In 2014, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) celebrates 10 years as a network of universities and 22 years of addressing tertiary agricultural education issues in eastern, central and southern Africa. The Network was created to provide university support to the implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), an initiative by African Heads of States and Governments to revamp the agricultural sector and ensure food and nutrition security on the continent. During this period, RUFORUM has worked with universities, small farmers, policy organs and other partners to ensure high quality graduates and research that is relevant to sustainable agriculture and rural development in eastern, central and southern Africa. 2014 marks the tenth anniversary for both RUFORUM and CAADP.
RUFORUM has grown under the guidance of senior African professionals, from a crop-based Rockefeller Foundation programme (FORUM) into a regional broad-based consortium of 32 universities in 18 countries in eastern, central and southern Africa (see Box 1). Its strategic goals are based on two assumptions. First, development is more likely to occur where there is an active, well-informed critical mass of locally based agricultural professionals to conduct relevant problem-solving research. Second, the results of such research are more likely to be applied when based on strengthening a demand-driven research agenda – via linkages to smallholder farmers, community organizations, service agencies and policy makers to ensure research relevance and impact on the one hand and matching training and education to the potential job market on the other. Click here to read more on the RUFORUM Celebration@10
The 2014 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the fourth in the series. Its main objective is to provide a platform for agricultural research to development stakeholders in Africa and elsewhere. The biennial aims to allow participants to exchange findings, experience, and lessons learned in order to improve the performance of the continent’s agriculture sector and impact on people’s livelihoods. It is especially dedicated to the network’s postgraduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM’s member universities, and members of the RUFORUM alumni family. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking, and shared learning.
This year’s biennial coincides with RUFORUM’s tenth anniversary and the African Union Commission decision to celebrate 2014 as a year of agriculture and food security in Africa and to mark the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Thus, the 2014 Biennial will provide an opportunity to African universities, researchers, development practitioners, and others to reflect on progress over the last decade and device strategies or options for accelerating agricultural progress on the continent. RUFORUM anticipates over 300 participants from within and outside Africa. The 2014 Biennial will link stakeholders in agriculture to new products and trends, with a particular focus on strengthening partnerships for higher education in agriculture. Biennial participants will have an opportunity to showcase their contributions to agricultural development in Africa. Young researchers will be exposed to innovative agricultural research and will have an opportunity to strengthen their communication skills through participation in special workshops, poster sessions, and participation in panel sessions.Read more by clicking here
Three RUFORUM Secretariat staff members (Nodumo Dhlamini, Joan Apio and Rebecca Mwima) traveled to Haramaya University in Eastern Ethiopia to conduct Web 2.0 Training for 27 female post-graduate students. The training has been supported by both RUFORUM and CTA.
In 2012 RUFORUM awarded Haramaya University in Ethiopia a grant to support female post-graduate students in a number of areas. The grant is being implemented by the Gender Directorate at Haramaya led by Dr Emebet Belete Negatu and Dr Jemal Yousuf. The activities of this project include providing E-resources and E-tools training for Research Management for female postgraduate students. This includes training in web 2.0 tools for research and development.The activity is in line with RUFORUM’s vision which focuses on “High performing African universities that produce skilled, proactive graduates, demand driven research outputs and innovation in response to local, regional and national agricultural development priorities”
RUFORUM has been working with CTA and COL (Commonwealth of Learning) since September 2008 to implement Web 2.0 Tools for Research Support and Networking training within its network.
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