By Whitney Baxter
As proof of the synergetic connection between Iowa State University and The Busoga Kingdom of Uganda, a memorandum of cooperation and understanding was signed on Aug. 17 to formalize cooperation and collaboration to benefit both institutions.
His Majesty William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, King of Busoga, Uganda, and several members of his administration, were in Iowa Aug. 11-18 to learn about the state’s agriculture. In addition to signing the MOU, their visit, which was supported by the Kolschowsky Foundation, included tours of Iowa State departments and farms, a seminar with College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty, staff and students, time at the Iowa State Fair and meetings with various Iowa leaders.
The MOU, signed by His Majesty and Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen, serves as an agreement between Iowa State and The Busoga Kingdom to:
- promote institutional exchanges;
- organize coordinated sustainable rural development activities;
- organize training courses and other meetings on priority matters; and
- exchange information pertaining to development.
His Majesty said promoting the importance of agriculture, especially among the country’s large youth population, is essential and a priority under his administration.
“I’m very happy of the actions being taken to make positive impacts on Uganda, and I’m glad to continue working with you,” His Majesty said during the signing of the MOU.
Iowa State has strong connections to Uganda through several established programs that aim to improve the lives of Ugandan citizens. Students, faculty and staff often travel to the country to participate in various educational, research or study abroad programs.
Since 2003, Iowa State’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has worked with Kamuli District residents through the Iowa State University – Uganda Program. The Kamuli District is located within the Kingdom of Busoga. The aim of the program is to better the lives of residents by implementing sustainable solutions to challenges the district faces.
Partnering with citizens and institutions in Kamuli, Makerere University in Kampala, and the Kingdom of Busoga will greatly strengthen the common goals of improving education, nutritional food security and income stability.
“The King has a vision and a set of goals for improving the lives and livelihoods of all citizens in the Busoga Kingdom, which align so well with the work Iowa State is doing,” said David Acker, director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and CALS associate dean for global engagement.