Exactly 2 years at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Zaharan Hussein successfully graduated from the Master’s Degree with distinction, an academic and professional achievement that has developed his robust interest in postharvest technology research and consultancy.  In addition, this achievement has a direct link on his current career as the Assistant Lecturer and Researcher both to the university where he works.  Hussein was awarded a prestigious and competitive 2 year scholarship by the Innovative Agricultural Research initiative (iAGRI) administered by RUFORUM. This award enabled him to pursue an MSc in Food Science (majoring in postharvest technology) at Stellenbosch University, in South Africa. During the first year of his MSc studies,  Zaharan won the bronze award of the 2013 Institute of Packaging of South Africa (IPSA) student gold pack competition by proposing and constructing a model of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fresh pomegranate arils. This is a component that came from his MSc research studies.

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Sudan Ministers

Left: Prof. Sumaya Abukashawa, Sudan Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research  and on the Right: Prof. Ibrahim Adam Ahmed Eldukheri, the new Sudan Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Following celebrations to mark 10 years of RUFORUM, the next phase of RUFORUM’s evolution is being mapped out in a new Strategic Business Plan (SBP 2015-2020). The SPB highlights the key directions that RUFORUM will take in the next five years, including the modalities for engagement in Continental agenda especially Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2026), the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) and Science for African Agriculture (S3A).

During the Khartoum meeting held at Rotana Hotel 8-10 June, 2015, Sixty Five (65) Deans and Principals from 22 African countries had the opportunity to meet and deliberate on the future direction of RUFORUM and Agricultural Higher Education in Africa.

The three day meeting was officiated by Prof. Sumaya Abukashawa, Sudan Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research and Prof. Ibrahim Adam Ahmed Eldukheri, the new Sudan Minister for Agriculture and Forestry.  The Deans and Principals discussed the issue of strengthening the quality of higher education in Africa and measures that need to be taken to ensure greater engagement of African universities in CAADP and STISA.  The meeting called for strengthening of Academic Mobility, Institutionalization of Credit transfer systems and greater connectedness between universities and farming communities, private sector, Governments and other actors. Download the RUFORUM Press Release_Declaration by RUFORUM Principal and Deans

This event gave opportunity to the two universities that hosted the meeting, i.e., University of Gezira and University of Kordofan and Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Sudan to showcase potential areas of partnerships, collaboration and importantly demonstrated how their Universities and ARC are linking with Communities and Agri-business. During the meeting, it was announced that the Annual Meeting of the RUFORUM 46 Vice Chancellors will take place in Windhoek, Namibia 28 and 29 August, 2015. The meeting will be hosted by the University of Namibia.

Khartoum, Sudan– RUFORUM today announced the award of a US$300,000 grant to Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology to support a Community Action Research Project (CARP) on livestock value chain in Tanzania. At RUFORUM, CARP grants are designed to encourage universities to develop and invest in more comprehensive and sustained action research into a particular geographical area or in a selected commodity along the full value chain.

The Nelson Mandela AIST CARP is focusing on “Testing and scaling-up application of innovative animal feeding and health management technologies for improved dairy productivity among smallholder farmers in Tanzania.” Dr. Liliane Pasape of School of Business Studies and Humanities is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project. RUFORUM is funding five other CARP projects in Ethiopia (Wheat value chain), Uganda (2, one on cassava value chain and the other on rice-soybean value chain), Malawi (Fish value chain) and Kenya (Soil enhancement and cereal marketing).

Each of the CARP project works with communities and has strong emphasis on strengthening entrepreneurial capacities of local communities and provides opportunity for experiential learning for university students and their professors.

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