By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
IUEA, Kampala-Uganda: While closing a three day East African Food Security Symposium and Expo 2022 organized by Climate Change Action East Africa (CCAEA) Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga commended International University of East Africa (IUEA) for a commendable job in innovations geared to complement clean energy.
“I am delighted that International University of East Africa came up with an electric tractor and motorbike. This is the way to take because such innovations are so important that they don’t pollute the environment and if this is harnessed by all of us, restoration of the environment will be inevitable”. Said Ms. Kadaga.
She stated that a fortnight back, Uganda’s cabinet discussed about increasing the budget of Innovation Fund under Ministry Science Technology and Innovation Secretariat to support innovators like International University of East Africa.
Stakeholders are seen attentively respecting anthems at the climax of The East African Food Security Symposium and Expo 2022.
Kadaga: ‘I will instruct Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations to come and meet you here as a University, see what you are doing such that you can benefit from the fund’.
On the challenge of food insecurity, Kadaga tasked University’s Vice chancellor Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa to conduct research especially in the Karamoja Region to find out the exact route cause of food impasse there.
“We can not keep saying let’s find food to take to Karamoja, let’s collect it through churches, No. We need to find a lasting solution for those wonderful people of ours”. Kadaga stated.
“How can we keep saying that Uganda is a food basket yet some good parts of the country are so devastated all this time, why isn’t there a solution?”. She questioned.
Yusra Alwi (C), the Local and International Partnership Coordinator at International University of East Africa is seen with fellow workmates at the University during a closing ceremony at University premises in Kansanga.
On climate action, she stressed that there is a 10 year plan at hand that will be linking to actions geared to save the environment say rivers, lakes, forests, river banks, hills and others and soon will be introduced by Head of State H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
At the event was also Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, Uganda’s Minister for Defense and Veteran Affairs who stated that it is vital that all stakeholders create a linkage between food security and climate change saying that as well human beings grow their food, they should also make sure they preserve the ecosystem.
He stressed that the beauty in this is that when the environment is well protected, there will be sustainable living and food security as well.
Minister Rebecca Kadaga tours International University of East Africa’s Electric Bike after officiating a closing ceremony of The East African Food Security Symposium and Expo 2022 at University premises in Kansanga.
“When I was at Ministry of Agriculture, I agreed with Climate Change Action East Africa (CCAEA) to spearhead consultations with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to integrate climate actions in all they do and I am still doing it even when I am now at Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs”. Said Minister Ssempijja.
He pledged full support of his ministry and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in all strategies and actions towards fighting food insecurity and climatic changes.
In his opening remarks, Prof Emeka Akaezuwa the Vice Chancellor of International University of East Africa (IUEA) stated that in 1800s, there was less technology as people would use ploughs and oxen to till their land for cultivation and the impact on climate was minimal.
He said however with upgrade in technology the impact has seriously grown and it is against this background that he appealed to the nations around the world to indulge in to innovations that ensure clean energy say by tapping energy from the sun and water in order not to interfere with the ozone layer.
Yusra Alwi (L), the Local and International Partnership Coordinator at International University of East Africa and Hassan Alwi (R) the proprietor of the University were seen during day 2 of the event.
“With clean energy, you don’t need to burn fossil fuels like petrol, diesel, oil and gas. We need electric cars, electric bike like IUEA is doing. We can tap energy from the sun (solar energy), wind and water and in so doing we shall have clean energy and restore the environment”. Said Prof. Emeka.
He appealed to the western world (G20) to reduce greenhouse gases that have been great contributors of climatic changes. These countries contribute to over 80% of greenhouse gases and Africa (2-3%), having this effected, we shall be able to achieve the goals of our actions on climatic change.
He also mentioned that it is important to have food security but this is not possible if we don’t find solutions to environmental changes like drought which prematurely dries food and floods that wash away crops especially for mountainous dwellers.
Guests pose with a book authored by Msgr. Francis Ndamira (4th-R), the National Director of Caritas Uganda.
Uganda pioneered hosting of “The East African Food Security Symposium and Expo 2022” that has been running from the 14th to 16th October 2022 at the International University of East Africa premises in Kansanga a peripheral of Kampala City, under the theme “Linking Climate Change, Food security, Nutrition and Wellbeing.”
The event spurred multi-stakeholder presence that included farmers, Civil Society Organizations, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Development partners, Climate Change Activists, Academicians, Researchers, Media and the general population to deliberate on different topics related to climate change and food security in order to come up with sustainable solutions.