Kabale University Prof Makara Praise NRM for Decentralizations’ Triumph over Past Dysfunctional Regimes

Prof Sabiti Makara while Delivering his Inaugural Lecture centered on Democratic Decentralization: Unpacking the Politics and Administration of Service Delivery in Uganda at Kabale University on Friday.

KABALE – Educationists in Kabale District have commended the Ruling National Resistance Movement party for prioritizing decentralization, fostering good governance in contrast to the dysfunctional colonial government, Idi Amin and Obote II regimes.

Professor Sabiti Makara, a Professor in the Department of Governance at Kabale University during his Inaugural Lecture on Friday this week, emphasized the positive impact of Democratic Decentralization on Uganda’s politics and service delivery. The event, held at the Kabale University main campus, attracted local government members from Greater Kigezi and Ankole, along with online participants.

Prof Makara highlighted the harsh realities of the 1970s and 1980s, where insecurity and scarcity dominated both rural and urban life. He contrasted this with the present, citing decentralization as a catalyst for rejuvenating good governance at the local level.

However, he stressed the need to address challenges such as corruption, a weak personnel system, limited participation, and inadequate resources at the local level.

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In support of this perspective, Prof. Joy Kwesiga, the University Vice Chancellor, underscored the timeliness of such lectures in analyzing contemporary political situations in Uganda. She emphasized the importance of sharing knowledge with the community and encouraged professors to contribute solutions to societal challenges through inaugural lectures.

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Kabale University Vice Chancellor, Prof Joy C. Kwesiga Congratulating Prof Makara after his Professional Inaugural Lecture.

Who is Professor Sabiti Makara?

Professor Sabiti Makara is a seasoned academic, researcher and consultant. He specializes in Public Administration and Management. He writes about topical issues in politics. Before joining Kabale University in 2023, he had a long academic career at Makerere University. His early academic career was facilitated and promoted by the mentorship of Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, former head of the Department of Political Science, former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University, and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda. Prof. Nsibambi helped him to get a British Council Scholarship to travel and study at the University of Liverpool in UK for a Master of Public Administration and Management.

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Makara followed an academic journey under Nsibambi~s tutelage. I am emphasizing this because there is no school where they teach professors. Young academics are usually mentored by senior professors. The young lecturers must have their zeal and ambition to learn how to publish, attend national and international conferences, lecture their students, do research, innovate and influence communities.

Prof Makara’s childhood was not rosy.  He had a humble background in his home village of Nkongooro, Nyabihoko Sub-County, in Ntungamo District.   His peasant parents took him to Nkongooro Primary School for 7 years, Makobore High School Kinyasaano ( for O and A Level) education; thereafter to Makerere University. At secondary school level he loved History and Literature in English.

At Makerere University, he offered a BA in Political Science, Philosophy and History, completing with a major in Political Science, ranking amongst the best students of his graduation year.  This enabled him to scoop a British Council full scholarship for a Master degree in Public Administration and Management at the University of Liverpool. After his study, he was able to get a job as a Lecturer at Makerere University.   He later did and completed his doctoral degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in South Africa.

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Professor Makara was able to rise through the academic ranks from a Teaching Assistant to Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and full Professor. This was enabled by his consistent endeavors at publications, research and academic engagements.

He is widely published with articles in international journals which can be accessed in accredited academic portals such as Google Scholar, Academia, JSTOR, and Researchgate.  Apart from the articles, he has published 4 books, several manuscripts and research reports.

Prof Sabiti Makara with his family

He has travelled widely for academic purposes to 20 countries, doing conferences and had academic residences at University of Bergen in Norway, the Steamboat Springs in Colorado, USA, University of Antwerp in Belgium and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, China.  He is a member of several academic associations such as Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESREA), Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM), Greater Horn Horizon Forum, and several civil society organizations in Uganda.   He is an outspoken academic and is one of the few academics in Uganda who discusses issues of public concern on radio, television and in newspapers.

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Professor Makara is a Vetter of publications for several academic journals, including the Tanzania Journal of Development Studies, The East African Studies Journal, Mawazo, Journal of Asian and African Studies, and Publius: Journal of Federalism.

He is an External Examiner for a number of Universities in Africa and abroad including the University of Dar es Salaam, Uganda Management Institute, Uganda Christian University, University of Oslo (Norway), University of Lesotho, Mbarara University of Science, Technology, Gulu University, Kyambogo University and Kampala International University.   In his academic career, he has supervised over 100 graduate students including 5 (five) PhDs.

Professor Makara has had research collaborations with several international organisations such as the Ford foundation, Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway, the Norwegian Research Council, Irish Aid, SIDA (Sweden), and the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA).  At Kabale University, Professor Makara is leading a team of researchers who are working with Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) based in England to research on anti-corruption strategies in Uganda.

Professor Makara has been a leading consultant for the African Union, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, USAID, IDEA, EISA, and for several NGOs in Uganda, and Government of Uganda, such as the Parliament, the Electoral commission, and the Ministries of Local Government, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.

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