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					Developing SMEs in Africa a
Challenge to Academia– the
case of Makerere University

      Livingstone S. Luboobi, Ph.D.
        Professor of Mathematics
   Vice Chancellor, Makerere University
 Introduction
 Makerere University education system
 The transformation of Makerere University
 The challenges of developing SMEs
 Interventions and Innovations
 Makerere University Private Sector Forum
 Conclusions
Education in Uganda
  Makerere University is a public University
   started 1922 as a College
  Makerere University remained the only
   University until early 90s (currently 16
  Home to 21 Faculties, Schools and Institutes
     Student pop. 35,000
     Staff 3,000
     Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture and
      Veterinary, CIT, Business School and
      economics, Law etc.
   Makerere University
   education system
 The University started as a training ground for civil
    With emphasis on theory and less on practice

 1980s – 90s: Government funding was guaranteed
 1990 – date: Priority to Tertiary and Primary
  education and economic recovery

 Mid 90s:
   The University shifted to training for the market.
   R&D visible in Science Faculties but funded by donors
Challenges to developing
SMEs by the University
     Faculties have informal linkages with SMEs
      (e.g. field attachments, industrial training)
     University Labs used for raw material and
      finished product testing
     Limited formal mechanisms for collaboration
     Limited donor funding
     Lack of government funding!
     University a mystery to some SMEs
     Academia and SMEs lack a common
The challenges cont.
 Relating higher education to the needs of
  society (The Private Sector)
 SMEs perception that University
  graduates are too academic
 Innovations at Makerere Committee project
 The Uganda Gatsby Trust
  (Makerere/Gatsby Trust?) project
 Innovation systems and innovative clusters
 Makerere University Private Sector Forum
     Open the University to the Private Sector
     Create formal linkages with the Private Sector
     Private Sector support to University programs
  Makerere University Private
  Sector Forum
 To tap synergies of University
  Private sector Partnership
 Foster Private Sector
  Competitiveness and strengthen
  University programs and products
 Promotes: Entrepreneurship
  training, Joint Research,
  Curriculum review, Technology
  Innovations and transfer,
  Business Cluster development
Out puts of the Forum
 MOUs have been signed with Private Sector
  partners & Public Institutions
 Appointed Private Sector personnel as
  Honorary Professors
 Create Private Sector Chairs in Faculties
  funded by the Private Sector
 Private Sector support to University
 Private sector scholarship programme
 Joint research programme
  The old mechanisms of transferring knowledge
   from Universities to SMEs cannot work.
  More proactive mechanisms as demonstrated by
   Gatsby and the Forum are more acceptable to
   SMEs in delivering knowledge and technology.
  Economic development in the 21st Century will
   be driven by SMEs – need for University to
   develop more organic partnerships with SMEs.
  Universities in developing countries must take
   the lead in initiating linkages with the SMEs
Conclusion cont.

  Governments in developing countries should as a
   matter of necessity and survival of their
   economies support and fund knowledge creation
   and infusion into the SMEs

  Development partners should come in to support
   local initiatives to enhance their efforts in fostering
   competitiveness of SMEs.
Makerere University

„We build for the future‟

      Thank you.

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