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Uganda marches for science in style

by Nassib Mugwanya

Photo by Isaac Ongu

Not even the cold, rainy morning could dampen the spirit of science enthusiasts in Uganda to march for science on April 22.

Accompanied by a brass band playing some cool science-y beats, over 70 people braved the muddy streets of Kampala to show their love for science. The first ever March for Science in the country started at Makerere University College of Natural Sciences — a leading public institution and a major cornerstone for science education in Uganda.

The march aimed to celebrate the role science has played in addressing critical development challenges, such as HIV/ AIDs, malnutrition and poverty, among others. More importantly, the march was to remind policy makers of the importance of science in influencing policy and guiding long-term decision-making.

The marchers comprised largely students from leading science public institutions, as well as scientists, farmers, civil society organizations, and media houses.

Event activities included a guest lecture by the lead marcher, Arthur Makara, the director of Science Foundation for Development Livelihoods, a civil society organization involved in science advocacy. Makara lauded the participants for their enthusiasm, and urged them to be the shields of science, especially at this point in time when there’s a growing anti-science movement in the world.

Photo by Isaac Ongu

Other activities included handing out informational materials on topical science issues in the country, such as agricultural biotechnology, climate change and environmental protection. The march was proudly supported by organizations such as Program for Biosafety Systems, Uganda Biosciences Information Center, Uganda Alliance for Science and the Makerere and Kyambogo universities students’ associations.

Nassib Mugwanya is a 2015 Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellow.

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