News Update

Queen of Katwe Inspires URDT Girls and ARU Students



Government of Uganda praises URDT for transforming the youth and the country

The Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakanda, has hailed Uganda Rural Development and training (URDT) programme for skilling the youth especially the women.

Dr. Rugunda said that the government of Uganda is proud of URDT for establishing the first women’s university (African Rural University-ARU) in the country and promoting the good image of the country in the diaspora.

The Premier while presiding over a thanksgiving function for the Buyaga East legislator in Kagadi town on 28th November 2017 said that when he was in Boston in the United States of America recently some Americans told him that they support ARU and they are proud of it.

“URDT has helped to promote a good image of the country to the outside world on issues of education and especially the education of women. You have empowered women and this also has enabled to build the good image of the country,” said Dr. Rugunda.

Dr. Rugunda commended Dr Mwalimu Musheshe and Kagadi Kibaale community radio for the good messages broadcast at the station. He said that URDT has helped greatly in educating and training the youth to acquire skills.

As a country we are proud of URDT for the good work done in supplementing government’s efforts to serve the people,” said Rugunda.

He said that URDT has helped to address the problem of youth unemployment especially when government sends youths from various parts of the country for skills training.

“We bring youths from Kampala to Kagadi to acquire skills and I want to thank you for this noble cause to our country which has helped the youth to be self-reliant,” said Rugunda.Rugunda smpld

He said that due the interventions of URDT Kagadi has become an exemplary district in the country. The premier also thanked Kagadi district for the good spirit exhibited especially as a new district that has managed to live in unity in diversity given the tribal differences that existed in the area.

 Reporter: Ismael Kasooha - New Vision, Kagadi


On 13th November 2015, H.E president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Commissioned the Kagadi Kibaale Media House at URDT campus

Launch media centre 1

Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe, Co-founder URDT explaining the mission of the Media House to H.E Museveni

Launch media centre 2

After the commisioning of the Media House a tour at campus followed to explain URDT and ARU to H.E Museveni

Pupils lead farms in 17 schools

In August 2015, URDT launched the pupil led school farms project in 16 sub counties and 17 schools.

This is a pilot to test a systems change in the education sector,

especially in the delivery of entrepreneurship and agricultural training in government aided primary schools.

Inspector of Schools

The acting District Inspector of Schools gives his blessing at the launch of the Pupil Led School Farm Project

The school farms will become demonstration sites for good agronomic practices, commercial farming and provide nutritional meals for pupils’ lunch.

This project will also promote the URDT 2 generation approach to education and back-home projects

where by each pupil selects a farm enterprise of her choice,

learns good farming practices in the school and transfers the skills to their home members.

stakeholder workshop

school managment workshop

Left: The first stakeholder orientation workshop on pupil led school farm project at URDT campus

Right: A URDT Epicentre Manger conducting a stakeholder workshop in one of the community schools that participate in the project

pupils in farm

Pupils watering and weeding the carrots garden

agr teacher in farm

An agriculture teacher inspecting the cabbages planted by pupils


Remarkable Women of URDT rewarded

It is not a secret that the value and impact of URDT’s methodology are widely recognised at local, national and international levels. However, not much has been known about the women behind its achievements. Therefore, in honour of the International Womens’ day, URDT recognised twenty women of outstanding performance on the 7th of March 2015 in Kagadi.

In a colourful ceremony attended by over 800 local, national and international dignitaries, the Chairman, Dr Musheshe, explained that URDT’s achievements were brought about by a team of dedicated persons. Once enrolled in the URDT vision, they took up roles as amplifiers, collaborators, co-creators and subject matter specialists to work tirelessly to support the Bunyoro community in achieving their aspirations.

In the spirit of Isaac Newton who said, "If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants", Musheshe acknowledged the contribution of the women who have been working at URDT over the last 15 to 30 years. All in their own unique way, they contributed tremendously to its growth and development.

He launched the book ‘remarkable women of URDT’ . It tells how their lifes have been intertwined with URDT’s growth path. The names and work of the male counterparts at URDT also filtered through their stories and the pictures in the book.

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Enjoying the remarkable book-Hon Joyce Mpanga receives her reward-Cutting the cake


The remarkable women and some representatives posing with their awards

URDT Hosts AFPF Officials PDF  | Print |  E-mail

URDT is honored to host officials from African Food and Peace Foundation (AFPF). AFPF's primary role is to support the ever expanding reach of URDT and her institutions through fundraising, advising, networking, international visits and deep personal friendships which tie communities in America and Uganda together. The officials were welcomed by the University Secretary African Rural University Ms. Jacqueline Akello and URDT Girls’ School family. The AFPF team was 'edutained' by the URDT Girls’ School drama club.


Erika (rightmost), Julia Pettengill (in the middle) and Angela Christiana (leftmost)

For more infomation about AFPF please click here.


Entertainment from URDT Girls' School to the visitors


 MAAIF roots for agro-processing and marketing partnerships


The Ministry of Agriculture Animal industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in partnership with experts from Korea carried out a feasibility study on how the private sector can help in agro-processing and marketing strategy in Uganda in July 2014. While visiting URDT, Jin Soo Kim the project manager Agro-processing and marketing strategy in Uganda said they are moving to potential partners to see how the strategy can be promoted.
Kim with experts from the Ministry administered a questionnaire to URDT staff dealing in agriculture to establish possible interventions to promote Agro-processing and marketing. During the interview, key was how losses can be minimized in the entire production chain for maize.
Kim was impressed by the work being done at URDT Mini Estate processing plant based in Kagadi (see pictures). He said that the community in Kibaale is blessed with crucial ventures that help them increase on their incomes. Kim also said that they are moving to potential partners with whom they can work to ensure that farmers benefit from their activities.

URDT Mini-estate is already producing 12 types of both human and animal feeds from locally available ingredients. Mwalimu Musheshe the CEO URDT (in white shirt on picture) assured the team of experts that already URDT has begun the process of empowering farmers to stop selling maize grains but add value to increase on returns. “We are ahead in promoting agro-processing for the farmers so that they also benefit from the benefits of value addition,” said Musheshe.

The Mini Estate Processing Enterprise (MEPE) has also distributed quality protein maize seeds to farmers’ groups in Kibaale district to boost on their production and nutrition. Martha Agwang the Ag. Manager (in green blouse on bottom picture) said that they have given over 400 kilograms of Nalongo (quality protein maize)  and 2,000 kilograms of fertilizers to 40 demonstration farmers in the sub counties of Kyanaisoke, Kyenzige, Mabaale, Kabamba and Paacwa. Agwang advised farmers to plant so that they can get high yields and good quality of maize.

This is not the first time the MEPE is giving out quality maize seeds to farmers as the first step towards commercial farming. It has been the routine for 5 seasons to increase on the subscribers' household incomes through value addition practices and increased production volumes.

Most members have bought tarpaulines to dry their produce resulting in better quality grains and higher prices for their maize. The picture shows a proud farm family with part of their maize crop.



URDT with development partners launched a project to improve nutrition awareness and household incomes in the Bunyoro region.

On 29th July 2014 the project started, entitled “Effective or Interactive Farm Radio Service” (EFRAS). It is a set of linked radio broadcasts. It provides small-scale farmers with regular, reliable, relevant and accurate information service so that they can improve on their feeding habits and consequently their incomes.

The picture below shows the project team and partners.

a)     What is an EFRAS?

An Effective or Interactive Farm Radio Service is set of linked radio broadcasts that: provides small-scale farmers with regular, reliable, relevant and accurate information services; and amplifies the voices of farmers, putting their needs, interests, ideas and opinions on the airwaves.  

An EFRAS normally includes both a weekly magazine show and shorter “daily necessities” broadcasts issued at least once each day.  The former includes in-depth and interactive exploration of deep-rooted issues, weather advisory services, and market advisory services. The daily necessities show provides short weather, market and news updates for farmers, as well as alerts and reminders.

b)     Why is an interactive radio service important to farmers?

Farmers get access to:
•    a regular, reliable, relevant and respectful source of information about a wide range of farming issues
•    information about techniques they can adopt, sources of inputs, markets, weather, and news of current events that effect their farm business
•    voice – it provides an opportunity to have their aspirations, opinions, and interests expressed and heard by decision makers, policy makers, service providers, agro-businesses, extension agents, and agricultural researchers.

c)     Why is it important to agricultural development?

Agricultural development initiatives often have difficulty taking their interventions to scale and ensure their extension messages are relevant.  An EFRAS can mitigate both. It can send information out over the airwaves to, potentially, millions of farmers. And it can capture the true feelings and experiences of farmers about a range of issues.

For example. Whether it is a CGIAR with an improved seed, a public agricultural extension service, the projects of an NGO, or a company with good products to offer farmers, getting effective information out to farmers can be costly and difficult.  These same organizations also have trouble hearing farmers' perspectives – getting honest feedback and advice.

In project site visits, assembled farmers are often very polite and agreeable. They often tell their visitors that the projects they are implementing are wonderful and have let them send their children to school and could they please have some more.  They could be a bit more candid when they speak to a radio reporter, send in a message or participate in a “beep vote”. This honest feedback is very valuable to designer and implementators of agricultural development initiatives.



 300 Youth present their social and economic ventures

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On 22nd  July 2014, the URDT campus was like a beehive: 300 youth from 10 schools, over 300 students from the URDT Girls School, Institute and African Rural University (ARU) and over 100 guests representing the National and Local Government, Bunyoro Kingdom, Business community, Ashoka, ARU, the partnerschools and local CSOs gathered to participate in the Every One A change Maker Inspire EventDSC06796 1347x898

 The 300 youth congregated to share and exhibit their change making stories which they put in practice in their communities. DSC06824 1347x898

The young innovators were guided by mentors trained by Ashoka and URDT.

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The invited guests also shared their entrepreneurial experiences in a series of speeches (see above) and during the group sharing (see below).

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 The youth venture programme aims to enable young people to learn early in life that they can lead social and economic change. It is based on 4 pillars:  Empathy, Leadership, Teamwork and Entrepreneurship. These are skills that can be learned in schools, like the URDT girls school demonstrates. DSC06926 1347x898

The District Education Officer pledged to support URDT and partnerschools to lobby and advocate to incorporate relevant skills training in the national curriculum and at teacher training colleges.

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For many years URDT promotes and practises a new approach to education that emphasis functional literacy skills and cooperation in the homes of the students enhanced by a shared vision.

URDT always looks for opportunities to influence and change the education system. So not surpisingly, URDT was among the first organizations in East Africa to join the Youth Venture Initiative as an Ashoka partner in 2013. 

LIke Ashoka, URDT beliefs that everyone can be a change maker and create a better world.

 The Youth Venture Initiative started by Ashoka, an international organization that identifies and supports Social Entrepreneurs; the Innovators for the Public. This is in recognition of the current education system that has does not inspire and support young people to gain relevant skills to become productive, healthy, happy and responsible citizens.

Early  2014 URDT was elected a Youth Venture Champion. Since then, she has worked with 10 schools in Kibaale District to support its pupils to grow their change making ideas into viable ventures.

We invite potential funders to contact us how to bring this everyone a changemaker programme of URDT to another level


The URDT Girls School recognised as one of the first changemaker schools in East Africa

Ashoka believes that building a critical mass of changemakers with ground breaking ideas is an important step toward creating a vibrant and prosperous African continent.

The URDT Girls School was recognised by Ashoka as an innovative social enterprise that equips students as changemakers.

In July 2014, the Change Leaders Dr Mwalimu Musheshe and Mrs Alida Bakema-Boon participated in the Ashoka Changemaker Summit in Nairobi to receive the recognition on behalf of URDT. The Vice Chancellor of the African Rural University, Professor Dennis Atwaru, graced the occasion with his presence. See picture below.

Ashoka Changemakerschool team


Amongst the over 200 participants were social entrepreneurs and business people from Kenya, Uganda and Ashoka representatives and fellows from USA, India, Egypt, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.

How did Ashoka select the school?

Ashoka looked for schools of all types, geographies, and demographics that have the following characteristics:

Allignment in the school on Everyone a Changemaker. This included:

  1. cultivating all of the students as changemakers in aspiration and practice.
  2. vision-oriented and focused on developing all students as active contributors rather than passive recipients.
  3. high standards of excellence for students, teachers and staff alike.
  4. development of empathy as priority in the curricula, culture and systems.

Innovation. Demonstrated ability and willingness to develop and test new ideas, rather than just following established norms and leadership fosters a culture of innovation in the school.

Influence. Authority, reputation and relevance to influence others in the education sector. The school showed a clear aspiration and either the demonstrated capacity or obvious potential to get others to follow their lead.

Changemakers. Have a Change Team, comprised of teachers, administrators, parents, students and other stakeholders who are entrepreneurial, collegial, ethical and share the everyone a changemaker vision. The team also demonstrated commitment to realizing the vision in their own school and beyond and a willingness to equally share their experiences and to learn from others.

The selection process consisted of four stages:

  1. Nomination. Ashoka’s networks nominated schools and individuals.
  2. Exploration. Ashoka evaluated the nomination against the selection criteria, checked references, and interviewed stakeholders and Change Team. During a site visit, the school and Ashoka get to know each other, exploring whether there might be a mutual fit.
  3. Self-Evaluation. The school and Change Team completed a comprehensive set of reflective questions about their work.
  4. Panel. The Change Team held individual interviews with three other leaders from within the global Ashoka network to better understand the school, ideas and evaluate a fit with the criteria. The panel decided in consensus whether or not to select the school.

A group of 60 girls from the URDTGS worked with a volunteer Poppy Flint to learn about recycling of plastic bottles. It opened up their eyes to the magnitude of waste in Kagadi town anno December 2013. bottlerecycling bench team

For details see: waste awareness project with poppy


AFPF logo

The USA based African Food and Peace Foundation invites you to a journey to URDT.


Golden Jubilee Medal received

Coat of arms                                                   MM with jubilee medal

The President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has honoured Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe, as one of the Founders of African Rural University (ARU),  with the prestigious Golden Jubilee medal during Uganda’s 51st Independence Day celebrations held on 9th October 2013 at Rukungiri Stadium.

The medal was awarded to persons who contributed to the liberation struggles in Uganda and Africa especially in Education, Religious, Political spheres.

Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe was the second member of ARU Council to be recognized by the President. Mrs. Joyce Mpanga the ARU Council Chairperson was honored during the National Women’s Day celebration in March 2013. She made a tremendous contribution towards women empowerment and gender equality in Uganda.

The Board and Staff of URDT congratulate Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe and Mrs Joyce Mpanga upon these achievements.

ARU is founded by URDT. It is an all women's university that offers courses in technologies for rural transformation.For more informatin visit:

Musheshe Food Tank Hero

ThinktankfoodheroFood Tank announced on October 12th 2013 Dr Mwalimu Musheshe as its Food Hero in the wake up to World Food Day.

WFD called attention to the crucial role that small-scale family farmers play in creating a more sustainable global food system. As the global population approaches nine billion by the year 2050, nourishing the world and preserving diminishing environmental resources presents a daunting challenge.

Food Tank highlights the many ways in which small-scale farmers - both urban and rural - are growing healthy, nutritious food for their communities while protecting the planet.

Mwalimu Musheshe, got the title of this Food Hero, as the CEO of the Uganda Rural Development and Training (URDT) Programme and founder of African Rural University, an all-women agricultural school.

Both initiatives educate their students about the importance of environmentally sustainable farming traditions while integrating some aspects of modern agriculture. Their focus is not on teaching agro ecological practices for the sake of environmental conservation alone, but also for producing more nutritious crops for communities.

For more details:

Farm Radio International awards

MM receives award on behalf of URDTAnthony L receive AFRI award sept 2013 276x200

Dr Musheshe receives award on behalf of URDT/KKCR    Radio Manager receives his personal award

Ismael receives his awardEntire KKCR team present

Radio staff receives his personal award                  Entire community radio team present

 KKCR Broadcasters win the George Atkins Communications Award 2013
The George Atkins Communications Award 2013  was  presented to two broadcasters from KKCR / URDT on September 21 2013 during the occasion  to mark the International Day of Peace and the Kagadi Kibaale Community Radio 91.7 FM 13th anniversary.

The KKCR Station Manager (L.A) and the Broadcaster/producer (K.I) were recognized for complementarily exhibiting outstanding commitment in reduction of poverty and contributed to food security.
The George Atkins Communications Award was established in 1991 to recognize rural radio broadcasters for their outstanding commitment and contribution to food security and poverty reduction in low-income countries. The award is named after Dr. George S. Atkins, the Founding Director of Farm Radio International (FRI). The award is presented each year to an individual that demonstrates overall programming excellence in responding to small-scale farmers’ needs as well as commitment to FRI.
KKCR has partnered with FRI for over a decade. FRI implements projects by using Participatory Radio campaign developed in partnership with community, researchers and broadcasters. logo farm radio international

Youth run peace marathon

Runner with blue apron

URDT together with KICSON mobilised Kagadi youth to participate in the 4th bi-annual marathon to run for peace. They also raised funds for disadvantaged children. On the picture in blue: a deaf and dumb runner preparing to participate.

This time 580 young people participated in the 11km long run. Over 2.000 people witnessed the event that coincided with the National Peace Day celebrations.

Flagging off marathon sept 2013 276x191Runners snaking URDT campus

 The RDC Kibaale flags off 580 young runners from URDT campus

Boys runningURDTGS running

Both young men and women braved the sun and bad roads to make a statement for peace

Runners and traffic policyBoys finishing

 Kibaale traffice police made sure the roads were safe. Runners close to the finish line sheered by URDT staff, boardmembers and partners

Clocking outFirst aid for dehydrated runner

Runners handing over check point cards after the finish       First aid for a dehydrated runner

First aid for soar legsMarathon winners 2013

Red Cross provided relief, bandages and smiles.  All 520 who finished were winners. Above the group that run fasted

Uganda 38th VC forum hosted at ARU

VC forum sep 2013

ARU hosted the 38th Vice Chancellors Forum (VCF) at its campus in Kagadi on the 3rd of September 2013.

The Chairman of the VCF, Pof. Badru Katerega, commended the curriculum of ARU that addresses rural transformation and job creation. " If we can integrate the approach employed by ARU, then our graduates will note become a burden to our nations," he said.

During the forum, the VCs selected ARU as one of the 5 universities to represent private universities in a review of the education system jointly with public universities.


For more details: visit

ARU joins Inter University Council for East Africa

URDT congratulates its African Rural University upon her official associate membership of the Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA). Logo Inter University Council for East Africa

The Council brings together institutions for higher learning and facilitates internationally comparable education standards.

The resolution to admit ARU was reached upon on 24th June 2013 during an Executive committee meeting at City Hill Hotel in Bujumbura.

The IUCEA Act 2009 mandates the institution to advise the EAC Partner States on higher education matters, and to contribute towards:

  1. meeting national and regional developmental needs;
  2. developing quality assurance processes in order to ensure that teaching, learning and research in the region achieve and maintain international standards;
  3. assisting member universities and other higher education institutions to identify and implement good practices in institutional management and use of resources;
  4. developing human resource capacity in all disciplines of higher education in the Community; and
  5. promoting equal opportunities for all higher education students in East Africa, including those with special needs.

For more information, visit:

URDT students join Ashoka Youth Venture programme

Youth venture fun exerciseYOung AshokaIrene mutumbe, the Yv champion and ED of PEDN gives speech

  • On 13th July 2013, 15 students from URDT founded institutions participated in the Youth Inspire event organised by the Ashoka Youth Venture East Africa programme (AYVEA) in Kampala.
  • URDT had developed a culture to support its students to identify a societal vision and support communities to design paths to attain them. Hence joining this new programme was a logical next step.
  • The 14 female and 1 male students from URDT Girls’ school, African Rural University and URDT Institute shared their experiences to start a social venture, their social aspirations and networked with the other 18 aspiring young change makers.
  • They were inspired to grow their ideas to the next level.
  • The students were excited to join Ashoka's Youth Venture as it is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide. Nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice.
  •  The Youth Inspire event was blessed by Hon. Nabugere Flavia, the Minister of State for Environment.

Youth VentureYouth venture Immaculate of ARU shares her ideas

Background to the event

New. AYVEA is a new programme that enables young people to learn early in life how they can lead social change effectively. The programme aims to inspire and invest in teams of young people to start and lead their own social ventures. As such it is building a powerful network of young change makers across the region.

initiators. The youth venture programme started in Uganda in 2013 by change maker organizations like URDT, Private Education Development Network (PEDN) Educate! and TERROWODDE. The Ashoka fellows in these organizations act as mentors and exemplars to the youth. The event was organized by PEDN and Ashoka East Africa.

 Ashoka. Ashoka’s vision is to advance “an Everyone a Change Maker World” where anyone can apply the skills of change making to solve complex social challenges. With a mission “To support social entrepreneurs who are leading and collaborating with changemakers in a team of teams model that addresses the fluidity of a rapidly evolving society” Ashoka believes that anyone can learn and apply the criticalskills of empathy, team work, leadership and change making to be successful in the modern world”.

Authentic Leader Around the World

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  • In July 2013, the URDT campus buzzled with conversations about authentic leadership. Reason? Bob Anderson, a long term friend of URDT, offered a training in: ‘changing the Global Leadership mind’. He offered his, in the USA renown, leadership model to the leadership at URDT in Kagadi.
  • Participants received their leadership circle profiles and gained new insights in how to improve their competency and inner states of being for higher effectiveness at personal and work levels. The workshop allowed for serious reflection to improve self-awareness, authenticity, systems awareness, relating and achieving goals. The participants practiced old (visioning) and new tools to minimize reactive practices like complying, controlling and protecting. The courageous conversation proved a useful technique for authentic leadership.  
  • Most staff met Bob for the first time. Others, like Dr Musheshe, were happy to recall historical facts way back to the establishment of URDT. Bob was impressed by the model for rural transformation URDT developed over time. During a field visit, he acknowledged URDT's growth since the 1980's from hands on extension, that he witnessed in Kahunge, towards well-established education and training programmes that produce capable change agents to take up rural transformation roles. People like Peter Senge, Robert Fritz, Ephrem Rutaboba and Silvana Veltkamp were acknowledged as contributors to the URDT philosophy of rural transformation.
  • See Bob's testimony:;aq4s=15&aq4c=081513NewsletterCommunity&inf_contact_key=b7b1ac46aea500d229955600c8e3a5c4bfe217b62e701c7eee68bfb11a00d51b
  • The 3 day workshop ended with a big thank you to Bob Anderson. His past and present support to develop URDT into an effective vehicle for systemic change in rural communities is invaluable and highly appreciated.





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