Saturday, March 30, 2024

From Detention to Innovation: Nabilatuk District Transforms Former Holding Center into Digital Learning Oasis

In a symbolic transformation that echoes the resilience and adaptability of communities, authorities in Nabilatuk district have breathed new life into a former detention facility, repurposing it into a vibrant youth center dedicated to digital literacy and education.

Based within Nabilatuk Town Council, the facility, once synonymous with law enforcement, now stands as a beacon of learning and opportunity.

Collaborating with Tocau Karamoja, a dynamic youth-led organization committed to empowering the region, the district received a generous donation from MTN Uganda under its transformative MTN Changer Makers Initiative.

Valued at 20 million shillings, the fully equipped computer library bestowed upon the district has heralded a new era of technological advancement and knowledge acquisition.

The metamorphosed facility now exudes modernity, boasting state-of-the-art amenities including sleek furniture, a cutting-edge computer lab, and seamless internet connectivity. 

Kyeyune Ssenyonjo, the Nabilatuk Resident District Commissioner, lauded the visionary partnership that birthed this educational haven, recognizing its pivotal role in steering youth towards a brighter future.

Acknowledging the facility's storied past as a bastion against criminal elements, Ssenyonjo emphasized the district's commitment to safeguarding its newfound purpose, ensuring its sustained maintenance and security.

Kizito Tebanyang, the founder of Tocau Karamoja, illuminated the transformative potential of the center. With a steadfast dedication to nurturing computer literacy among youth, Tebanyang envisioned the facility as a sanctuary of learning, offering free guidance and educational services to eager minds yearning to embrace the digital age.

Simon Peter Loteng, the Nabilatuk District Senior Education Officer, echoed Tebanyang's sentiments, heralding the center as a catalyst for bridging the digital divide within the education sector. With optimism coursing through his words, Loteng envisioned a future where the facility inspires a generation of technologically savvy youth, enriching the fabric of their education and igniting pathways to success.

Dr. Charles Nuwagaba, the Chief Community Officer for MTN Uganda in the Karamoja region, and proprietor of Tiffan Enterprises, underscored MTN's unwavering commitment to digital inclusion and youth empowerment through education. 

With a resolute pledge to continue supporting the local community, Nuwagaba heralded the dawn of a digital revolution, fueled by collaboration, innovation, and a shared vision of a brighter tomorrow.

African Geo-Scientists Trained to Harness Continent's Mineral Wealth

 In a bid to bolster Africa's capacity to harness its mineral resources, twenty-five geo-scientists from eleven African nations underwent intensive training in geo-scientific survey techniques and mapping. 

The four-week program, held in Entebbe and Kabale, was spearheaded by the Uganda Geological Survey Department and facilitated by experts from the Czech Republic. This initiative, funded by Europe, aimed to empower African countries to generate their own knowledge and expertise in mineral exploration and exploitation.

Part of a broader four-year program, the training also aimed to facilitate knowledge exchange and networking among experts in the field, thereby enhancing their career prospects. Participants, competitively selected from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Zambia, Angola, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, and Egypt, represented a diverse pool of young and mid-career practitioners.

The closing ceremony of the training, held at Lake Victoria Hotel, was graced by outgoing Minister of State for Mineral Development, Peter Lokeris, who emphasized the importance of fostering innovation, collaboration, and research to drive Africa's growth and development.

Lokeris highlighted the role of geo-scientific skills in unlocking Africa's vast mineral potential, urging participants to leverage their newfound expertise for the continent's benefit.

Eng. Irene Batebe, the Permanent Secretary for Energy, underscored the timeliness of the training amid increased mineral and energy exploration activities in Africa. She emphasized the need to develop human capital capable of maximizing Africa's resource wealth, echoing a presidential directive to add value to minerals before export.

Batebe emphasized the importance of translating Africa's mineral potential into tangible projects that attract investment, urging trainees to apply their skills effectively. She also called for sustained networking and knowledge-sharing among practitioners, advocating for the establishment of a centralized African geo-science portal.

Dr. Fred Tugume, Acting Commissioner for Geological Surveys, lauded Uganda's selection as the training host, acknowledging the government's commitment to capacity-building in the region.

Dr. Veronica Sierra from the Czech Republic, a facilitator of the training, stressed the significance of equipping participants with the knowledge to leverage their countries' mineral wealth. She emphasized that unless Africa possesses the requisite expertise, its mineral resources remain untapped potential.

The training program signifies a pivotal step towards empowering African nations to harness their mineral wealth, positioning the continent for sustainable development and prosperity.

UPDF Partners with Makerere University to Introduce Arabic and Chinese Language Courses for Soldiers

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has taken a significant step towards enhancing its global communication capabilities by launching Arabic and Chinese language courses.

These courses, initiated at the Military Intelligence School in Nakasongola district, aim to equip soldiers with the linguistic skills necessary to effectively engage with counterparts from countries where these languages are spoken.

Under the leadership of Maj Gen Charles Birungi, commander of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), the courses were inaugurated in collaboration with Makerere University School of Languages, marking a pivotal moment for both the UPDF and the country at large.

Maj Gen Birungi emphasized the importance of effective communication skills in the contemporary global landscape, characterized by globalization and technological advancements. He underscored the significance of avoiding misunderstandings in multicultural partnerships, highlighting the need for proficiency in diverse languages such as Arabic and Chinese.

Addressing the trainees, Maj Gen Birungi urged them to approach the courses with focus and positivity, recognizing the potential for these linguistic skills to enhance their roles within the UPDF. He emphasized the importance of becoming certified linguists, capable of interpretation, translation, and serving as subject matter experts on cultural matters.

Col James Muhumuza, Commandant of the School, outlined the objectives of the courses, emphasizing the development of comprehensive language skills encompassing reading, listening, writing, speaking, and translation.

Drawing on the historical power of language as a unifying force, Col Muhumuza highlighted the broader significance of linguistic proficiency in fostering unity and cooperation.

Gilbert Gumoshabe, Director of the Confucius Institute at Makerere University, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the formation of the new language curriculum. He emphasized the importance of diversifying linguistic knowledge beyond English, aligning with the evolving global landscape.

The event, held at Kaweweta, was attended by senior military officers and Chinese officials, including Brig Gen Bonny Wolimbwa, Brig Gen Tom Kabuye, Brig Gen Kenneth Shillingi, Asaba Charles, and Dr. Zhong Jianghua, the Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Makerere University.