Mary Okwakol

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Mary Okwakol
Born1951 (age 67–68)
ResidenceBusitema, Uganda
Alma materMakerere University
(BSc in Zoology)
(MSc in Zoology)
(PhD in Zoology)
OccupationUniversity Professor, Administrator and Scientist
Years active1974 — present
Known forScientific knowledge, Administrative skills, Leadership
Home townIganga
TitleVice Chancellor of Busitema University

Mary Jossy Nakhanda Okwakol (born 1951) is a Ugandan university professor, academic administrator, zoologist and community leader. She is the current Vice Chancellor of Busitema University, one of the nine public universities in Uganda. She has served in that position since October 2006.[1]

Background and education[edit]

She was born in Namunyumya Village, Iganga District, Eastern Uganda, circa 1951. She attended Namunyumya Mixed Primary School, for her elementary schooling. Mary Okwakol attended Mount Saint Mary's College Namagunga for her high school education.[2]

She holds the degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Zoology, obtained in 1974, from Makerere University, the oldest university in East Africa. She also holds the degree of Master of Science (MSc), in Zoology, obtained in 1976, also from Makerere University. Her degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Zoology was also obtained from Makerere University, in 1992.[2]


After graduating from Makerere in 1974, Mary Okwakol was invited back to the Faculty of Science as an Assistant Lecturer. She immediately embarked on her Masters studies and graduated in 1976. She was appointed Lecturer. In 1988, she became Senior Lecturer. She enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, but was unable to continue due to family responsibilities in Uganda. She transferred to Makerere and graduated in 1992. She has since been awarded full Professorship by Makerere. At the formation of Gulu University in 2004, she was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor, serving in that capacity until her appointment as Vice Chancellor of Busitema University in 2006.[3]

Other responsibilities[edit]

Professor Okwakol is a member of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), founded in 1992, that is active in 32 African countries. FAWE aims to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education. Its members include human rights activists, gender specialists, researchers, education policy-makers, university vice-chancellors and ministers of education. The organisation maintains its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and has regional offices in Dakar, Senegal.[4] Professor Okwakol has published widely in professional journals and has written chapters in scientific books pertaining to her fields of specialization. In May 2014 she was appointed to serve as the Chairperson of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Etengu, Nathan (6 October 2006). "Uganda: Okwakol To Head Eastern Varsity". Kampala: New Vision via Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Talemwa, Moses (4 April 2010). "Female professors tell their long story: Professor Mary Nakhanda Okwakol, Vice Chancellor, Busitema University". The Observer (Uganda). Kampala. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  3. ^ Womakuyu, Frederick (30 March 2010). "A Feat Born Out of Diligence: MUK Honours Female Professors". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  4. ^ FAWE, . "FAWE: Who We Are". Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE). Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  5. ^ Ahimbisibwe, Patience (5 May 2014). "Busitema's Okwakol Replaces Mandy As UNEB Chairperson". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 22 August 2014.

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