Ex Makerere Dean, Prof James Sengendo, Dies

Professor James Sengendo, who served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Makerere University from 1990 to 1997, has been laid to rest in Wakiso District, Central Uganda.

Sengendo, 80, succumbed to pneumonia on Friday, January 1, 2021.

He leaves a landmark in Uganda and transformation of the next generation, through the number of people either taught or mentored, organisations started, and systems implemented.

Professor Sengendo completed his Ph.D. in Community Development from Makerere University (MUK) 1991; his masters in Arts Social Economics from Simon Fraser University, a public research university in British Columbia, Canada 1975 and his Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) at the University of Kenya.

He was a visiting professor at 20 Universities including Pennsylvania University.

From 2004 – 2012, Prof Sengendo served as Head of Social Sciences Studies at Kampala International University.

Some of the mourners at the burial ground in Wakiso.

Professor Sengendo is credited for fighting for the education of the next generation.

He initiated the scholarship Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences so that students who had not received Government Funding had an opportunity to access education.


He ensured that students were connected to mentors. Most of his former students are now full professors.

Prof James Sengendo lived in such a way that his career and Education served Uganda and improved the next generation.

His contribution to Uganda was in the transformation of the approach to HIV/AIDS, Culture and the Social Sciences.

He spearheaded consultancies with the Kampala City Council, the Ministry of Energy And Mineral Development and among others.

He also served extensively in grass root communities as a Community Development Expert in several districts in Uganda.

Internationally, he worked alongside the World Bank and the United Nations (UNESCO, UNICEF) on several projects.

At the funeral, the Head of Department for Social Sciences, Prof Eddy Walakira, said Prof Sengendo built the social work programme and it is the leading programme in East Arica with a Bachelors, Masters and PhD programme.

“No one has passed his Dean record. He started a private scheme to help students to enrol to Makerere University. He served as chairman of the Aids information Centre and chairman Uganda family planning association among others,” said Prof Walakira.

The deceased also was part of UNESCO’s select for the Social Sciences for the Cultural approach to HIV/AIDS.

The Kawempe Tula Church of Uganda representatives at Sengendo’s funeral indicated that the deceased was an extremely humble man.

Prof Sengendo is survived by three daughters and one son.

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