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Mak launches donation, alumni database, events tracking system

Makerere University, through the Makerere University Endowment Fund, on August 2 launched a multipurpose digital system called Mak Advance System.

The function attended by many university management members was at Council Room, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility. The interactive system includes an alumni database, where even personal accounts can be opened or update one’s bio-data on the database.

The system has already captured 395,000 alumni and expects more to be added. The system will also give real-time updates on various activities at the university. The system accepts several channels of payment such as mobile money, PayPal, and cards.

The system will help alumni, friends, well-wishers and donors to pass on funds towards Makerere’s legacy projects for the next 100 years. The legacy projects, Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said, include a university teaching hospital, a students’ resource centre, a girls’ hostels, and a graduate students’ hostel, among others. So far, only the teaching hospital has secured some funding.

Nawangwe listed other legacy projects as research and innovation, and scholarships for females, minority groups and the disabled. The university also needs funds to do renovation of various infrastructures at the campus such as renovation of halls of residence and retrofitting and furnishing the recently burned main administration hall.

Makerere Endowment Fund Board chairperson Prof Maggie Kigozi, also an alumna of Makerere, urged alumni that have not been captured by the system to register themselves using the system, or those who feel their profile is not accurate to make the corrections.

She added that the system will help interested alumni to learn of and join various alumni platforms. She said a person can donate at any frequency one feels – monthly, annually or once.

SEVEN PILLARS

Joshua Muhumuza, one of the developers of the system, said it took them three months to build, test and consult about the system. He said the system is fully interactive; it can answer queries, take in suggestions and make corrections, among others. He pledged their team to continually improve the system.

Muhumuza said the system has seven pillars or services, though more could be added in future. The pillars include: the Alumni and Stakeholder Management, which manages information including alumni registration, chapter enrolment, societies’ subscriptions and alumni directory listing; the Payment Management section which offers convenient payment options for alumni and stakeholders as they donate towards different causes at the university; the Donor Ranking section which creates a database of donors in recognition and ranks donations made to the different causes into categories.

The Cause Management pillar manages the different causes in the university. This includes time-bound causes and non-time-bound causes such as scholarships and events, among others. The Events and Webinar Management sector tracks and profiles all events and webinars happening across the university from both internal and external stakeholders.

The Dashboard and Social Media Management section enables administration of information in the system and report generation. Lastly, the Souvenir and Gifts Shop is an online shop for all Makerere University-branded souvenir items for sale.

The system enables people to order online or purchase physically at the university. Branded items ordered can be delivered at one’s place of choice.

SAFETY ISSUES

Nawangwe said the system has already integrated several security measures, and more could be added later as and when need is shown. He explained that the donations made through the system go direct to the dollar or shilling account of the Endowment Fund at Stanbic bank.

Nawangwe assured donors who wouldn’t want their identity disclosed, but said that any amount donated will have to be disclosed.

Makerere is in the midst of year-long activities to mark 100 years of existence, to climax on October 8, 2022. It is estimated that 70 per cent of Uganda’s public and corporate staff are alumni of Makerere.

jmusinguzi@observer.ug

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd