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.

ICRISAT and RUFORUM meet to consolidate partnership for Agricultural Research and Human Capacity Development


Dr. David J. Bergvinson (Centre) with RUFORUM and ICRISAT staff at the RUFORUM Secretariat

Dr. David J. Bergvinson (Centre) with RUFORUM and ICRISAT staff at the RUFORUM Secretariat

The RUFORUM Secretariat was privileged to host Dr. David J. Bergvinson, the Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Dr. Bergvinson was accompanied by Dr. Patrick Okori, Principal Scientist at ICRISAT Malawi, and Dr. Moses Siambi, the Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, ICRISAT. This event took place on the 17th November, 2016 at the RUFORUM Secretariat.

Dr. Bergvinson’s visit to the Secretariat follows previous discussions between the CGIAR Centers and Sub-Regional and National Research Organizations in Africa. This discussions took place at the recently concluded fifth African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, 17th – 21st October 2016.

During this visit, the two institutions agreed to explore collaborations in the a number of areas including; mapping out the agricultural human capacity needs in the RUFORUM and ICRISAT member countries; deployment of ICTs in agricultural training, research and extension; Intensifying research on Climate change especially climate smart agriculture, “orphaned” crops and nutritional security; establishing business incubation and entrepreneurship mentorship programmes and attachment of graduate students to ICRISAT research programmes.

The operationalization of the above focus areas will be guided by the existing Memorandum of Understanding signed by ICRISAT and RUFORUM in September 2014. These focus areas will build on PhD and MSc training and research internships currently being implemented by the two institutions. Click here to download the full press release.

African Union Chairperson announces a Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government to Champion Higher Education in Africa


Her Excellency Dr. Nkosasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the fifth Biennial Conference and Higher Education Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo Credit: Aletta Harrison

Her Excellency Dr. Nkosasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the fifth Biennial Conference and Higher Education Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo Credit: Aletta Harrison

Ten African Heads of State and Government have been constituted into a Committee to champion Higher Education, Science and Technology in Africa, as part of the efforts to strengthen the role of Science and Technology to enhance the realization of economic growth on the continent.

This announcement was made by Her Excellency, Dr. Nkosasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the opening Ceremony of the Regional University Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Fifth Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week, 2016. The event took place on the 18th October, 2016 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Committee of 10, will support the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa and ensure that Science, Technology and Innovation can be used to drive economic growth in Africa.

The Committee of 10 will be coordinated by the His Excellency Macky Sall, President of Senegal and include two Heads of State from each of the five African regions. Below is the list of the 10 Heads of State;

No. Region Country Member
1.        West Africa

 

Senegal President Macky Sall
2.        Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Karoma
3.        North Africa

 

Egypt President Abdel Fattah El Sisi
4.        Tunisia President Beji Caid Essebsi
5.        Southern Africa Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika
6.        Namibia President Have Geingob
7.        Eastern Africa Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta
8.        Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
9.        Central Africa Chad President Idriss Deby Itno
10.    Gabon President Bongo Odimba

The RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Prof. Mabel Imbuga thanked the African Union for putting in place the Committee of 10, which she heralded as a major milestone in the efforts to achieve Agenda 2063 – Building the Africa We want.

She confirmed the readiness of the RUFORUM Network to implement actions to strengthen Higher Education and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) development in Africa. Click here to download the full press release.