisis; and health and science communication. There will be a strong emphasis placed on innovative teaching and research methods and on the need to decolonise communication theory, method and curricula.  PhD candidates will undertake coursework, proposal writing and research. They will be encouraged to conduct collaborative research with faculty members and partner universities. 

Full-time students will be expected to complete the program within three to four years while part-time students in five to six years.  The program will accept at least 10 doctoral students for the start. 


‘I can contribute to the fight against food insecurity’

By Irene Best Nyapendi
Edrick Bwambale, a Uganda Christian University (UCU) alumnus, has scooped the African Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Achievers Award for his work connected to training rural farmers best practices. 

Awarded at the four-day, 5th African Youth SDGs Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, in August 2023, his accolade was in the category of  “No poverty,” which derived its name from the SDG 1 – End poverty in all its forms everywhere. 

The 2019 graduate with a Bachelor of Agriculture Science and Entrepreneurship was recognized for his efforts with rural female farmers who are survivors of domestic violence in Kasese district, western Uganda. He was commended for improving the farmers’ profitability by introducing better crop varieties, providing support and creating online marketplaces for their products. 

Edrick Bwambale receiving his award at the 5th African Youth SDGs Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, on August 18. He was recognized for his remarkable work with rural female farmers who are survivors of domestic violence in Kasese district, western Uganda.
Edrick Bwambale, receiving his award at the 5th African Youth SDGs Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, on August 18. He was recognized for his remarkable work with rural female farmers who are survivors of domestic violence in Kasese district, western Uganda.

Bwambale was grateful to the summit for recognizing his efforts and the networking opportunities it opened for him. He said he benefited from sharing with experts who showed him “a whole different perspective of things.” He was sponsored for the conference, got books to help him in his projects and also networked with peers and experts for further correspondence. 

“It is important for us as youth to take part in this because we are leaders of today, not just tomorrow, and our contributions are crucial to making progress in the 17 areas of the SDGs,” he said.

He said the award has motivated him to refine his ideas, opened doors to capacity-building opportunities and given him access to experts.

“The award opened doors for valuable networking with experienced professionals,” Bwanbale said. “And if I use the opportunities and network I made, it would benefit me more.”

Bwambale does the work under his organization, Sustainable Agri Food Initiative (SAFI Uganda), which he founded in 2021. He trains crop farmers using the knowledge he got at UCU and through the practical field experience while working at Mubuku Irrigation Scheme (in Kasese) as a field extension officer for five years.

He expanded the SAFI initiative when leaving his field extension job in April 2022. The SAFI farmer groups with 517 members increase support from financial institutions. 

“I know what kind of seed is planted in what kind of soil, at what time, and I have field experience that I share with farmers,” Bwanbale said.“Banks will not trust individual farmers with money because they don’t see security, but they can trust a group of farmers who are doing something,” 

UCU Alumnus Bwambale’s Agri-mission

During his field work, he realized that farmers needed extra help in accessing agricultural knowledge and training.

“The whole essence of field extension made more sense because I saw how local farmers were being challenged by transport limitations,” he said. “They hardly got the required technical support.”

Bwambale’s mission is “to improve the technical knowledge, farm production and productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in East Africa.”

He achieves this through on-farm field extension services, advising farmers on crop management, pest control, and more. He works with a team of field assistants who are his current and former interns who help him during the field training.

In creating an online marketplace for farmers to access better markets, he seeks to eliminate middlemen who exploit farmers when prices drop after harvest. He also conducts field sessions to empower farmers, allowing them to replicate best practices.

“We meet two days a month in a classroom setting,” he said. “Additionally, once every week, we gather in a garden we call a training site. Here, we focus on practical learning. Farmers replicate what they have learned by practicing it in their gardens.”

Bwambale’s motivation to engage in sustainable development started by recognizing his potential to effect change in his community.

 “I know I can do something,” he said. “I can’t just sit there and watch people suffer when I can contribute to the fight against food insecurity and poverty.”


UCU African Diaspora Studies Center in offing

By Irene Best Nyapendi

Fulbright Specialist Scholar, Dr. Afia S. Zakiya, is leading a team charged with establishing the Kodwo E. And E. Maxine Ankrah Center for African Diaspora at Uganda Christian University (UCU). The center, under the Directorate of Postgraduate Studies, will promote the study of the African Diaspora, defined as a population scattered across regions separate from the geographical place of origin.

“I am a daughter of Africa,” Zakiya says. “I am committed to the global liberation of African people and the rescue, restoration, and teaching of our history and culture.” Zakiya was born in Mississippi, with strong roots in the United States’ southern states where  many people of African heritage were formerly enslaved.

She highlights the necessity of African-centered knowledge and education in fields like Africana/Black and Diaspora studies, among other fields, to relay the story of people of African descent from an authentic, historical perspective.

“A request came from UCU to the Fulbright program for support to build the Ankrah Center for African Diaspora studies, along with other tasks, such as reviewing courses,” Zakiya says.

Forging a Path Towards a Vibrant African Diaspora Experience at UCU

The Ankrah Center, named after Professor E. Maxine Ankrah and the late  Lay Canon Kodwo E. Ankrah, serves as a forum to bring persons of African descent together, fostering global connectivity. The Ankrahs worked actively with the Anglican Church in Uganda and taught at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology and UCU. Ankrah’s desire was that Africa be reclaimed and that all Africans and the Diaspora one day be reconnected.

Dr. Zakiya envisions an evolution in which African minds are decolonized, resulting in the rediscovery of Africa’s history, culture, and interconnectivity. 

She believes there is a need to confront the often-present degrading narrative about African humanity and experiences. The Ankrah Center wants to support endogenous knowledge creation strategies that are grounded in African worldviews, ancient and contemporary as they have evolved in the interest of African people.

“The Center will offer courses, seminars, exchange programs and create a network of partners in Africa and across the Diaspora, and the communities they serve, for UCU students to be involved in throughout the year,” Zakiya says. 

She forecasts a Center that will elevate the study of African history, language and culture.

“It will be exciting for those who become involved with the Center to have the chance to have exchanges — physical and other ways — with those young and older, the elders of the family many don’t know, their lost brothers and sisters from the African Diaspora,” she says, adding that UCU’s African Diaspora studies will be the first of its kind in the country.

During her visit at UCU in July and August, Zakiya said she had a productive collaborative experience.

Zakiya’s pride in African heritage has its roots in her upbringing. She was inspired by her parents — John and Ida Smith — as well as some of the most talented African-centered scholars, activists, and Pan-Africanists.

“They instilled in me a sense of pride in being African and taught me not to feel like I come from an inferior race,” she said. “They inspired me to learn more about who we are as a people, and they instilled in me the need to contribute to the upliftment of our race with an African consciousness.”

Zakiya has lived and worked in over 22 African countries, is a former Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science and works in cultural heritage and ecology. She is eager to use her talents to support new and reclaimed indigenous knowledge for the Ankrah Center.

UCU is reviewing Zakiya’s report with an expected launch of the center in 2024.


Accident shattered Okoth’s leg, but not his dreams

By Pauline Luba
When Joshua Okoth was asked about his favorite swimming style, he stared into the sky and, without any hesitation, said: “Freestyle.” He explained further, his choice: “It’s for yourself.” 

Okoth was ushered into swimming first as a pastime. He was 12 years old when he went swimming with some of his childhood friends in Entebbe, central Uganda. Initially, Okoth had no intention of getting into the water. However, his friends encouraged him to do so. Once he gave it a try, he did not look back.

This 3.5-minute video, produced by UCU alum, Chris Mutch, shows Okoth in the pool.

For many who know about Okoth’s life history, seeing him as a swimmer is nothing short of a miracle. At eight years of age, one leg was amputated. Okoth was involved in an accident and the only way for his life to continue was to have the leg removed. When that was done, to many, they thought his life would be confined to a wheelchair. But Okoth had other thoughts. With the help of an artificial limb today, he goes about most of his duties.

When he learned how to swim in 2012, it took Okoth another eight years for him to consider taking it up as a competitive sport. He was a student at Nabumali High School in eastern Uganda, when the school opened its swimming pool. 

The 23-year-old remembers being part of the congregation at Nabumali High School when one of the coaches recognized him and asked if he would like to join the swimming team. As expected, he was at first hesitant about the invitation. It took a lot of convincing before he decided to give it a shot. When he did, it took him three weeks to overcome the phobia. Okoth was assigned a special coach who guided him through the basics of swimming in a competition.

And now he is a proud swimmer.

 “I don’t think of anything when I get into the water,” Okoth said, adding: “It’s a game I enjoy.” 

UCU Okoth Aims to Inspire Others Through His Journey

He is constantly inspired by his parents whom he says he wants to make proud, as well as his friends, especially USA acquaintances who keep encouraging him in his pursuit. Okoth says he is who he is because of God’s love. 

Okoth learned how to swim in 2012.
UCU Okoth learned how to swim in 2012.

“I want someone in my condition to know that everything is possible. I dream about a world where the underprivileged are not discriminated against,” says Okoth, a year-one student of Uganda Christian University (UCU), where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance. 

He had initially wanted to study to become a pilot, but Okoth says the high fees for the course turned him away from his earlier dream. He now hopes to qualify as an accountant, so he can practice accountancy in the airlines sector. 

Okoth’s life goal is to see more support offered for people, and, indeed, athletes with disabilities. While growing up, Okoth says he faced many challenges, given his physical disability. Getting to school was hard, he said, because he had to use a wheelchair, yet his family was also in a state of financial instability. Okoth now is an advocate for schools to provide facilitation for students with physical challenges like his, who can bring glory to the institution through sports.

Okoth is the third born of six children of Emmanuel Onyango, a commercial driver, and Aidah Nabulo, a housewife. He attended Vision Nursery and Primary School, Manjasi High School for O’level and Nabumali High School for A’level. All the three schools are in eastern Uganda.


July graduation top male student is social entrepreneur

By Yasiri J. Kasango
Wilson Wanyama, an alumnus of Uganda Christian University (UCU), has long had a desire to be a social entrepreneur. In 2021, when he learned of an undergraduate program known as Bachelor of Development and Social Entrepreneurship, he saw a chance to bump up his dream.

After Bukede College Kachonga for his Ordinary and Advanced Level, Wilson joined Nkumba University for a degree in Business Administration. When attaining his second degree in Development and Social Entrepreneurship at UCU in July, he not only improved his chances of being a successful entrepreneur,  but he excelled above all faculty/school male graduates.  

Wilson Wanyama is the top male student of more than 1,000 of the July 2023 graduating class – the 24th graduation, part 1, at UCU. 

Wilson was already working to elevate Kabale communities in the Kigezi sub-region where he lived. He participated in organizing communities for development.

“All I have been doing was in development circles, supporting communities to develop, caring for the needy, running and managing organizations, mobilizing communities to better themselves,” said Wanyama.

As a result, he thought that his business administration degree did not equip him with the abilities required in his intended sector of community development, and that what he was doing in his community was unrelated.

Wilson had a passion to serve and make change, but lacked certain skills to better  his community. He said he “needed  specific skills in this area of development.” He found those skills in the UCU curriculum within Development and Social Entrepreneurship in the School of Social Sciences. 

“I always wanted to be a social entrepreneur,” said Wanyama. Social entrepreneurship is the process by which individuals, startups and entrepreneurs develop and fund solutions that directly address social issues.

Wanyama’s Journey of Success at UCU

At the July 28 graduation on the UCU Mukono campus, Wanyama was the only degree recipient from the program of Development and Social Entrepreneurship. In five years, he hopes to have his PhD.  

Employed in a private sector position, he balanced work and studies, never missing a single lecture or even coming late for his lectures.

“It’s a personal effort in preparing for what the university was putting before us, receiving what the university had to give us, being attentive to what we required to listen in and also once required to be available,” said Wanyama.

“I had a portion time for work and studies and avail myself whenever I was needed,” Wanyama said. “Therefore, planning was key in achieving success in both areas.”

Wanyama says UCU lived up to its stellar reputation for quality learning and job marketability. He applauded UCU for the institution’s values and culture, validating his choice to enroll and encouraging others to do the same.


School of Business organizes entrepreneurship camps

By Kefa Senoga
In a bid to instill a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship among students, the Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Business (SoB) has introduced an International Entrepreneurship Summer Camp to understand what it means to do business in Uganda. 

According to Aston Aryamanya, one of the coordinators of the program, the camp was initiated as a result of UCU’s collaboration with Hanze University in the Netherlands. He said the camp is fully funded by the Hanze University Foundation.

Christa Oluka addressing participants at the opening of the camp
UCU Christa Oluka addressing participants at the opening of the camp

“One of the key areas of our collaboration with Hanze is entrepreneurship and promoting practical skills; this is where the idea of starting up this camp emerged,” says Aryamanya, a lecturer in UCU SoB.

From the ideation stage, Aryamanya said SoB has been working with the team from Hanze. However, for this particular camp, the students from Hanze will not participate, though they will be expected in the subsequent ones. 

To get the students to participate in the camp, which took place from August 21 to September 1, a call was sent out to those in SoB to submit proposals, which they had to defend before a select committee.  

UCU Nurtures Business Talent

Out of the exercise, 17 students were selected, with representatives from all courses in SoB —Business Administration, Human Resource, International Business, Tourism, Procurement, Accounting and Finance, Economics and Statistics.

Aryamanya said at the end of the camp, held on the Mukono campus, all the participating students were expected to come up with bankable and fundable business proposals.

“The key issue we are addressing in this training is educating the students to value their customer or consumer, to get to know what they need, what their problems are and how they can be addressed,” Aryamanya explained. 

At the camp, the students were expected to visit the country’s body in charge of investment, the Uganda Investment Authority, to understand the policies that govern doing business in Uganda. Experts from the country’s business registration agency, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) were also lined up to talk to the students about patent rights, copyrights and registration. Also, the students were expected to visit the country’s taxman, Uganda Revenue Authority, as well as the Uganda Industrial Research Institute for further mentorship.

Some participants during camp sessions.
Some participants during camp sessions at UCU

While addressing the participating students and the SoB staff during the opening of the camp at the UCU business hub, Christa Oluka, the Director of Academic Affairs at UCU, asked the participants to embrace the opportunity provided to them at the training if they wanted to create, and not seek jobs. 

Oluka urged the team to find ways of solving community challenges without necessarily duplicating what already exists. She expressed optimism that future camps will involve students from beyond SoB to be able to help them embrace the idea of entrepreneurship.

The Associate Dean of the SoB, Elsie Nsiyona, asked the students to identify what they have so that they can beverage their competitive advantage. 

Bulya Maria Anthony Cindy, one of the students who attended the camp, noted that she expected to learn a lot about the processes of business development and to be guided on the journey of generating ideas and bringing them to life.

Brian Muwanguzi, another student, expressed excitement about the diverse opportunities the program offers. He noted: “This kind of program allows us to explore various sectors and uncover unique ideas.”

Early this year, top managers from UCU and Hanze signed a partnership that was expected to lead to the setting up of an innovation hub at the UCU main campus in Mukono. 

At the event, Vincent Kisenyi, the Dean of the UCU SoB, said the hub would widen the school’s scope of operation in training and empowering students by creating an avenue of engaging with the outside community.

In April last year, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, the UCU Vice Chancellor, visited Hanze University, where he established stronger ties with the institution’s administration.

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