Kampala 14 February 2019 The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) a consortium of 105 Universities in 37 Countries in Africa is aligning operations for delivery of the Vision 2030. Since 2018, RUFORUM has been recruiting new staff as one of the strategies recommended to achieve its Vision 2030 Strategy. We are pleased to announce the following two new staff appointments at the RUFORUM Secretariat:
Dr Florence Nakayiwa (Ugandan) – Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Planning Resources Mobilisation and Management
Dr Nakayiwa joins RUFORUM from Makerere University where she has been the Director of the Planning and Development Department. She has over twenty years’ experience in the higher education sector in Africa. She brings vast experience in institutional development in higher education, policy engagement, development partners’ collaboration and partnership development and networking to the RUFORUM Secretariat and its wider network at large. She has previously overseen and provided leadership to the strategic planning processes at Makerere University and various institutions to which she has served in the different capacity as a Board member. She has been the Programme Coordinator of several Development Partner Programmes at Makerere University. These include, among others, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University and the African Development Bank- Higher Education Science and Technology Programme. She has been a Board member of the African Higher Education Advancement – AHEAD Initiative, also a board Member to the Youth After School Initiative and a Board Member of the Makerere University Walter Reed Programme. Dr Nakayiwa is a DAAD Fellow: University Leadership Programme that targeted Project Management, Financial Management and Human Resource Management in Higher Education at the University of Oldenburg- Germany. She is a fellow to the International Visitors Leadership Program, A Voluntary Visitors Program on Higher Education Financing and Administration; and an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Higher Education Trust based in South Africa. Dr Florence Nakayiwa has a Doctor of Business Administration in Higher Education Management from the University of Bath, United Kingdom and a Masters’ Degree in Economic Policy Management from Makerere University.
Ms. Wivine Adidja (Congolese from DR Congo) – Technical Specialist, Staff Development and Academic Mobility
Ms. Adidja joins RUFORUM from Universite Catholique de Bukavu (UCB) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She has served in higher education as a fellow at the university at the Institut Superieur de Development Rural (ISDR/Bukavu), Universite Libre des Grand Lacs ( ULGL/Bukavu) and Universite Evangelique en Afrique (UEA) for five years and brings this experience into the RUFORUM Secretariat. Her experience in regional African mobility both as a lived experience through her education and practice in the DR Congo is vital in supporting the coordinating function for the mobility arrangements at the RUFORUM Secretariat. Over the years of service, she has demonstrated the power of mobility education by increasing the participation of disadvantaged fellows from DR. Congo to access education outside DR. Congo, a conflict and post-conflict environment. Ms. Adidja holds Masters in Integrated Watershed Management of Makerere University.
RUFORUM is currently comprised of staff from Ghana, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Benin, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Malawi.
For the complete press release, download it here
In 2018 the Regional Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) implemented the Community-Based Field Attachment Award (CFAPA) program, which was supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for promoting youth support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular, SDG2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
CFAPA program is designed as graduate student placement in rural community to apply, scale-out and disseminate thesis research findings which can contribute to the increasing of the sustainability and resilience of small-scale agriculture, improving livelihoods and reducing rural poverty. The program aims to:
- Provide an opportunity for the student to link academic work with the experience of rural community and engage in knowledge exchanges with local farmers;
- Provide local implementing agencies (local government, rural institutions, farmers groups, NGOs etc.) with the specialized knowledge of the student to scale out the research findings and promote new approaches for improving livelihoods and reducing rural poverty;
- Provide the student with practical skills to apply research findings in development-related field projects, engage with local communities and generate innovative solutions to improve rural livelihoods.
In 2018 after competitive selection process, 10 students from RUFORUM member universities received grants to implement their field projects in rural communities in Benin, Uganda, Kenya and Lesotho. For 6 months, students interacted with local farmers to exchange knowledge and develop innovative solutions for enhancing nutrition and food security, improving sustainable agriculture and livestock production practices, strengthening collaborations along local food-value chains for rural income generation and other themes.
To disseminate their research results and promote innovative approaches, students targeted a wide range of stakeholders from rural communities, including farmers, agricultural traders, farmer associations, community health institutions, veterinary and extension services and rural community leaders, with a particular emphasis on women, youth and small-scale farmers. Students organized interactive workshops and trainings, presentations and radio shows to increase the outreach. Students also produced short videos to document their field work.
Annex 1. Increasing commercialization and profitability of indigenous chicken production through innovation platforms in Omoro district, Northern Uganda
Aryemo Irene Penninah, a student of Gulu University in Uganda, wrote her Master thesis on Commercialization and profitability of indigenous chicken production, and she was awarded a grant to disseminate her research findings and train local chicken innovation platform members in Omoro district. During her university research she learned about several issues which have had a negative impact on the commercialization of chicken production in the area, including poor management of chickens that lead to high mortality rates, lack of understanding amongst farmers how food value chains function and limited relations between different actors along local agri-food value chains.
To increase commercialization and profitability of chicken production, Aryemo trained local farmers on strategies to increase flock size and enhance chicken management practices, explained about production and marketing activities to increase farmers’ incomes and organized activities to inform rural community how to keep the innovation platform alive through facilitation of business to business linkages amongst different actors along the chicken production value chain.
Annex 2. Sustainable multiplication of improved common bean seed in favour of smallholder farmers of Buhimba and Kiziranfumbi sub-county Hoima district, Uganda
Nicholus Mbabazi, a student of the University of the Free State, Uganda, received an award to disseminate his research findings on sustainable multiplication of improved common bean seed for small-holder farmers.
The field attachment focused on adoption and multiplication of improved beans aimed at climate change adaptation to capitalize on the high farmers’ perception and awareness levels about climate change and stimulate appropriate climate change adaptation strategies. Through trainings and workshops, student provided climate information to farmers to inform timely planting, encouraged adoption of improved and drought tolerant seed varieties and promoted soil conservation practices like the use of fertilizers that are effective at increasing resilience of the smallholder farming systems. He also presented sustainable strategies including farmers’ group formation, which can ease access to credit, to encourage smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change and climate variability.
Through trainings, the student sensitized around 300 smallholder farmers on bean sustainable production practices and also did two radio presentations in local language on sustainable bean production to enhance outreach.
Annex 3. The list of implemented Community-Based Field Attachments in 2018
- University World News
New journal to boost dissemination of African research (Africa)
A new African journal is to boost access to research output, particularly for African university academics, through a new peer-reviewed and open access publication that aims to increase intra-African research collaborations across scientific disciplines. The quarterly journal Scientific African is owned and operated by a community of Next Einstein Forum scientists and is published by Elsevier. It was launched last year during the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda. The editor-in-chief of the journal, Benjamin Gyampoh, said that the pan-African content of the publication would provide learning materials for teaching and research in African universities. “As the journal produces many issues, African universities will find a one-stop resource for excellent scientific content in basically all disciplines,” he said, adding that this will facilitate teaching and research using examples and scenarios that students can relate to and appreciate within their context. Speaking to University World News in an exclusive interview, Gyampoh said the publication also aims at creating opportunities for collaboration for Africa’s academics and researchers. Gyampoh, who is the immediate former executive director of the African Academy of Sciences, said: “With our open access platform and low author processing fees, we are making it possible for Africa’s researchers to publish their work in a highly visible journal and allow them to identify collaborators.” The journal, whose first edition was published in December 2018, and the second of which is expected in the first quarter of this year, allows African academics to publish their research findings and build academic research capacity. The scientific disciplines currently accepted by the journal include chemistry, information technology and engineering, economics and business, environmental sciences and geosciences, life and health sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences and policy, conservation and sustainability studies, and agriculture and food security.
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- Ghana Web
Ministry plans centralised university placement system (Ghana)
Ghana’s ministry of education is planning to introduce a placement system for admission into tertiary institutions in the country aimed at reducing the stress and expense currently involved in the admission process. This comes after a nine-member committee chaired by Professor Cliff Tagoe made the proposal for a centralised university admissions and placement service (CAPS) in the Tertiary Education Policy Document submitted on 1 November 2018 to the ministry of education. CAPS will replace the current stressful and expensive system of applying to different universities. The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education Professor Kwesi Yankah said exploratory visits had been made to the United Kingdom and Nigeria by the ministry of education and vice-chancellors and registrars to study how the system works in the two countries. “One proposal currently under contemplation by the Ministry of Education has also incidentally been proposed by this draft Policy document. “It is the Proposal for a Centralized University admissions and Placement Service (CAPS), which replaces the stressful and rather expensive system of applying to separate Universities in Ghana with a Centralized system, where the applicants list their choices of University on a single platform. “A Central administrative and technical set up then facilitates the process of placement,” the Committee said. The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education Prof Kwesi Yankah revealed this on Friday in an ongoing stakeholder meeting in Koforidua, Eastern Regional Capital. He said exploratory visits have been made to UK and Nigeria by the Ministry of Education and Vice Chancellors and Registrars to understudy how the system works in the two countries. He added that a national committee in centralized admissions for Universities to be chaired by Prof. Adow Obeng, former Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Coast currently President of Presbyterian University college will be formally inaugurated on Thursday, January 17, 2019, to facilitate the process.
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- University World News
Union sounds alarm over brain drain, lecturer conditions (Algeria)
The Union of Algerian Doctors and Researchers, a body representing senior university academics and researchers, has raised the alarm regarding national research capacity and output as the country continues to suffer the effects of a massive brain drain to foreign countries. In a statement reportedly released in early January, senior academics and researchers called on the authorities to take heed of their demands for government to contribute to the search for solutions to their problems. The union called for higher education to reconnect with the skilled Algerians abroad for the benefit of the Algerian economy. The authors of the statement also called on the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to take appropriate measures to link scientific research outlets with the needs of the Algerian economy and society. The union said it was developing a national project for scientific research aimed at providing realistic solutions and alternatives for developing and encouraging research, according to Ennahar, a daily independent newspaper. This call is not the first, since the other representative of Algerian researchers, the National Syndicate of Researchers, also made a public statement at the end of its meeting held on 23 and 24 December in Algiers, in which it listed a number of demands. Among these demands was tenure for permanent researchers in the civil service, a policy which was suspended in 2008, and the immediate review of the status of permanent researchers. The researchers also requested a revision of salary scales to guarantee dignity to permanent researchers, an end to discrimination between the sectors of scientific research, a review of salaries for academics, the establishment of a permanent scientific research and technology ministry that includes all scientific research institutions, an end to the ‘marginalisation’ of permanent research and the right of researchers to access continuous training.
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