Often times, the President has been quoted trashing Humanities in Uganda, in favour of sciences, which has led mixed reactions from the public. Here is my view:
Sciences and Humanities are both important, we equally need them for the development of our societies. One can’t work in isolation from the other. Doctors will require counselors along thier work, Engineers will require lawyers, Surveyors and Valuers will require Sociologists along their work, Accountants, Procurement Professionals, Human Resources, Administrators, Communications, etc are required across the board.
In my previous work, I have managed a Project which invloved care and treatment of the elderly people, but I used to recruit, induct and pay the health workers(Scientists).
I have also managed a Project involving psychosocial support and treatment, Doctors worked along with social workers and counselors.
I have worked on construction and Oil & Gas Projects that involves huge land acquisitions, but before the Engineers, Valuers, Surveyors(Scientists) get to the community and stakeholders, sociologists have to do community and stakeholders engagements first to ensure good community and stakeholders entry & relations with the Companies intending to acquire the Land.
It is the role of sociologists (with Humanities) to ensure that companies intending to carry out a project in any area acquires social licence from that particular community. Social Licence is a process of community acceptance and support of the proposed project in an area. It has to be noted that without constructive stakeholder engagement, projects would fail.
I therefore believe we equally need all these fields of study, and they are equally important.
The writer is a freelance and an independent Social Researcher, with a kin interest in Political Economy, Governance and other Social and Economic dimensions of Development.