Makerere signs pact with Chinese university to curb insecurity

By Damali Mukhaye

Kampala- Makerere University has signed an agreement with China’s Institute of Public Safety Research at Tsinghua University to carry out research on appropriate measures to fight insecurity and criminality in the country.

Signing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Makerere University yesterday, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, said with the first growing population in the country, public security is key because huge populations breed a big security threat.

He said with the increasing cases of cybercrime in different organisations and murders across the country, Makerere University will borrow a leaf from experts at Tsinghua University to set up systems that will detect threats such as terrorism and provide information to help security forces check criminality.

“China has the highest population in the world but they have managed to maintain security in their country because they have the necessary Information Technology to detect threats as they unfold. We believe that as Makerere, we can also take advantage of experts from China using this agreement to put up different systems that would help our government in promoting security,” Prof Nawangwe said.

He also said under the partnership, they intend to set up a forensic lab at Makerere University to combat the insecurity and other threats the country is facing.

Prof Tonny Oyana, the principal of College of Computing and Information Technology, said Uganda lacks evidence-based approach to security, which, he said, can close the gap given the China partnership and the ICT research the college is carrying out.

“Whereas the government might be getting data from other agencies, the basic content in research is lacking. We are optimistic that with this agreement, we shall offer systematic solutions in this field that will see the government manage security across the country and in the region,” Mr Oyana said.

The Senior Business Manager of the Institute of Public Safety Research at Tsinghua University, Mr Zhang Pengbin, said Uganda should come up with systems to manage human traffic in public places to ensure their safety and put in place anti-terrorism measures.

He said the MoU with Makerere, which encompasses exchange programmes for students and staff from either country, will see them offer new technology and conduct joint research with both universities to identify the loopholes in Uganda’s security system and offer solutions.

Government’s security plan
Following the spate of assassinations of various prominent people, President Museveni has since proposed a raft of security measures to check the criminality.

Measure. They include installation of cameras on highways and in towns, finger printing of guns, use of drones and ensuring no hoodies for motorbike riders
Others are installing electronic tracking devices on motor vehicles and motorbikes, deployment of 25,000 Local Defence Unit operatives.

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