By Mubiru Ivan
As a young professor, Venansius Baryamureeba ventured into an area few people dared to tread; information and communication technology. He has instrumental in establishing the ICT discipline at Makerere University and Uganda as a whole. The politician cum academic is the founder of Utamu University which has a bias towards ICT and Business studies.
Born on 18 May, 1969 in Kasharara Village, Kagongo Parish, Ibanda District, Prof Baryamureeba holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, obtained in 1994 from Makerere University. He got his Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy, both in computer science from Bergen University in Norway, awarded in 1996 and in 2000, respectively.
In 1997, Baryamureeba was awarded the postgraduate Diploma in the Analysis of Linear Programming Models by the University of Trondheim, also in Norway.
His career in academia began soon after his first degree, when he worked as a teaching assistant in the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics at Makerere University, from 1994 until 1998.
He then worked as an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo, which later was merged to form Kyambogo University, from 1995 until 1996.
While pursuing graduate studies in Norway, he worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Informatics at Bergen University from 1997 until 2000.
He also worked as a research fellow, in the same department and institution, from 1995 until 2000.
Beginning in 1998 until 2000, the academician worked as a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Makerere University.
He was a senior lecturer in the Institute of Computer Science at Makerere University, from 2001 until 2006 (which was transformed into the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Computing and IT (FCI)).
He then became an associate professor, and, in November 2006, Baryamureeba was made a professor, continuing to teach until August 2012 at FCI. From October 2005 until June 2010, he served as the dean of FCI.
From November 2009 until August 2012, he was Vice Chancellor of Makerere University.
Immediately after leaving Makerere University, he founded Uganda Technology And Management University (Utamu) on September 7, 2012, where he served as Founding Vice Chancellor from 2012 through 2015. As Vice Chancellor of Utamu, Prof. Baryamureeba was responsible for the academic, administrative, and financial affairs of the University and at the same time served as the Accounting Officer of the University.
Utamu was licensed on March 11, 2013 by the National Council for Higher Education. By September 2015, the University had 42 academic programmes accredited by the National Council for Higher Education. The student population surpassed 1,000 in 2015 and the number of collaborations and visibility of the University greatly improved. Utamu was ranked among the top ten Universities in Uganda by the end of 2015.
In July 2017, Prof. Baryamureeba, at only 48 years of age was appointed Chancellor of Ibanda University, making him the youngest Chancellor of a University, who is a non head of state on the African Continent.
In addition, he currently serves as the Chairperson of: Board of Directors of Uganda Technology and Management University; Board of Trustees of Uganda Technology and Management University; Makerere University Business School Council; St. Augustine International University Council; Uganda
He has also previously served as Chairperson of: Makerere University Senate and Management; UTAMU Senate and Management; Uganda Vice Chancellors Forum; Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Innovation Council; Inter-University Council of East Africa; and Research and Education Network of Uganda among others.
Prof. Baryamureeba has also served as a Member of: Makerere University Council; Makerere University Senate; Busitema University Senate; Mbarara University of Science and Technology Senate; Uganda National Examinations Board; National Council for Higher Education; African Institute for Capacity Development; and Inter University Council of East Africa among others.
He was also a Presidential Candidate in the February 18, 2016 Presidential Election of Uganda.