The Uganda Society Newsletter, No. 3, 1998

The Uganda Society Newsletter, No. 3, 1998



March 1998

From the Editor: Please make a note of the new (and returning) members of the Executive Committee, elected at the Annual General Meeting on January 22. New Society President, Tony G. Pinycwa, is Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Makerere University. He was Hon. Editor of the Uganda Journal from 1994 to 1997 and previously Vice President of the Society. New Journal Editor, Mr. Dent Ocaya-Lakidi, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Makerere University. Our new Vice President is profiled below. Look for short profiles of these and other members and officers in future newsletters. Congratulations to all new members! And many, many thanks to last year's executive committee members for all their hard work.

Remember, if you have any thoughts on activities for the Society, or if you are interested in becoming active, please contact us. We're always looking for people with ideas and energy to contribute to the Society.


Newly elected Vice President of the Society, Dr. Joy Kwesiga is currently the Dean Elect at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University. She previously was head of the Women Studies Department at Makerere. Married and a mother of five, Dr. Kwesiga is active in a wide range of activities including the Society.

Dr. Kwesiga's field of expertise is in gender, education, women studies and management. She earned her Ph.D. in Gender and Education at the University of London, where she also earned a Master of Arts in Higher and Further Education. She additionally holds degrees from Makerere, Kianda College, Kenya and a diploma in public administration from the Uganda Institute of Public Administration. In addition to her activities in the Society, she supervises students, teaches courses, conducts research in women's education, women and politics and other areas, and participates in numerous workshops and seminars as a presenter and facilitator. She is also a member of several important professional associations in Uganda, East Africa and internationally.


Friends of the Uganda National Museum (FUNMA) presents another Uganda Pearl of Africa course to be held at the Museum from 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29. This course, held on a weekend to encourage wider participation, features lectures, videos, slide presentations, music and dance, and a walking tour of Bulange scheduled for Sunday afternoon. To participate, reserve a space on the reservation sheet at the National Museum or call 230-264 for further information.


The lecture schedule includes the following exiting talks:

March 23: The Social and Political Thought of an African People: The Alur/Jonam of North-Western Uganda, by Prof. Tony G. Pinycwa

April 24: The Ugandan Reaction to European Painting: a joint meeting of the Uganda Society and the Uganda Artists Association

May 28: Multi-Lateral Debt Relief for Low Income Countries: Uganda's Case, by Ulrike Wilson, Resident Representative of the IMF

Don't miss them!


Several years ago in an anthro-linguistics course I read about experiments teaching chimpanzees to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). I had wondered ever since, especially since I have been in Uganda and been able to view real chimps, what happened to the project. Did the chimpanzees continue to use ASL? Did they teach other chimps? Did they use it only with humans or between themselves? What kinds of things did they communicate about? On February 16 at the lecture sponsored by the Uganda Society in conjunction with the East African Wildlife Society, I had a chance to find out. The man who had conducted that work, Dr. Roger Fouts, was here in Uganda to conduct research on chimpanzee communication in their natural habitat. He spared some time to talk to us about his experiences with his chimps, to stress how closely related we people are to them and to emphasize how important it is to protect chimpanzees and their limited and threatened environment.

Holding the audience enthralled for over an hour, Dr. Fouts described his pivotal research conversing with chimpanzees. Yes, I learned, the chimps continue to use ASL and they teach other chimps to use it. The first chimpanzee he taught ASL, Washoe, taught her adopted infant ASL. His team filmed chimps with no people present and discovered that they actively use ASL between themselves, even in situations where they are agitated. They even sign to themselves when they are alone! And seeing is believing - he brought with him video clips of a variety of situations with the chimps, translating what they were talking about for those of us who don't know ASL.

If you missed this fascinating lecture, do not despair. We will present another lecture when Dr. Fouts returns next year and we will feature Dr. Fouts' book, The Next of Kin, in our library very soon.


The next issue is being typeset now and will be out shortly. Readers can look forward to articles on a wide variety of topics. Here is a preview of some of the articles in Volume 44:

* Colonial Treaties and the Legal Regime of the Nile Valley, by John Ntambirweki

* To Be or Not to Be: The Precarious Status and the Role of Parliaments in the Transition to Democracy in East Africa, by A.G.G. Gingyera-Pincywa

* An Ambiguity in the 1995 Constitution Concerning the Creation of New Districts in Uganda, by Philip W. Rosemann I

* Implementation of Value-Added Tax: Lessons from the First Year, by Justin Zake

* A.M. Obote Revisited, by Balam Nyoko

* Who Actually Was Emin Pasha!?, by Volker Riehl

* Health Practices in Uganda, by Peter Cowley

Notes in this issue will cover topics as diverse as Northern Uganda, Land Ownership in Uganda, the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, and NGO and donor activities. There will also be four book reviews and the second installment of the Uganda Bibliography compiled for us by Thomas Ofcansky.


We're still looking for volumes 1-3, 6 and 7 of the Uganda Journal to complete the collection of the Uganda Society Library, and for books relating to Uganda and the East African region.

The library is staffed by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering on a regular basis or as a backup, please contact Beverly Usher by fax to 231-134 or leave a note in the library.


* Adventures in Education, by Bernard de Bunsen donated by Margaret Macpherson (who appears in the book)

* Before Amin, by Anna Osmaston, donated by Henry Osmaston

* Snapshots of Uganda, 1996, by Henry Osmaston, donated by Henry Osmaston

* From Protest to Challenge, Vol. 5: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1882-1990, donated by Marion Doro


Anyone interested in a Uganda Society outing to Murchison Falls please contact Linda McIntyre at 267-503. Afri Tours is offering us cut rates on lodging and transport for an outing in early June.


The Food & Drink Association of Uganda has released its 1998 programme. The Association meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lion Bar & Restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel. Meetings are open to anyone interested in Ugandan food and drink.

The Historic Buildings Conservation Group meets on the first Thursday of every month. Join them to learn about the many interesting buildings located all around us.

The Mountain Club meets at the museum on the second Thursday of every month at the Athina Club House. There is a walk on the following Saturday at a site selected at the meeting.


As you know, membership in the Uganda Society runs from January to December. Membership rates are modest. Regular annual membership is 10,000/= and students can join for 3,000/=.


To get involved, just contact any member of the Executive Committee or the Chairman of the committee you would like to join. The Lecture Committee (Linda McIntyre, Chair) plans the schedule of monthly lectures. The Library Committee (Beverly Usher, Coordinator) staffs and administers affairs of the library. Membership Committee (Dr. Joy Kwesiga, Chair) encourages new memberships and cooperation with other service groups. The Publicity Committee (Samuel Matagi, Chair) organizes publicity for Society. The Journal Committee (Dent Ocaya-Lakidi, Editor) publishes The Uganda Journal; and welcomes all with editorial and marketing skills. The Social Events Committee (Prof. E.H.K. Nsubuga, Chair) plans excursions, activities, & events to give members opportunities to socialize. If you are interested, contact us through the library.

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific