Kampala 06 October, 2018 The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is pleased to announce the 23 winners of the 2018 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition.  The competition attracted a total of 1,332 applicants from 42 African and 4 non-African countries. The following process was undertaken to identify the top 23 winners for the 2018 cohort:

  1. All 1,332 applications were screened for compliance to the set guidelines.
  2. All 1,332 applications were evaluated by 3 experts in the first phase leading to 3,996 reviews undertaken.
  3. Top 233 (17.5%) of all the applicants were selected for second level of evaluation by business leaders, leading to 699 reviews.
  4. A shortlist of 23 (9.9%) applicants were selected as the final winners of the 2018 RUYEC cohort.
  5. A decision to select 23 instead of 20 as earlier communicated in the call was guided by the fact that there was a tie among four applicants. The overall selection cut-off mark was 79 percent.

Final Winners of the 2018 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition

No Name Gender Country Thematic Area
1 Japhet Sekenya  Male Tanzania Agribusiness
2 Udekwe Chinedu Martins  Male Nigeria Green Economy
3 Joseph Manzvera  Male Zimbabwe ICTs
4 Jean Anthony Onyait  Male Uganda ICTs
5 Ashiraf Nsibambi Kyabainze  Male Uganda  Agribusiness
6 Emanuel Ng’ambwa Kungu  Male Tanzania Agribusiness
7 Mark Matovu Ssebijwenge  Male Uganda Agribusiness
8 Melissa Bime  Female Cameroon Health
9 Roy Mwangi Ombatti  Male Kenya Engineering
10 Akwasi Armah Tagoe  Male Ghana Agribusiness
11 Towenan A. Theodore Ahimakin  Male Benin Transport
12 Fred David  Male Kenya Green Economy
13 Murtala Muhammad  Male Ghana Green Economy
14 Paul Matovu  Male Uganda  Agribusiness
15 Helen Opeyemi Balogun  Female Nigeria  Agribusiness
16 Clement Kandodo  Male Malawi Green Economy
17 Elvis K. Amoua  Male Benin  Agribusiness
18 Jacob Maina  Male Kenya  Health
19 Lahbib Latrach  Male Morocco  Engineering
20 Nabuuma Shamim Kaliisa  Female Uganda Health
21 Davies Nyaigero Ateka  Male Kenya  Agribusiness
22 Sebarinda Cyusa Patrick  Male Rwanda  Agribusiness
23 Sidje Tamo Armelle  Female Cameroon  Agribusiness

This year’s competition builds on the inaugural one, which was organised in 2016 and attracted 756 applications from 38 countries. Ten (10) most competitive youth enterprises were awarded prizes during the Fifth Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference held in October 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The 23 winners selected this year, are invited to the Sixth African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference from 22 to 26 October, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, and will receive their awards on 26th October, 2018.

RUFORUM thanks all the applicants who responded to the 2018 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition call, and extends appreciation to all reviewers that were able to undertaken a total of 4,695 reviews in the last one and half months.

Download the complete release here Finalists Young Innovators 2018_


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation is implementing an eight year programme “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev)”. The TAGDev Programme seeks to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation.

This is to announce the 2018/2019 Call for proposals for the Community Action Research Programme (CARP+). The CARP program aims 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 CARP+ is defined by inclusion of the TVET as part of the CARP engagement that has hitherto not been a focus in earlier approved CARP Projects. This CARP+ Call thus seeks to support projects that innovatively enhance university-led action research and impact by engaging and working with technical/ vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions. All successful proposals must include at least one TVET institution as a partner, and demonstrate how the project will respond to TVET needs.

This specific Call seeks to extend university activities to work more closely with rural communities through multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional partnerships involving key stakeholders such as research, extension and development agencies, policy-makers, the private sector and TVET institutions as a must. The Call will support proposals focusing on crops and livestock sector value chains of strategic importance in Kenya and Uganda and other African countries that provide opportunity for sustainably moving a significant number of smallholder farmers out of poverty and food insecurity.

This CARP+ 2019/2020 call is operating under the Window Two of the TAGDev Project as part of scaling out the CARP+ project initiative beyond Egerton University and Gulu University. For this call applicants are eligible to receive funding up to the tune of US$300,000 only for a period of 3-4 years.

Potential applicants are invited to review the detailed guidelines for the Call which may be download here

Important dates for the Call are as below:

  1. Deadline for full proposals submission to RUFORUM Secretariat by 15th January, 2019 (23:59 HRS EAT)
  2. Compliance and External Reviews by March 15, 2018
  3. Technical Committee meeting to select and Award the grant 25th June, 2019
  4. Communication to PIs of shortlisted proposals by 5th July 2019
  5. Submission of revised proposals 20th July, 2019
  6. Grant Agreements signed by 30th July, 2019
  7. Projects commence on 1st August, 2019

For more information please email MCF@RUFORUM unit. Email: mcf@ruforum.org




CARP+ Team visiting UIRI Incubation plant in Kabale

In Uganda, value addition that is very critical in upgrading the entire potato value chain remains limited. Benefits of value addition include the preservation of surpluses from one season to another, easy handling of products during storage and transportation, reduction of transportation costs and production of convenience foods in response to changing lifestyles, and availing products with improved nutritional content. Value addition also builds bridges between agriculture and industry sectors, and creates jobs mainly for the youth who usually shun the traditional farming activities.However, one of the major factors that plunders value addition in the Ugandan potato value chain may not be more of lack of the required potato varieties, but rather knowing very little on the processing properties (physical and chemical characteristics) of the varieties grown in the country. Uganda is not short of potato farmers to produce the volumes processors need. The challenge is the mismatch between what varieties and properties of potato farmers grow and what processors need. Whereas farmers continue lamenting of limited market for their harvests, processors are not happy with the quality of potato farmers supply. Consequently, there is less and less and less. Farmers market less, processors demand and process less, and consumers access less value added products.Why then look on when forming a partnership with other Institutions, farmers and communities solves these challenges?  The main reason Makerere University has struck a partnership deal with Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) in a Community Action Research Programme (CARP+).  By its design, the project targets strengthening synergies and working relationships of the University (students and researchers) and the farming community to enhance the capacity of potato value chain actors. Working closely with UIRI, a government of Uganda incubation facility, the CARP+ Project is screening the major potato varieties grown in Uganda for processing qualities. How great it is Makerere University associating herself to UIRI’s mission of improving capacity and competence of local entrepreneurs in undertaking viable industrial production processes and producing high quality, marketable products!

Located in the cultivated terraces and beautiful rolling hills of Kabale in South-western Uganda, UIRI is not only contributing to the CARP+ Project her experienced personnel in potato processing and providing incubation services, but also the processing equipment and the established network with potato farmers.  With diverse and modern equipment and machines needed to produce potato products such as crisps, French fries and potato flour, there is no better organisation Makerere University would have partnered with. The UIRI incubation plant with such machines as peelers, slicers, blanching, fryers, and driers, has capacity to produce a range of potato-based value added products.

Having established the processing properties of the existing potato varieties in Uganda, the Makerere University-UIRI partnership will develop and test innovative potato-based value added products with potential for commercialisation. What is convincingly possible is viable production of frozen fries and quality snacks from potato varieties the smallholder farmers are conversantly growing but currently not used by processors. One of the main research outputs expected from the CARP+ Project is characterization of the locally grown varieties in Uganda. This will provide the unavoidable information on the physicochemical and processing properties of these varieties, the cornerstone on which value addition and processing is based.

Subsequently, the partnership will venture into developing an intermediate product for making French fries, and testing its viability. What would hinder the commercialisation of this product given the growing demand for French fries by both the local community and urban restaurants is at this point in time not a question. The demand for and utilisation of the locally grown potato varieties will eventually increase, postharvest losses will reduce and the farm supply of potato will stabilise. The information generated will also benefit other researchers, processors in product development, market analysis and investment in other potato-based products

Much as the Makerere-UIRI partnership strengthens the relationship and increases the visibility of the two Institutions, more benefits are to be enjoyed by the potato value chain actors, the potato growing community and the nation at large. What the partnership expects from the community is providing value chain actors that need capacity building in supplying the required quantity of potato with required processing properties, and those who need processing and entrepreneurship skills. In a participatory mode, the CARP+ Project will do the needful; thanks to the funding from the MasterCard Foundation through RUFORUM.

By Napoleon Kajunju, Msc Student and MUGISHA CV 2018; CARP+ Project PI

%d bloggers like this: