Written by: Richard A. Powell – RUFORUM Communications Consultant
Following a week of intensive networking opportunities that attracted nearly 700 participants from 45 countries, and celebrating the achievements of postgraduate agricultural students across Africa, the fourth highly successful RUFORUM biennial conference ended last week in Maputo, Mozambique.
Conferences have a reputation among many who plough their circuit for being exercises in talking, with minimal practical positive outcomes to show after the deliberations have been concluded. But this meeting could have been a game-changer for RUFORUM specifically and agriculture generally on the continent.
“After 10 successful years influencing higher agricultural education in specific regions of Africa,” announced Professor Adipala Ekwamu, the Executive Secretary of RUFORUM at the launch of the official conference communiqué, “we now have a wonderful opportunity to not only influence its future direction strategically but also across the continent as a whole.”
The conference welcomed multiple honoured guests and speakers, including H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Mrs Graca Machel, Member of the International Panel of Elders and Former Minister of Education, Mozambique, two AU Commissioners, ten Ministers, 34 Vice Chancellors, and university Principals and Deans.