CONSULTANCY: Terms of Reference to Support the Development of a Book on Tertiary Agricultural Education in Africa


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has witnessed significant expansion over the past five years. From its creation with 10 members, the Consortium now has a membership of 66 African universities with operations across 26 countries on the continent spanning Eastern, Central, Southern and Western Africa, with a vision ‘to create a vibrant agricultural sector linked to African universities which produce high performing graduates and high quality research responsive to the demands of Africa’s farmers for innovations and able to generate sustainable livelihoods and national economic development’. Programmatically, RUFORUM has also evolved to meet the demands of African universities and to ensure that services are aligned to the needs of members. In 2014, RUFORUM signed a cooperation agreement with the African Union to support the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024) and more specifically, the STISA Pillar 1 on Poverty Eradication and food and nutrition security. The Pillar 1 of STISA is directly linked to the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A).

In 2015, RUFORUM launched its Strategic Business Plan for 2015-2020 highlighting important new innovations to strengthen business focus and enhance delivery of its mission. The Plan recognized the evolutionary nature of the agricultural higher education sector and called for greater understanding of the tertiary education sector, including a greater understanding by the network of the university sector in Africa including pipelines from the secondary, vocational and post-doctoral sector. The contextual underpinning for RUFORUM’s work also continues to evolve. New and emerging challenges such as youth unemployment and related agribusiness strategies, the energy crises, climate change, urbanization and globalization all require that higher education systems are realigned to enhance their responsiveness to clients and to ensure that graduates are appropriately skilled for deployment into research and development institutions across the continent.

In 2016, RUFORUM received a grant from the MasterCard Foundation. The overall objective of the Project entitled ‘Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development’ (or TAGDev) is to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. The Project is expected to lead to economic growth and development and sustainable livelihoods in Africa. This project will contribute significantly to efforts aimed at escalating skilled human resources and capacity to meet the AU Agenda 2063 as well as other frameworks such as the STISA 2024, S3A and CAADP. The Program will extend the reach of the university into marginalized communities and provide transformative education that will develop the leaders and innovators to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa. The TAgDev Program will undertake  four broad activities: 1) Pilot a new model of agricultural education at early adopter universities that connects tertiary agricultural education to rural communities, with an emphasis on smallholder farmers; 2) Strengthen agribusiness/entrepreneurship at two universities and selected TVET institutions; 3) Scale the new model for agricultural education to other agricultural universities and TVET institutions; and, 4) Increase collaboration and mutual learning among institutions and agencies implementing and influencing innovative Tertiary Agricultural Education for rural transformation in Africa.


Within the RUFORUM constituency, there is clear recognition of the need for greater analysis, understanding and reflection of the tertiary education space to guide development and optimization of strategies required to achieve RUFORUM vision and mission, including informing its business plan. Trends at the global level, and indeed continental and national levels continue to evolve and yet analyses are usually inadequate. A few recent publications have been particularly useful to provide important information on the agricultural and higher education sectors. For example, the recent book on “Agricultural research in Africa: Investing in future harvests” which was published by the International Food Policy Research Institute through its Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators Program provided important information on ‘key strategies to address current limitations and inefficiencies in agricultural R&D financing, human resources, organization and management, and systems-level structuring for continued growth’. The focus was broadly on the agriculture and innovation with a chapter dedicated to capacity building efforts in Africa. An earlier book sponsored by the World Bank on ‘Cultivating Knowledge and Skills to Grow African Agriculture: A Synthesis of an Institutional, Regional, and International Review’ provided analysis on the need for skills in growing agriculture in Africa.

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DAAD-RUFORUM In-Country /In-Region Doctoral Scholarships available for 2017/2018 Academic intake year


Advertisement release Date:  12th January 2017

DAAD-RUFORUM In-Country[1]/In-Region[2] Doctoral Scholarships available for 2017/2018 Academic intake year

About the Call

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM[3]) Secretariat is pleased to announce the fifth round of PhD scholarships available through the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) funding support. These scholarships are targeting both in-country/in-region (sub-Saharan Africa) applicants to support selected RUFORUM regional PhD Programmes in the Eastern and Central Africa (ECA). The scholarships are tenable for the 2017/18 academic period.  DAAD promotes international academic exchange as well as educational cooperation with developing countries through various funding and scholarship programmes. The PhD training programmes will commence in September 2017; therefore, only candidates available to start the PhD training this September 2017 need to apply.

List of Eligible Programmes/ Study fields

The call is open to students who are interested/ registered in the following programmes:

  • PhD in Life Sciences at Nelson Mandela African Institution of Sciences and Technology  – Tanzania ( 2 in-region)
  • PhD in Food Science and Nutrition at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology – Kenya (1 in-region & 1 in-country)
  • PhD in Plant Breeding & Biotechnology – Makerere University, Uganda(1 in-region & 1 in-country);
  • PhD Agricultural and Rural Innovations at Makerere University, Uganda (1 in-region & 1 in- country)

Details about the above four programmes are available at

Applications are invited from qualified candidates in relevant disciplines (the last university degree (MSc) must have been completed less than six years ago at the time of application) from Sub Saharan Africa.  Female applicants, candidates from less privileged regions or groups as well as candidates with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply. It is important to note that applicants with other funding sources for their PhD programmes will not be considered for the DAAD/RUFORUM scholarships.

[1] In-Country Scholarships are meant ONLY for applicants from Countries hosting programmes listed above

[2] In-Region Scholarships are meant for applicants from all over Sub-Sahara Africa wishing to study at one of RUFORUM regional Programmes mentioned above.

[3] see for details

Click here to download the full call.

Apply Now: The MasterCard Foundation at RUFORUM Scholarship Award 2017/2018


Background: The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, Gulu University and Egerton University are implementing an eight year program aimed at transforming African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. This is eight year program (2016-2024) and will be supporting students that are economically disadvantaged, those from post-conflict and conflict affected areas of Africa. Interested applicants will undertake their training at Gulu University and Egerton University.

Eligible Programmes: The RUFORUM Technical Committee (RTC) has identified the following priority programs for the academic year 2017/2018 as eligible for application and to be supported.
Gulu University
1. Bachelor of Science in Agri-Entrepreneurship and Communication
2. Bachelor of Science in Food and Agribusiness
3. Master of Science in Food Security and Community Nutrition
4. Master of Science in Agri-Enterprises Development
Egerton University
1. Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
2. Bachelor of Science in Animal Science
3. Master of Science in Community Studies and Extension
4. Master of Science in Agri-Enterprise Development

Who is Eligible to apply:
This scholarship opportunity is open to African students of all race, colour, dissent and who in particular are economically disadvantaged and those coming from conflict and post-conflict areas of Africa. The applicant has to be in position to qualify for admission into undergraduate and/or postgraduate programs at Gulu University and/or Egerton University as listed above. Students already having a scholarship of any kind are not eligible to benefit this scholarship opportunity anyone with a double scholarship if found will automatically be discontinued. Read more

Important downloads:

  1. RUFORUM Announcement
  2. RUFORUM Application form
  3. Egerton University Announcement
  4. Egerton University Masters Application form
  5. Egerton University Undergraduate form
  6. Gulu University Announcement
  7. Gulu University Masters Application form
  8. Gulu University Undergraduate Application form

Open Call For Proposals: Field Attachment Program Award (FAPA)


Proposals will be accepted throughout 2017

The Field Attachment Program Award (FAPA) is a competitive grants program designed as graduate student internship to link thesis research findings and recommendations to application and use at community level. The FAPA grants are intended to provide opportunity for dissemination of research outputs with a view to inform policy development and hone students’ skills in working with communities to use the research outputs that have been generated.

The FAPA is exclusively targeting RUFORUM supported MSc students who are in the process of finalising (completed MSc thesis and submitted for examination) their MSc level training.

The Field Attachment Awards (FAPA) are designed to encourage students to follow through with the dissemination of their research and to enable them to link more closely with the agencies working in the area where their research was carried out. It is established for those students who have developed a useful intervention, product or service as part of their Project and who have handed in their thesis, have no more stipend due from the GRG or CARP, but who could make a more meaningful impact if they stay on for a few more months and provide advisory services related to their research. Each applicant is expected to provide a short motivation that outlines what they will be doing, how it will contribute to the communities, and also to the graduate’s own development.

The FAPA is designed to give students real world experience and contacts with development and advisory agencies. All applications will be required to have a supporting letter from their Supervisor and from the Dean of Faculty, and applications will be strengthened if they also have a commitment letter from the community and or/ a government agency, NGO, or a private company that they will be hosting the student for their FAPA activities.

The award provides only for a living stipend and limited travel for three to four months. It is designed to link the student closely with a service provider in the area and to give them work experience.

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