Founding: RAE evolved from efforts by Prof Adipala Ekwamu & Family initiated in 1980 to extend education to underserved rural areas in North-Eastern Uganda, specifically Kalaki and Kaberamaido districts. Efforts focused on building a Primary School (Opungure); Building a foundation block for a Mixed Secondary School (Kalaki) and a Foundation block for a Girls Secondary School (Lwala Girls). These schools were handed over to the Communities and have since then been taken over by the Government of Uganda


1.     At the early stage and until now efforts has also been made to extend quality drinking water to some of the neediest areas such as Acanpii (Area with water poverty-no water) and five bore holes were constructed.  RAE is committed to improving the entire ecosystem for access to education and improved agricultural technology adoption in remote rural areas.  This means that RAE interventions often involve partnering with others to deliver health and basic infrastructure to support their schooling, skills and the uptake of technology to improve agriculture and rural livelihoods.


2.     In 2012, Adipala and his family embarked on constructing a mixed secondary school in his home area (as part of giving back to society and helping rural students access quality education) that the Community named Adipala High School. The intention was to create a pipeline for primary students join secondary school education and hopefully get entry into Tertiary education institutions. It is today a leading school in the area, with about 650 students population. The School Moto is ‘Education With Values’.  RAE interventions have been strongly influenced by the experiential learning approach at EARTH University in Costa Rica. Adipala High is a private School and already over 200 of the school’s graduates have joined University education.


3.      To formalize and broaden the reach of what Prof Adipala Ekwamu and his family were doing to support rural community development, the Research and Education  Agency (RAE) was founded in 2015 and registered  as a Not for Profit Limited Company in Uganda. The focus of RAE was and is still to increase access to basic education, and basic health, drinking water and agricultural technologies to remote rural communities. Special attention is placed on the retention of the girl child in primary and secondary schools, and reaching out to educate students from Karamoja region, one of the most underdeveloped regions of Uganda. To in-build skill development into the education process and prepare school students for future career and self-employment opportunities, RAE established School Garden Learning Labs and partnered with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to extend testing and dissemination of improved agricultural technologies with Schools and communities as the Technology dissemination centres. This is still ongoing.


4.     Like many other organisations RAE activities were drastically curtailed by the 2020-2021 COVID Pandemic, with schools closing. Following reopening of Schools in 2022 RAE is working towards enhancing access to digital learning for schools and communities and giving focus to engaging with and skilling rural youth and women groups. RAE is also keen on strengthening Teacher Education and is supporting 10 female primary teachers to upgrade to University level qualifications.  The upgrading of teacher qualifications and providing opportunities for life-long learning and support are core to the mission of RAE.


5.     In April 2023 the RAE Board of Directors decided to register RAE as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Uganda but with a Vision for expansion to other African countries. In August 2023 RAE was formally registered by the Uganda NGO Bureau as an NGO in Uganda. RAE policy documents have been approved by the RAE Board and will be lodged with the NGO Bureau and Uganda Registrar of Companies by the end of 2023.


6.     Mr James Okello, Academic Registrar Soroti University in Eastern Uganda, was subsequently appointed by the RAE Founding Directors as the Interim Board Chair and Prof Adipala Ekwamu as a Board Member and Executive Director of RAE. Since then, Prof Adipala Ekwamu has reached out to the following persons who have accepted to join the RAE Board:

a.     Mr James Okello, Academic Registrar, Soroti University and to serve as RAE Board Chair

b.     Dr Damalie Akwango, National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Uganda and to serve as RAE Board Deputy Chair

c.     Dr Joseph Oryokot, an Agricultural Specialist working with the World Bank (Kampala Office)

d.     Dr Robert Kawuki, Agricultural Specialist who has championed Agricultural Technology Transfer and using Schools as Technology Dissemination Centres

e.     Prof. John Akec, Information Technology Specialist and Vice Chancellor, University of Juba, South Sudan

f.      Prof. Julius Ochuodho, from University of Eldoret in Kenya, who founded the University of Eldoret Community Outreach Centre

g.     Prof. Adil Deifalla, an Agriculturalist from University of Gezira in Sudan but now based at Kampala International University in South Western Uganda

h.     Associate Prof. Tahra El-Obeid, a Food Science Specialist at Qatar University in Qatar

i.       Dr Mary Shawa, a Gender Specialist working with Plan International in Malawi; She has served as a senior official in the Government of Malawi

j.       Dr Milton Edimu, an Engineer and a founding Director of RAE

k.     Prof. Kay Muir-Leresche, Education and Sustainable Development Specialist based in South Africa


7.     RAE has  since also reached out to the following to be Members of RAE Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the RAE Board has subsequently approved their appointment:

l.       Dr Abigael Otinga (Chair of TAC), from University of Eldoret; she headed the University of Eldoret Community Outreach Centre and has facilitated engagement with farmer groups

m.   Dr Drake Mirembe, an IT Expert at Makerere University; he is working to promote delivery of extension services using IT tools and on extending digital learning to rural schools including Teacher Education

n.     Dr Duncan Ongeng, from Gulu University in Northern Uganda; he is a key driver and implementer of the Gulu University Community Outreach Program and Students Enterprise Scheme initiative

o.     Mr Malenge Baker, the Principal of Nakapiripirit Technical Institute in Karamoja, Northern Uganda

p.     Mr Owen Singura Expert on Youth Skill development

q.     Dr Babra Zawedde Mugwanya, Expert on Entrepreneurship and Business development


8.     Over the last six months we have worked to develop RAE Policy Guiding Instruments which we shared with Board Members and others for review. During the Board meeting of 01 December 2023, the RAE Board approved the following Policy Documents:

a.      RAE Articles of Association

b.     2024-2030 RAE Strategy

c.     RAE Governance Manual that includes inter alia the Board Governance Organogram and RAE Services and Management Organogram

d.      RAE Finance Manual

e.     RAE Human Resource Manual

f.      RAE Gender Equality Policy

g.     RAE Safeguards Policy

h.     RAE Anti-Fraud Policy

i.       RAE Whistle Blower Policy

j.       RAE Investment Plan and Policy

k.     RAE Conflict of Interest Policy


9.     For the RAE Strategy, we have built on the RAE logo which has: 

a.     The Small Open Hand: It signifies School Children and youth as the Epicentre for rural transformation hence the focus on promoting inclusive access to education and skilling the Youth to be the catalysts and instruments for  Community (rural) transformation

b.     The Big Open hand: It signifies the broader rural communities where RAE seeks to impact through interventions such as strengthening community agricultural productivity and value addition, and expanding livelihood opportunities for communities especially Youth and Women Groups; the Youth will be the key drivers of the needed transformation- the aim is to strive for inclusive rural transformation. RAE will therefore engage Partners such as Women Groups, Research, Universities and TVET institutions, Policy, Development Partners, etc to undertake and scale up the needed interventions.

c.     The Green: This is the desired Goal: a Prosperous, inclusive and harmonious Rural Community, empowered and supported by a healthy environment

d.     The Red: This symbolizes the interconnectedness of interventions and Society with ‘no one left behind’.


10. Resourcing: We are exploring funding possibilities with various organisations.



Communication and Knowledge Management Unit

Research and Education Agency (RAE)


Tel: +256 782 009 090


01 December 2023

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