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Women Vice Chancellors in New Growth Agenda for Africa


The Young African Entrepreneurs competition call closes with 756 Submissions


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RUFORUM recognizes the need for greater youth participation in enterprise development, business incubation and believes in youth entrepreneurship as the game changer in ensuring greater youth participation and integration into the economic growth for youth employment. As part of efforts to promote and showcase youth innovations in enterprise development and business incubation, RUFORUM organised the Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2016. The competition lasted three months closing on 31st July, 2016 and attracted a total of 756 applications.

RUFORUM wishes to provide a process update on steps being undertaken to identify the 10 most competitive youth innovations and enterprises for presentation during the Fifth RUFORUM Africa Higher Education Week and Biennial Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

Below are process highlights and next steps:

  1. Out of the 756 applications received, a compliance check was undertaken and 617 applications were compliant to the call specifications.
  2. The 617 applications have been submitted for review by a panel of four judges who will provide an initial selection of 100 applications by 26th August, 2016.
  3. The selected 100 applications will further be reviewed by another panel of three business and experts to select at least 30 most competitive applications by 3rd September, 2016.
  4. The 30 most competitive applications that will be selected will be invited for a skype/telephone interview about 8-12 September, 2016.
  5. The 10 most competitive enterprises and business propositions will be selected and announced by 15th September, 2016.

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) thanks the general public for taking time and responding to this call. Click here to download full press release.

Mac Maharaj on Mandela and South Africa


When we look back on the life and times of Mandela several attributes stand out. He was a man of action.

A South African freedom fighter, Mac Maharaj (left) speaks during the Nelson Mandela memorial lecture at Kampala Serena Hotel on July 15 2016. Right is the former minister of Agriculture, Victoria Ssekitoreko. PHOTO: Ronnie Kijjambu

A South African freedom fighter, Mac Maharaj (left) speaks during the Nelson Mandela memorial lecture at Kampala Serena Hotel on July 15 2016. Right is the former minister of Agriculture, Victoria Ssekitoreko. PHOTO: Ronnie Kijjambu

By Mac Maharaj

Nelson Rohlihlala Mandela, endearingly known among us as Madiba, once wrote that “Men and women, all over the world, right down the centuries, come and go. Some leave nothing behind, not even their names. It would seem that they never existed at all.”

On 18 July it shall be his 98th birthday. On the 5th December this year it will be three years since this great son of Africa left us. Sufficient time has elapsed to enable us to pronounce without fear of dissent, that Madiba’s footprint is deeply carved on the rock face of the history of our continent and burnished into the minds of peace loving people around the world.

It is a footprint that is intimately connected to the theme of today’s conversation: Take Action, Inspire Change.

When we look back on the life and times of Mandela several attributes stand out. He was a man of action.

However, action for social change, needs to be preceded by careful thought and planning, by tailoring action to achieve desired goals. Without this, action becomes irresponsible, if not anarchic.

Madiba was a man of action with a vision.

He was driven by a firm belief and commitment to Africa’s freedom, to empowering the people to shape their own destiny, and to the world-wide struggle to eradicate poverty.

The more he thought about it, the more he realized that freedom is indivisible. In his prison desk calendar dated June 2, 1979 he recorded that “the purpose of freedom is to create it for others.”

He saw poverty as one the greatest affronts to dignity. Poverty, he told a crowd of more than 22,000 people gathered at Trafalgar Square, London in 2005, “like slavery and apartheid, … is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” He held fast to the view that “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”

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