Dr. Ambrose Agona

Keynote presentation: Repositioning the research agenda to achieve African Agricultural Transformation

When farmers lose produce during production and post-harvest it is not uncommon for Mother Nature, agricultural systems and personalities to be blamed. Similarly, when research fails to deliver on promises of availing the right technologies and innovations that transform people’s livelihoods for the better, scientists are accused of being too technical, “jargonistic” and paper tigers. Since 1988, Ambrose has found himself part of the unfolding scenarios mentioned!

Dr. Agona therefore came to realize that to find solutions to the above challenges, it is important that a Mister/Madam “Fix It” has got to be part of the value chain in enhancing agricultural research delivery.  Currently, Dr. Agona is the Director General of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).  As a agricultural researcher he has held several positions in NARO including: Acting Director General, Deputy Director General-Research Coordination, Director for Research Coordination, Director of Research at National Agricultural Research Laboratories in Kawanda, Head of National Post-Harvest Programme, Principal Research Officer, and Research Officer/Entomologist. He started out as a Scientific Officer/Entomologist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries in 1988.

Dr. Agona has a PhD in Agriculture (Crop Protection) from University of Zimbabwe; MPhil in Pure and Applied Biology (Stored Products Pests) from University of Wales, College of Cardiff; BSc in Agriculture with Honours from Makerere University, Kampala. He is an Alumni of St Mary’s College Kisubi, Comboni College and V.H. Primary School.

Dr. Felister Makini

Keynote presentation: Partnerships for enhancing utilization of agricultural innovations

Dr. Felister Makiniholds a BSc in Botany and Chemistry from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, MSc in Plant Pathology from Georgia State University, USA and a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Greenwich, UK.  She is the Deputy Director General, Crops in the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) that was established after the merger of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Coffee Research Foundation, Tea Research Foundation and Kenya Sugar Research Foundation.

She is responsible for crops research that includes technology development and transfer, promotion of the establishment and strengthening of strategic partnerships along the research development to utilization continuum and along the agricultural product value chains (APVC), an approach adopted by KALRO.  Prior to her current position, she worked as the Deputy Director Outreach and Partnerships in KARI. She has won several awards and commendations both in management as having the best managed centre during her tenure as Centre Director, KARI and scientist as well as a Presidential Award, the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) for her achievements and contribution to society.   Together with other scientists, she has won several grants, presented and published several papers.  She also sits in various local and international boards and committees.

Dr. Madina Guloba

Keynote presentation: Does evaluation research of agricultural initiatives contribute to socio-economic transformation in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Guloba is a Research Fellow at EPRC and an economist with over eight years of research experience in development economics, gender, climate change, education, environment, natural resources and labour markets. She has a PhD and Masters of Arts in Economics from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Dr. Guloba is a member of the International Association of Feminist Economist (IAFFE), alumni of TheAfrican Economic Research Consortium(AERC), member of the National Advisory Committee on Monitoring and Evaluation representing Research and Academia and the National Sub -committee of Evaluations. She is also a member of the National African Statistical Society.

Dr. Sarah Ssewanyana

Keynote presentation: Experiences with agricultural policy formulation and implementation: The Ugandan  perspective

Dr. Sarah Ssewanyana holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from University of Sydney, Australia; Masters in Science in Agricultural Economics from University of Manitoba, Canada; and a Bachelor of Statistics (Hons) from Makerere University. Since she was appointed Executive Director of EPRC in 2009, Dr. Ssewanyana has steered the Centre to be recognized as one of the globally renowned policy think tanks.

Dr. Ssewanyana has extensive research experience in poverty, food security, health, education and social service delivery and her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to joining EPRC in March 2003, Dr. Ssewanyana was a lecturer at the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics at Makerere University as well as a graduate external examiner at Uganda Management Institute, Makerere University and University of Sydney, Australia. She has served on various boards/committees and currently is a member of the: Uganda National Panel Steering Committee; Presidential Economic Council, Expanded Board of the National Planning Authority; and Uwezo National Advisory Committee.

Dr. Peace Musimenta

Keynote presentation: Strategies for enhancing engagement of women and youth in agriculture for socio-economic transformation.

Dr. Peace Musiimenta- Coordinator - Undergraduate Programmes, School of Women and Gender Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Musiimenta has a PhD in Gender Studies, MA in Women Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts degree all from Makerere University. Her PhD focus was on: “Redefined Subordination: Interrogating Educated Women’s Lived Experiences in Contemporary Urban Uganda”. Dr. Musiimenta is currently the Undergraduate Programmes Coordinator at the School of Women and Gender Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University. Peace has over ten years’ experience as senior researcher in areas of women’s education, empowerment, gender based violence, socio-economic issues, and women’s health. She is a Trainer on the Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) course. Her research interests include: women, gender and socio-economic transformation. 

Prior to teaching at Makerere University, she taught in several secondary schools where she mentored many young girls. In addition, Dr. Musiimenta also coordinates Study Abroad Programme’s Gender and Development elective at the School of International Training (SIT), and represents the School of Women and Gender Studies on the Uganda Women’s network (UWONET); supervises students at undergraduate, Masters, and Phd levels. Dr. Musiimenta is an active member of Family Life Network where she facilitates sessions on creative parenting and counseling sessions, particularly for young girls and women as mothers and wives.

Dr. Musiimenta has published several academic papers and book chapters and has presented papers on women and gender at national and international conferences.

Dr. Martin Fowler

Dr Martin Fowler

Keynote presentation: Relevance of current agricultural research in socio-economic transformation

Mr. Fowler is an agricultural economist who, after graduating (a long time ago!) with an MSc from Wye College, the University of London, joined the British government’s (then) Overseas Development Administration to begin a career which has involved him in long-term assignments in Lesotho, Swaziland, Vanuatu, Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda.  Short-term work has also been undertaken in, among other countries, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cameroon, Botswana, Rwanda, Niger and Ethiopia, with the World Bank, the UK’s Department for International Development, the EU, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and Danida.  He worked in the African Development Bank’s Agriculture Department in Abidjan, between 1986 and 1991.

For the most part, his work has involved the identification, formulation and monitoring of agricultural development projects and policies, for both national governments and development partners.

He arrived in Uganda in 2001 to take up the post of Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries until 2006.  For the past five years he has worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Kampala as its agriculture and rural livelihoods’ adviser.



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