Skilling graduates to support multidisciplinary research – RUFORUM trains 100


The Master of Science Degree in Research Methods hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is one of the six collaborative regional master’s degree programmes established by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). Launched in 2009, the programme was established in response to the large unmet demand in the labour market for professionals skilled in agricultural research methods. In November 2016, the programme graduated 14 master’s students which brings to 100 the total number of graduates who have been equipped with interdisciplinary research methodology skills. The graduates have been drawn from Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The 2016 MSc Research Methods graduates at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology categorised by gender and nationality

No. Name Country Gender
1 Immaculee Abingoye  Mayugi Burundi Female
2 Funga Assefa Ethiopia Male
3 Jirata Megersa Tadesse Ethiopia Male
4 Caroline Oywer Kenya Female
5 Somanje  Chifuniro Malawi Female
6 Sophia Isala Namibia Female
7 Donatien Ntawuruhunga Rwanda Male
8 Christopher  Joice South Sudan Female
9 Martin Mwale Zambia Male
10 Johnson Kimambo Tanzania Male
11 Mdemu  Siha Tanzania Male
12 Efrance  Najjuma Uganda Female
13 Wilson Mambo Uganda Male
14 Alma Muropa Zimbabwe Female

Graduates from the course have returned to their home countries and constitute a pool of mid-level practical professionals engaging in policy analysis, research, graduate teaching in Biostatistics and Biometry, consultancy services in data analysis and reporting, and design of Monitoring and Evaluation tools for impact evaluation. Some of the graduates have opted to further advance their qualifications in the field and enrolled for PhD programmes.

The multidisciplinary competence of the graduates is reinforced by unique attributes in the curriculum delivery which include:

  1. Modular course approach taught by a wide range of experts not only from the host university – JKUAT, but also from other universities within the RUFORUM Network and other institutions across the region, such as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an international organisation supporting research for development
  2. Collaboration with international experts in teaching, mentorship and supervision through the Moodle platform, a web-based learning management system
  3. Learning from the field through student internships and attachments oriented towards practical and problem solving experience

RUFORUM acknowledges financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union ACP-EU EDULINK Programme and EU-Intra African Academic Mobility in implementing the MSc Research Methods Programme

Related stories on the impact of the MSc Research Methods:

Profiles of the 14 MSc Research Methods students who graduated in November, 2016

abingoyeAbingoye Mayugi Immaculée is a Burundian. She graduated with a Bachelor’s (Engineering) Degree in Agriculture Sciences from the Catholic University of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. After completing her studies, she worked at World Vision in Burundi as a Food Monitor (2007-2008). From 2009 to April 2010, she worked as a Counselor in the Minister’s office at the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism in Burundi. She thereafter joined ISABU (the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Burundi) as a researcher in the Rural Socioeconomics Programme. At ISABU, she also served as the institute’s  focal point on a joint project with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) on “Enhancing Farm Productivity in Smallholder Agrosilvopastoral Systems in the Communes of Busoni and Bugabira, Kirundo Province, and in Bubanza Commune, Bubanza Province, Burundi”. In 2016, she completed an MSc in Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology supported by RUFORUM. Email: immayugi68@gmail.com

assefaAssefa Funga Alemu is an Ethiopian. He graduated from Addis Ababa University in 2007 with a BSc degree (Information Systems major). He also earned a Diploma in General Agriculture from Awassa College of Agriculture, Ethiopia, in September 1996. Since the completion of his BSc degree, he has been working for the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research in different positions. From February 2011 to date, he has been working as a Senior Research Technician at Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, carrying out various activities like supervising field research operations as well as collecting, organizing, summarizing, presenting and analyzing research data using agriculture statistical software such as Agrobase, SAS, and SPSS. Prior to that, he worked as an ICT expert at Werer Agricultural Research Center where he was in charge of maintaining computer networks and related computing environments. Early in his career, he served as Junior Technical Assistant at Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center for about twelve years from 1997 to 2009. He is an active member of the Workers Credit and Saving Society and served as a secretary of the society for several terms. Awarded a scholarship opportunity from RUFORUM, Assefa Funga Alemu graduated with a Master of Science in Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Email: assefalem2@gmail.com

megersaMegersa Jirata Tadesse is an Ethiopian. He graduated with a BSc Statistics degree, with distinction, from the Wollega University of Ethiopia in 2010. Because of his excellent academic performance, the Ethiopian Ministry of Education appointed him as an Instructor at Dilla University in Ethiopia. Megersa has worked as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Statistics at Dilla University since 2010. His duties include teaching undergraduate courses in the departments of Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Agricultural Science, Engineering and Health Sciences, among others. He has also taught distance learning courses at Dilla University, Hawasa University, Jimma University and other private colleges, and participated in several national and international symposia. Megersa was a member of Dilla University’s Committee for Curriculum Development, Revision, Evaluation and Harmonization, the Exam Evaluation Committee, and the university research team. He has published two papers in international journals and two others are under review. He is a member of the Central Statistical Agency, Ethiopian Statistician Association, Ethiopian Mathematical Society, and Ethiopian Teachers Association. Megersa graduated with an MSc student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, with sponsorship from RUFORUM. Email: magetade2003@gmail.com

carolineCaroline Anyango Oywer is a Kenyan. She graduated with a BSc Mass Communications degree, majoring in Public Relations, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in 2013. Prior to enrolling for the MSc in Research Methods, Caroline worked at JKUAT as a Clerk in the Department of Electrical and Electronics. During her third year of undergraduate study, she was attached to Farmers’ Voice Radio, a project in Kenya which disseminates agricultural information. While there, she sensitised local farmers on the importance of radio as a tool of communication, linked them to agricultural information through radio, and helped identify the key farming innovations from the community; recording them to be aired in the local radio programmes. She loves to share her knowledge and presented a paper at a conference of the School of Human Resource on the topic, “The impact of Corporate Social Responsibility activities of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture to the Juja Community”. She has also written an article about thunderstorms which was published in Agritech, the University magazine. Email: akaro2006@yahoo.com

chifuniroChifuniro Somanje is a Malawian. She graduated with a BSc degree  in Agribusiness Management from the University of Malawi in 2010. She worked with Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security since July 2011 as an Agribusiness Officer until she enrolled for her MSc degree in Research Methods. In collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Policy Advocacy, she also worked on a community economic empowerment project to improve the marketing of citrus fruits in Mwanza District in Malawi. She has attended a number of short courses in India and Malawi on new dimensions of agriculture extension and export marketing research ethics. Chifuniro has participated in several consultancies such as “Value Chain Analysis in Paprika and Bird’s Eye Chilies”, funded by Total Landcare Malawi under the University of Malawi’s Centre for Agricultural Research and Development. She was responsible for policy reviews and data management. She was also involved in “Legumes’ Value Chain Analysis”, funded by the Soil Fertility Consortium of Southern Africa where she was the first editor of the final research report. Chifuniro obtained an MSc in Research Methods from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in 2016, under sponsorship from RUFORUM. Email: funisomanje@gmail.com.

sophiaSophia Mapaze Isala is a Namibian. She graduated with a BSc degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Namibia in 2012. For her undergraduate research she evaluated the effects of flagellated feed (algae) on the growth rate of pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). Sophia taught Biological and Life Science at Maria Mwengere Senior Secondary School in Namibia in 2012, before moving on to Sauyemwa Combined School in 2013 where she taught English and Basic Information Science. Immediately prior to enrolling for an MSc in Research Methods in 2014, she worked as a Fisheries Research Technician at Namibia’s National Institute for Research and Information Resource Center (NATMIRC) in 2014. She has attended short trainings in stock assessment, solid waste management and participated in the Biomass Determination Survey at Sea for NATMIRC. Sophia completed a Master of Science Degree in Research Methods in 2016 from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, sponsored by RUFORUM. Email: isisophia800@gmail.com

donatienDonatien Ntawuruhunga is a Rwandan national. He graduated with a BSc in Economics and Management from the Kigali Independent University, Rwanda, in 2008. For his BSc research, he evaluated the correlation between foreign direct investments and the economic growth in Rwanda. In 2009, after completing his undergraduate studies, he was employed by the College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) of the University of Rwanda as Planning Officer. His duties covered different aspects of planning, monitoring and evaluation, and his portfolio included research and development projects developed by the College. As Planning Officer, he also represented the institution at agriculture forums within the Province. Donatien has provided consultancy services in project proposal development to various local NGOs operating in a range of development fields including agriculture, climate change, environmental conservation, and social inclusion. On many occasions, he has played the role of assistant coach and facilitator in workshops on HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence, organized by the Federation of Reformed Churches in Rwanda. He has also played the role of coach and facilitator in institutional strategic plan drafting, policy drafting, and annual budgeting. Within the mandate of the college extension services, Donatien has in the past trained farmers in the community around CAVM on how to develop small scale projects, market their produce, and manage co-operatives. He has attended a number of short courses on project development and investment appraisal and one on Geographical Information Systems. The latter course enabled him to map all information on the College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine as part of a survey by the Ministry of Education to locate all higher learning institutions in Rwanda. Donatien is a basketball player and embraces diversity and freedom to work in a multi-cultural environment. In 2016, with sponsorship from RUFORUM, he completed an MSc in Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Email: ntawdon@gmail.com or ntaw@webmail.co.za.

martinMartin Mukosha Mwale is a Zambian. In 2009, he graduated with a BSc degree  in Agriculture Science (Animal Science major) from the University of Zambia. Martin also holds a Diploma in Fisheries Sciences, obtained from the Natural Resources Development College in 2001.  He worked as an Extension Assistant in the Forestry Department from 2002 to 2005 before joining the Department of Fisheries as an Aqua Culturist. He rose through the ranks to become an Aquaculture Research Officer. In 2011, he was confirmed as Senior Aquaculture Research Officer responsible for fish breeding, fish nutrition, fish health, small water bodies management, adaptive research, pond limnology, research publications, and monitoring and evaluation of aquaculture research trials. He has attended a number of short courses on facilitation skills and implementation of agriculture as a business, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative in Zambia. Martin graduated in November 2016 with a Master of Science in Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology under RUFORUM Sponsorship. Email: mukoshamwale@gmail.com/ mukoshamwale@yahoo.com

johnsonJohnson James Kimambo is a Tanzanian. In 2008, he graduated from Sokoine University of Agriculture with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Co-operative Accounting and Management. Johnson worked as a tutorial assistant in the Department of Co-operative Development and Management from 2009 until he became Assistant Lecturer in 2011. He has conducted trainings for small-scale farmers in different regions of Tanzania in collaboration with local and international organizations like the Canadian Co-operative Association, International Labour Organization, International Development Research Centre, World Vision, Farm Concern, Lutheran World Relief, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation and VECO. He has also attended short courses on Agriculture Financing in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Johnson completed an MSc Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in 2016 under RUFORUM sponsorship. Email: johnson.kimambo@muccobs.ac.tz or kimambojohnson1@gmail.com

sihaSiha Yusufu Mdemu is a Tanzanian. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania in 2005 and attended short courses on laboratory diagnostics and research.. Siha worked as a veterinary practitioner with El-Shaddai Veterinary Services from 2005 to 2012 where his responsibilities included conducting field diagnoses and treatment of animal diseases; providing veterinary consultation services to farmers; supervising and monitoring of storage, prescription, and dispensing of veterinary pharmaceuticals; writing of diagnostic reports and carrying out internship training for undergraduate veterinary students. Since 2012, he has been working as a Veterinary Research Officer at the Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency. In addition, he has been teaching courses on Immunology and Microbiology to certificate and diploma students at the Livestock Institute of Training Agency. Siha completed an MSc in Research Methods from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology under RUFORUM sponsorship. Email: sihamdemu@yahoo.com

najjumaNajjuma Efrance is a Ugandan. She graduated with a BSc in Agriculture   from Gulu University, Uganda, in 2013. Immediately after completion of her degree, she was employed as a Research Assistant at her alma mater where she worked from June 2013 to April 2014. A recipient of a RUFORUM scholarship, she completed an MSc in Research Methods from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in 2016. Email: efrancenajjuma@gmail.com

Mambo Wilson is a Ugandan. He graduated with a BSc in Biosystems Engineering from Gulu University in 2013. Having completed his undergraduate studies, he worked as a Research Assistant at Gulu University’s Faculty of Agriculture and Environment from August 2013 to May 2014. Subsequently he then enrolled for an MSc in Research Methods, under RUFORUM Scholarship, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He graduated in 2016. Email: mambowilson@gmail.com

almaAlma Tariro Muropa is a Zimbabwean. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) Statistics in 2013 at the University of Zimbabwe and holds an Executive Certificate in Project and Programme Monitoring and Evaluation from the same university. From January to June 2014, she worked under the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe as a Data Clerk based at Mutare Provincial Hospital. There she specialised in HIV/TB patient data management. She also worked as a Statistics Tutor at the Zimbabwe Open University during this period. She obtained a two-year scholarship from RUFORUM in 2014 to study for an MSc in Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and completed in 2016. Email: muropaalma@gmail.com

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