Tuesday, 31 July 2012

About IKEG

In Uganda, there has been few, if any instances of deliberate linkage of Government, University and society in general,  and rural economy in particular. Sustainable rural development is the key for poverty eradication and prosperity for all, as more than 80% of Uganda's population derive their livelihoods from peasant agriculture  and natural resources in rural areas. 
The reason for this is the conventional education system, which encourages disconnections not only between the sciences (social science, natural science and the humanities) but also between theory and practice. This has lead to a disheartening graduates’ unemployment problem in Uganda.

Institute of Knowledge-driven Economy (IKEG) was incorporated on 20/04/2010 as company limited by guarantee and not having a Share Capital. IKEG is a Ugandan Non-Profit Organisation.

IKEG was founded to respond to the outcries appearing in Uganda’s print and electronic media about the alarming levels of graduates’ unemployment and plight of Ugandan graduates from universities and other institutions of higher learning, to bring  to ring together the following stakeholders, including but not limited to: university students and graduates; universities themselves and other institutions of higher learning; the business community; the government and her development partners; the politicians; law makers and financial institutions to discuss to the question that “If higher education is believed to be the key to progress and development, then what has gone wrong with Uganda’s national systems

Prof. F. R. Banugure’s presentation on IKEG, which is one of the millstones of “Destined To Triumph”at the launch of the book on 12-Oct-2012 at Hotel Africana:
Let me start my remarks on the role and mission of IKEG by stating the obvious but important idea, that the global economy is now characterized as a knowledge economy in a knowledge society. What does this fact, mean for, the most developed countries (MDCs) and the least developed countries (LDCs) like Uganda? For  the former, it may mean that technological innovations is the key to their future growth and continued dominance of the GE, or that they must use their K-power to capture more market  spaces world –wide. For the latter it means that LDCs must develop their human resource as their major source of livelihoods and that to grow their economies in a competitive world, they must use smart and K–based policies and management practices. MDCs and LDCs are highly interdependent and their future prosperity is even more so.
Mr.  Babyetsiza’s initiative to start IKEG was informed by this reality. When he introduced it to me 2 years ago, he discovered that he was talking to some one who had reflected on the issue and was greatly concerned with the quality of economic governance in Africa in general and Uganda in particular. Our concerns were summarized into 3 key questions.
Ø  Do policy makers and their economic advisers really understand how the peasant economies work and how they can be effectively transformed to achieve prosperity for all? (THE VILLAGE ECONOMY QUESTION)
Ø  Are we using the right knowledge package to understand and manage our national economics right knowledge package to understand and manage our national economies right from the village/community level to the sector markets and the macro –economy levels?
Ø  How can we improve our knowledge –base to address the management challenges of LDCs economies with a view to achieving prosperity for all in the shortest time possible?

In searching for answers, Julius focused on the issue of graduates’ unemployment problem, which he himself had faced on returning from his studies in the former SOVIET UNION. He discovered that the economic policy bureaucracies of Uganda were not responsive to the changing economic needs of Uganda’s society, especially so for the needs of the youth who are just entering the labour market. Perhaps this lack of responsiveness was due to some gaps in their K –base, or to even lack of on thinking culture, or even to use of wrong knowledge and wrong policy –making processes? We quickly realize that there are, indeed questions of development management, which needed the attention of the relevant professionals in communities of practice as well as communities of K-generation and dissemination .This led to the birth of IKEG as a starting point to spread awareness about good economic governance for inclusive growth and prosperity for all

The mission of IKEG, therefore, was designed to focus on:
Ø  Research and knowledge for Development, leading to publication on economic policy management and the structure and performance of the village economies.
Ø  Awareness seminars and training workshops on economic governance, economic policy management; management information systems, and communication strategies for effective net working and learning for development.
Ø  Social and management innovations (solutions) to economic governance, and community based development.

By starting IKEG, Julius Babyetsiza, has embarked on a journey   of learning for development “. There are many forms of success along this road, for example, as social innovators, as a theory matter, as a great teacher. He can follow the footsteps of prof. Waagari Mathai and other great achievers in social entrepreneurship. He may follow in the footsteps of professor Kaniyeihamba who has served society with both intellectual excellence and highest standards of ethics and integrity. The key is to be a visionary for good governance, both economic and political. But he must remember that it is important not to betray you vision after vigorously disseminating it and sharing it with many .Yes, Mr.  J. Babyetsiza is destined to triumph, in one way or another, as a famous thinker and activist for good economic governance and knowledge management. Let us wish him the best on his journey of service to Uganda and humanity.