MPs visit to Soroti University.

The parliamentary committee team on Science, Technology and Innovation headed by the deputy chair of the committee Hon. Dr Asiimwe Florence Akiiki on Tuesday June 27, 2023, visited Soroti university on their routine oversight duty to monitor the implementation and utilisation of the research and innovation fund parliament appropriated to Soroti University for research.

Last financial year parliament appropriated to Soroti University money to a tune of one billion for research.

In his welcome remarks the Vice Chancellor Soroti University, Prof. Ikoja informed the legislators that Soroti University appropriately utilised the money to develop the research agenda, which is now in place, to guide researchers in carrying out research. Research committee is already instituted, research grant policy, intellectual property right policies are soon to be approved by the council.

The vice chancellor decried the low funding not only to research agenda of Soroti University but the entire infrastructural development in the university to meet demands of the young university. Inadequate infrastructure, lack of specialised labs at the University. Hostels for student accommodation and the Ambulance are some of the challenges the University is grappling with. He encouraged the legislators to interest government to consider creating a national research foundation. This, he said will cater for the interests of researchers and adequately mobilise resources for the different universities’ research agenda.

The director Research Soroti university Prof. Ejobi in his report informed the legislators that 34 proposals were received for funding, 33 were taken for vetting and 19 proposals were selected for funding.  He informed the MPs that 13 proposals were from the school of Health sciences 3 from central administration, 2 proposals from School of Engineering and one proposal from open distance and E-learning.

Prof. Ejobi told the legislators that the proposals under funding are in the area of Artificial intelligence, cancer diagnosis, medicinal plants, HIV /Aids, malaria, E-learning technology, reproductive health, child health, mental health, environmental health among others. Nine projects are being headed by female principal investigators.

In his prayer to the legislators, he asked for affirmative action to build the capacity of the new universities by increasing the research funding. He said that cutting edge research needs specialised labs and equipment.

The MPs were taken on a tour of the University infrastructures funded by the government which included the medical labs, tarmacked roads, incinerator, Anatomy block, which still needs more funding to complete, medicinal botanical garden among others.

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