Wednesday December 3rd – Kampala/Fort Portal

The day started with a visit to the Irish Embassy in Kampala to meet
the Ambassador Kevin Kelley. I had first met Kevin 3 ½ years ago when
he headed up the Irish Aid mission in Ethiopia and I wac carrying out
research on ‘The viability of using ICT in Education in Sub-Saharan
Africa’. I was focused on getting my MSc (finally graduated earlier
this year – better late than never) and the concept of Camara had not
even been born then. Kevin mentioned that Irish Aid supports
education in Uganda (primarily in the Karamoja region) to the tune of
ϵ20 million per year with a lot of the money going to the building of
new schools.

Our Hub in Fort Portal is around 5 hours drive west of Kampala and
about 50kms from the Congolese border. We left Kampala at 3pm amid
torrential rain and the drive down was largely uneventful except for
the fact that we met an increasing number of police check points the
closer we got to Fort Portal. Tensions across the nearby border has
meant that security in western Uganda has been tightened considerably.

Our partner in the Fort Portal Hub is Mountains of the Moon
University, a private University supported by Irish money and headed
by Douglas Nisbit a Scotsman and VMM volunteer (www.vmm.ie). The main
purpose of my trip to Uganda was to assess the Hub and better
understand how our relationship with the University was progressing.
When I had visited Fort Portal in May of this year it was touch and go
whether the Hub would survive. I am hoping that this visit will be
positive but you will have to read the last and final installment of
my trip around Africa to find out if this is so.