Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) is set to launch a 12-year project titled “University as a Facilitator for Community-based Sustainable Solutions to Demographic Challenges in South Western Uganda” hereafter referred to as UCoBS.
The UCoBS project is one of the five global Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) partnerships funded by VLIR-UOS, Belgium. MUST has had a long-lasting working relationship with VLIR-UOS having coordinated the platform for over five years.
The project is jointly implemented with the Flemish Higher Education Institutions coordinated by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The project focuses on strengthening the MUST flagship Community Based Education, Research, and Service.
The project is to be achieved through a reciprocal model using a participatory, innovative, multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, and gender-based approach blended with information communication and technology to achieve improved and sustainable household livelihoods in South Western Uganda.
These approaches aim at contributing to the redress of demographic challenges that have become a topical issue on the national and international agenda. The project is premised on addressing institutional capacity gaps and six community-oriented thematic areas targeting the Most At-Risk Populations (MARPs).
Project thematic areas
In order to achieve the project outcome, the project is implemented under six sub-projects guided by various thematic areas:
(i) improved conservation practices of the environment and natural resources;
(ii) improved mechanisms for climate change adaptation for sustainable food production for small-scale farmers;
(iii) improved access and utilization of affordable energy technologies among the female-headed households and the urban poor;
(iv) improved sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, children and adolescents;
(v) increased youth employability through skilling, innovations, experiential learning and technology transfer and;
(vi) improved institutional and community ICT capacity to access and utilize information.
The project thematic areas resonate with the VLIR-UOS main objectives: conservation of ecosystems, resilience to climate change, ensuring healthy lives, equitable and quality education, improved research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The project hoped to strengthen institutional research and innovation capacity, inclusive knowledge creation, and community dividends. The university is leveraging the existing partnerships and working closely with her Flemish partners.
Purpose of the launch; To create a deeper understanding of the MUST-IUC UCoBS project and create synergies of thoughts, plans, and strategies between MUST and her implementing partners.
Guest of Honour: H.E Rudi Veestraeten, Ambassador of Belgium to Uganda
Venue for the launch; MUST Kihumuro Campus, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology Auditorium.
Date and Time: February 07, 2023; 9:00 A.M
The launch will also be live via EYIT TV Facebook and YouTube.