Stellenbosch University plays host to agricultural leaders and students as part of RUFORUM programme


Among the deans attending the event were (from left) Mick Sikaenyi Mwala of the University of Zambia, outgoing RUFORUM Dean’s Forum Chair Simon Angombe of the University of Namibia, RUFORUM programme manager Solange Uwituze, Agnes Mwangwela of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Khumoetsile Mmolawa of the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Prof Danie Brink, acting dean of the SU Department of AgriSciences and incoming chair of the RUFORUM Dean’s Forum. Photo: Engela Duvenage

Among the deans attending the event were (from left) Mick Sikaenyi Mwala of the University of Zambia, outgoing RUFORUM Dean’s Forum Chair Simon Angombe of the University of Namibia, RUFORUM programme manager Solange Uwituze, Agnes Mwangwela of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Khumoetsile Mmolawa of the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Prof Danie Brink, acting dean of the SU Department of AgriSciences and incoming chair of the RUFORUM Dean’s Forum. Photo: Engela Duvenage

Stellenbosch University (SU) was the meeting place for a host of current and future leaders in agricultural higher education and research in Africa – from deans and vice-chancellors to undergraduate and PhD students. They visited campus on Monday as part of the 5th African Higher Agricultural Education Week and the Biennial Conference of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

Stellenbosch University is one of six South African RUFORUM member universities to co-organise the week long event, which is being held in Cape Town. The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and the Centre for Coordinating Agricultural Research in Southern Africa (CCARDESA) are also co-organisers. This year’s theme is “Linking Agricultural Universities with Civil Society, Private Sector, Governments and other Stakeholders in support of Agricultural Development in Africa”. The conference will among others be addressed by the chair of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the president of the Republic of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, South African cabinet ministers and the vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Prof Wim de Villiers.

The week’s activities started on Monday with a series of meetings and talk across campus.

According to RUFORUM executive secretary Prof Adipala Ekwamu, academic leaders of more than 40 institutions on the continent gathered at STIAS to discuss policy matters relating to higher education on the continent. About 80 deans and academic leaders from various agricultural and related faculties met at the Faculty of Theology for a full day’s talks. The afternoon’s session was hosted by Prof Danie Brink, acting dean of the SU Faculty of AgriScience, and incoming chair of the RUFORUM Dean’s Forum.

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Announcement: Winners of the Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2016


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is pleased to announce the 15 winners of the 2016 Young African Entrepreneurs Competition. The competition attracted a total of 756 applicants from 38 African countries. The following are the stages and processes that were followed to identify the 15 winners.

  1. All 756 applications were screened for compliance to the set guidelines and application rules
  2. A total of 663 applications were compliant. Each of these applications were evaluated by three independent reviewers (Round one)
  3. A shortlist of 139 (20.9%) applicants were selected for Round two Each of these applications was once again evaluated by three independent evaluators.
  4. A shortlist of 20 (13.6%) applicants were evaluated by a panel of six reviewers to select the final list (Round 3).
  5. Owing to the competitiveness of the enterprises and innovations in Round 3, the panel made a decision to select 15 Young African Entrepreneurs instead of 10 that were originally planned for. The selected 15 winners are:
No. Enterprise Team Leader  Country
1. Bio Phyto Zodome Gildas Benin
2. InnoFaso SA Omar coulibaly Burkina Faso
3. Soja kwa Afia na Ubora wa Ucumi Kwetu (SAUK) Bikulo Bachiyeka Richard DRC
4. Ubiquitous Farm Management Selam Girma Ethiopia
5. Green Afro-Palms (GAP) Ababio Kwame Ghana
6. FarmDrive Limited Mary Joseph and Rita Kimani Kenya
7. Safi Organics Limited Samuel W. Rigu Kenya
8. J-Palm Liberia Mahmud Johnson Liberia
9. ColdHubs Limited Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu Nigeria
10. CASA MANGO Djiby Diagne Senegal
11. LANDFIRST (Pty) Ltd Phethile Nkosi South Africa
12. CIBIO Brian Makwaiba South Africa
13. WEKEBERE Tashobya Stephen Uganda
14. Empire Agricultural Services (EAS) John Bosco Birenge Uganda
15. HappyFarmer Moonga Chowe Zambia

The 15 winners have been invited to make presentations during the Fifth Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference, 17-21 October, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa (see www.ruforumbiennial.org).

RUFORUM thanks all the Young African Entrepreneurs and Innovators that participated in this competition. RUFORUM also extends appreciation to all the reviewers that have been instrumental in executing a total of 2,463 reviews in the last two months. Click here to download the press release.

Updates: Young African Entrepreneurs Competition Round one Evaluation outcome


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The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is grateful to all Young African Entrepreneurs who participated in the Young Entrepreneurs Competition 2016. A total of 756 applications from 38 African countries were received. RUFORUM is glad announce the outcome of round one evaluation process as follows:

  1. A total of 663 applications which passed the compliance screening were evaluated by a team of experts.
  2. Each application was evaluated by three independent experts, leading to 1989 independent evaluations conducted during Round one.
  3. A pass mark of 77.1% was the cut off for the selection of 20.9% (139 applications) to be evaluated in Round two (see full list below). This implies that most of the entries were highly competitive.
  4. Round two evaluation has commenced and the outcome will be announced by 25th September, 2016. This announcement will communicate the 10 selected applicants to participate in the 5th Africa Higher Education week and the RUFORUM Biennial (17th – 21st October 2016) in Cape Town, South Africa.
  5. RUFORUM will contact the 139 applicants shortlisted to seek their consent for profiling their submissions under the Young African Entrepreneurs series.

Once again, we thank all the 756 applicants and congratulate the 139 applicants that have been shortlisted for Round two of the evaluation.

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Forum for African Women Vice Chancellors Launched – Empowering African women leaders for economic development


Women Forum

Above: Prof. Judi Wakhungu (left), Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and Prof. Adipala Ekwamu (right), RUFORUM Executive Secretary during the launch of the forum at the TICAD Side event organised by JKUAT in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo Credit: Photo by JKUAT/Stephen Wakhu

The first Forum for African Women Vice Chancellors, FAWoVC was launched yesterday (24 August 2016) during the women leadership meeting on Higher Education for economic empowerment. This event took place during the side event for the upcoming sixth edition of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) happening this week in Nairobi, Kenya.

Addressing the opening session, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Professor Judy Wakhungu, called for political commitment to gender mainstreaming in all productive sectors of Africa’s economy. Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng from UNESCO emphasised the need to strengthen collaboration, learning and building synergies among existing women forums in Africa so as to create meaningful contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Gender disparity in agriculture persists because challenges facing women farmers are still inadequately tackled in agricultural policy strategy and programs” said Dr. Asa Torkelsson, the Economic Empowerment Advisor, UN Women during her presentation.

The event provided a platform for networking, lesson learning and mentorship among the female Vice Chancellors while tackling issues affecting the low number of women in STEM and leadership. The two day meeting brought together 20 Vice Chancellors from African Universities, representatives from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), UN Women, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and RUFORUM. During the event, Professor Mabel Imbuga, Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology was elected the interim chairperson of FAWoVC. Click here to download the press release.

Related articles linked to this press release include: Promoting Gender Inclusivity in Agricultural Sector through Collaborations and Women Vice Chancellors in New Growth Agenda for Africa.