Building on foundations: CTA-RUFORUM’s partnership


This article has been republished from the CTA Website at: http://www.cta.int/en/article/2015-10-09/building-on-foundations-cta-ruforumrs-partnership.html

CTA congratulates the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) on the successful organisation of its side event at the 70th United Nations General Assembly to launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in New York. This significant undertaking in RUFORUM’s 2015 calendar of events, ‘A Strategy to Strengthen Higher Education in Africa for implementation of the SDGs’ was hosted by the President of Malawi, His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who is a renowned champion of higher education, science and technology.

The RUFORUM UN SDG side event built on the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference on Higher Education in Agriculture in Africa, which was hosted by RUFORUM and the Ugandan Government during 14-19th November 2010, with CTA as a partner. It was at this key event that African ministers of agriculture, higher education, finance and planning, and science and technology, met with other stakeholders and university leaders committed to supporting innovation in higher education. This mandate was renewed in 2014 by the African Union Commission during the RUFORUM 10th Biennial meeting in Maputo, Mozambique where RUFORUM was identified as the continental champion for promoting higher education, science, technology, and innovation for Africa’s development. During a 2-day pre-conference side event, CTA in collaboration with RUFORUM introduced over 40 deans and senior university officials to the Auditing Instrument for Food Security in Higher Education (AIFSHE) tool, to garner their feedback on its utility and the agreed methodology for increasing university engagement, quality and relevance in addressing food and nutrition security challenges.

CTA’s collaboration with RUFORUM has deepened since it began in 2004; the regional network now has 55 member universities in 22 countries across Eastern, Central, Southern and West Africa. CTA provides an important global perspective on RUFORUM’s international advisory panel and has also successfully partnered with RUFORUM to build capacity for strengthening agricultural science technology and innovation systems and in undertaking joint research projects. Together, CTA, RUFORUM and other African and international partners organised the three widely-acclaimed biennial Africa-wide women and young professionals in science competitions. The winners were announced at the African Union Commission in Ethiopia in 2008 and FARA General Assemblies in Burkina Faso in 2010 and in Ghana in 2013.

CTA

CTA’s recent Joint Capacity-Centred Impact Pathway Analysis (CcIPA) impact study revealed that RUFORUM partnership activities with CTA, as well as with other organisations, have triggered a number of successful outcomes at member universities, as well for individual staff members, encouraging innovation and forward-thinking in policy and practice in teaching, research and outreach/extension; and as a result, engineered an improved focus on tertiary agricultural education across the ACP region. For example, the RUFORUM model was shared with the Pacific region to support the launch of the Pacific Islands University Research Network (PIURN).

CTA and RUFORUM have also collaborated in organising Web 2.0 training sessions and capacity building for information, communication and knowledge management experts.

With over a decade of fruitful collaboration, the CTA-RUFORUM partnership is instrumental for ensuring continuous innovation in tertiary education, extension and science and technology policy for boosting African agriculture.

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