RUFORUM Annual General Meeting 2017 to be held 26th-28th October, 2017 in Lilongwe, Malawi


Bingu International Conference Centre, venue for the RUFORUM Annual General Meeting. Photo Credit: BICC

RUFORUM is pleased to announce its 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held 26th-28th October 2017 at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi. The AGM will be hosted by the Government of Malawi and RUFORUM member universities in Malawi. His Excellency, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, the President of the Republic of Malawi will be the guest of honour for the event.

Participation at the Annual General Meeting is expected from the 66 Vice Chancellors of member universities, over 80 Deans and Principals, university staff and key stakeholders. The RUFORUM AGM is the overarching organ of the RUFORUM network that meets annually to review the previous year’s activities approve RUFORUM Secretariat activities for the running fiscal year; 2017/18 in this case. Other RUFORUM Governance Organs (the Board and its committees) will also meet during the AGM. For example, the RUFORUM Deans and Principals will meet to share experiences and lessons from there training and research activities.

RUFORUM will also recognise higher education achievers through the IMPRESSA Awards and outstanding farmers. The IMPRESSA Awards recognize outstanding university scientists making significant contribution in agricultural Research and Science for Development in Africa. Nominations will close on the 31st July, 2017.

Click here to download the full press release: RUFORUM Press Release_AGM2017

Positioning Academia to respond to Africa’s growing demand through Skills Development – The African Economic Platform


As part of implementing the Agenda 2063, the African Union Commission held its first African Economic Platform (AEP) in Port Louis, Mauritius 19 to 21 March, 2017. The Platform brought together Senior Africa policy makers, Academia, and Business as a means of gaining a collectively owned framework for supporting development in the continent with commitment from African leaders.

The dialogue focused on four themes; Skills Development; Expanding Opportunities for Intra African Trade; Industrialization and Regional Value Chains; and Free Movement of People. Three of these themes directly relate to RUFORUM’s thrusts, i.e., Skills development, Promoting academic mobility across the continent and strengthening regional value chains. RUFORUM delegation led by the RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Prof. Mabel Imbuga represented academia. Prof. Imbuga led the discussion on Industrialization and Regional Value Chains, while Dr Moses Osiru, RUFORUM Deputy Executive Secretary, participated in the session on  Skills development and free movement of people, a theme that directly relate to the  RUFORUM initiative on promoting academic mobility across the continent through the RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship programme (GTA) and the Regional Centres of Excellence. The GTA was established by RUFORUM Vice Chancellors (66 from 26 African countries) to increase the pool of PhD trained staff by training their staff in other RUFORUM member universities. Under the GTA arrangement the receiving university waives fees and provides accommodation for the academic staff from another university, while the sending university pays for upkeep and research of its staff under training. The programme aims to train 325 PhD staff over the next five years.

His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, the newly appointed AU Commission chairperson welcomed the initiative of the African Economic Platform as it will facilitate the implementation of the Africa Agenda 2063 framework. “We can reach that tipping point of sustained growth and transformation”, he said.

During the closing ceremony, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, the Executive Secretary of RUFORUM thanked the African Union for setting up the Committee of 10 African Heads of State to champion Education, Science and Technology development in the continent under coordination of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. The Committee of 10 Heads of State will meet in Malawi in June 2017 at the invitation of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, and the meeting will involve academia, private sector leaders and other High Networth persons.

Above from Left to Right: Prof. Amadou Tidiane – Vice Chancellor of University Sine Saloum El hadj Ibrahima NIASS (Senegal), Dr. Moses Osiru- Deputy Executive Secretary of RUFORUM, H.E Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim President of Mauritius, Mr. Tony Elumelu-African Philanthropist (Nigeria), Prof. Mary Okwakol- Vice Chancellor of Busitema University (Uganda) and Prof. Adipala Ekwamu-Executive Secretary of RUFORUM at the State House meeting in Mauritius during the AEP Week.

In his vote of thanks, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu urged African Governments to increase investments in Higher Education in Africa and to provide an enabling environment for private sector engagement to support Africa’s development.  He further urged the private sector to engage with African Universities to support their business research, and to help the universities train for the market. He further noted with appreciation efforts of Mr. Tony Elumelu’ s Foundation  to skill 10,000 young entrepreneurs and creating over 1 million jobs for Africa.

Download full Press Release here.

The MasterCard Foundation supported TAGDev Project Website launched


tagdev

In June 2016, the MasterCard Foundation signed agreement with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) to strengthen efforts to connect university education to the needs of rural communities. The eight year project “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev)” is being implemented by RUFORUM and its member universities, with focus on Gulu University in Uganda and Egerton University in Kenya.

The TAGDev website will provide a portal for sharing updates on the Project, including the activities of the students who will be supported. The website hopes to demonstrate impact stories of community transformation. The website can be accessed at http://www.ruforum.org/MCF/. To keep updated with the latest discussions from this initiative, please follow the #TAGDev online discussions on social media. Click here to download the full press release.

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Six staff appointed at the RUFORUM Secretariat


The RUFORUM Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of six staff at the RUFORUM Secretariat: Mrs. Sylvia Chindime Mkandawire is the Programme Manager for Training and Quality Assurance and Dr. Solange Uwituze is the Programme Manager for Partnerships and Business Management. Under The MCF@RUFORUM project, Dr. Anthony Egeru is the Manager of MCF@RUFORUM, Dr. Rukarwa Runyararo Jolyn is the Research and Grants Officer, Dr. Sylvanus Mensah is the Recruitment and Training Officer and Ms. Angoku Loyce, is the Senior Finance Officer. Brief biodata for each one of them is presented below;

sylviaMrs. Sylvia Chindime Mkandawire, a Malawian, is the recently appointed Programme Manager for Training and Quality Assurance at the RUFORUM Secretariat. Sylvia has over 11 years of work experience in Higher Education and capacity building related initiatives. She has previously served as Training Officer at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Lecturer at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), and an independent consultant for dairy promotion programmes in Malawi. Sylvia has managed 11 multi donor capacity building projects in Africa, has vast experience in coordination of intra African academic mobility for students and staff, spearheaded postgraduate quality assurance among the RUFORUM member universities, scholarship management systems, curriculum reviews and development. Sylvia has publications in the field of agriculture rural innovations and capacity building initiatives in Africa and is a RUFORUM alumni.

solangeDr. Solange Uwituze, a Rwandese is the new Programme Manager for Partnerships and Business Management at the RUFORUM Secretariat. She previously served as the Programme Manager for Training and Quality Assurance at the same Organisation. Prior to joining RUFORUM, she served as a Lecturer and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture – National University of Rwanda. Dr. Uwituze is well published in the area of beef cattle nutrition and to a lesser extent the dairy sector. She has successfully led development of multimillion US Dollar projects and has extensive experience in leadership and management of various multilateral Capacity Building projects. Dr Uwituze is a Founding Fellow of the Rwanda Academy of Science.

anthonyDr. Egeru Anthony,  a Ugandan is the Manager of The MCF@RUFORUM project, an eight year project funded by The MasterCard Foundation to strengthen the effectiveness of university contribution to development through skills development particularly entrepreneurship of talented, motivated and disadvantaged youth in Africa. He previously served as Assistant Grants Manager at RUFORUM Secretariat, Lecturer at Makerere University and a secondary school teacher at Merryland High School, Entebbe. Anthony is a distinguished academic with a Research Gate Score of 10.34 and h-index of 4 and 13,710 reads and reviews in Academia. Anthony has multi-faceted experience in research including in systems ecology with a focus on management of dryland ecosystems, early warning system, rangeland health monitoring, land use planning, pastoral livelihoods, agro-forestry systems, climate change, adaptation and resilience programming and analysis, development processes-especially participatory analysis and curriculum design and development.

jolynDr. Rukarwa Runyararo Jolyn, a Zimbabwean, is the Research and Grants Officer for The MCF@RUFORUM project at the RUFORUM Secretariat.  She holds a PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology (Makerere University, 2014), Post graduate Diploma-Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology (Ghent University, Belgium, 2010), MSc. Crop Science majoring in Biotechnology (Makerere University, 2008) and BSc. in Agriculture (Hons) (University of Zimbabwe, 2005). Runyararo started her career as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Zimbabwe (2007) before joining the International Potato Centre in Uganda in 2013 and later served as a part time Lecturer at Kyambogo University (2015) and a visiting Lecturer at the Makerere University Centre for Crop Improvement in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). She also served as a Programme Management Assistant for an international programme entitled Agricultural Investors as Development Actors (AIDA). Runyararo has extensive experience in research in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, but has also obtained a wealth of experience in administration and coordination of research projects. Runyararo is a dedicated and technically skilled professional with a versatile administrative support skill set developed through experience as an intern student at the RUFORUM Secretariat.

sylvanusDr. Sylvanus Mensah, a Beninese is the Recruitment and Training Officer for The MCF@RUFORUM project. He holds a PhD in Forestry (University of Stellenbosch, 2016); MSc. in Natural Resources Management (2013) and BSc. in Agricultural Sciences (2010) at University of Abomey-Calavi. Dr Sylvanus Mensah started his career as Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Applied Ecology at the University of Abomey-Calavi. He later joined the Laboratory of Biomathematics and Forest Estimations of the University of Abomey-Calavi as the Assistant-Head of the research unit. Dr. Mensah is an agricultural engineer who shifted a bit to study natural resources management and forestry where most of his research studies were conducted. For the past four years, he was involved in research projects in Benin and South Africa on several aspects of natural forest ecosystems, including forest ecology and management, forest estimations and precision, biology conservation, ethnoecology, ecosystem services, biomass modelling and climate change, functional ecology and forest productivity. He has authored a number of publications in international peer-review journals.

loyceMs. Angoku Loyce, a Ugandan, is the Senior Finance Officer for The MCF@RUFORUM project and is a member of the Chartered Public Accountants of Uganda (CPA). She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting option) obtained in 2004 from Makerere University Business School. Loyce Angoku has twelve years of experience in broad areas of general banking operations having built a career in the sector while working at Centenary Bank in Uganda. While she started as a banking officer in 2005, her zeal, professionalism and positive attitude saw her rise through the ladder to the level of Assistant Manager in 2016. At RUFORUM Secretariat she is responsible for managing the financial issues of The MCF@RUFORUM project.

To download the full press release, please click here.