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.