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.

 

 

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.