Continues progress in Ugandan capacity building project


In the first half year of 2021 the project “Strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector in Uganda“ took some major steps to help develop the horticulture sector in the landlocked country.

The Triple Helix (3H) platform aims to drive innovation through knowledge exchange between the academic, public and private sector. While the Labour Market Need Assessment (LMNA) and the Triple Helix readiness surveys detected a clear need for a Ugandan horticulture innovation platform in 2020, the goal of the first half of 2021 was to establish this platform.

However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and the internet shutdown during the presidential election in January 2021, the development started rather slowly in January. This changed when MSM recruited a local assistant, Racheal Ninsiima in February. Her tasks have been to follow up with the partners in person who indicated interest within the LMNA and surveys in 2020, but also to meet new partners who play a crucial role in Kampala’s horticulture. MSM supported her with communication support while they also talked to people of similar projects in Uganda such as Wageningen University or Netherland Food Partnership. Those meetings had the focus to learn from each other’s expertise but also to support each other by sharing information.

March mainly consisted of planning the launch of the platform. While the date was shifted to the middle of April due to the Easter break and exam period at Kyambogo University, the secretariat of the platform, there were several things which had to be organized such as developing a diverse program, sending out invitations and organizing the venue.

The kick-of meeting turned out to be a full success with a diverse programme and 30 participants who joined offline at Kyambogo University or online. Following a red line from identifying the challenges to how the platform can give the room for solutions, a final open discussion identified the three key topics the platform is going to focus on within 2021-2022, namely: Skills and knowledge gaps, marketing, and innovation.

The follow-up meeting happened two weeks later in an online setting where around 10 committed partners discussed the structure and proceedings. This operational meeting has been quite powerful in regard to how to cluster the partners in the different working groups. Thereby in particular, the proposals from the committed partners have been of significant support indicating how the partners can contribute and what they expect to get out of the platform.

Currently, Kyambogo University in collaboration with MSM is working on some finalization about the clustering. As a next step, a new meeting will be planned to discuss the structure of the different working groups including activities, possible budget and timelines. After this, all partners can finally move from talking to doing real business together.

About the project
This project titled “Strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector in Uganda“ is managed by MSM who together with consortium partners Q-Point B.V., Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Ecopolis Europa and Egerton University  capacitate Kambogo University (KyU) and Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC). The project aims at strengthening the skills to improve the horticultural situation in Uganda. This is mainly achieved via strengthening the educational situation at A-TVET level. The project focuses on three main output areas: curriculum review and development, institutional capacity development at KyU and BaC and the establishment of a triple helix horticulture innovation platform. Main activities of the project are curriculum development, module development, training of teachers in activating didactics, strengthening linkages with the horticultural practise, and stimulating horticultural entrepreneurship.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

Related news
Kick-of Meeting of the Horticulture Innovation Platform at Kyambogo University

Assessing market needs to strengthen the curriculum of TVET and Higher education

Year in review on strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector in Uganda