Skilling graduates to support multidisciplinary research – RUFORUM trains 100


The Master of Science Degree in Research Methods hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is one of the six collaborative regional master’s degree programmes established by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). Launched in 2009, the programme was established in response to the large unmet demand in the labour market for professionals skilled in agricultural research methods. In November 2016, the programme graduated 14 master’s students which brings to 100 the total number of graduates who have been equipped with interdisciplinary research methodology skills. The graduates have been drawn from Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The 2016 MSc Research Methods graduates at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology categorised by gender and nationality

No. Name Country Gender
1 Immaculee Abingoye  Mayugi Burundi Female
2 Funga Assefa Ethiopia Male
3 Jirata Megersa Tadesse Ethiopia Male
4 Caroline Oywer Kenya Female
5 Somanje  Chifuniro Malawi Female
6 Sophia Isala Namibia Female
7 Donatien Ntawuruhunga Rwanda Male
8 Christopher  Joice South Sudan Female
9 Martin Mwale Zambia Male
10 Johnson Kimambo Tanzania Male
11 Mdemu  Siha Tanzania Male
12 Efrance  Najjuma Uganda Female
13 Wilson Mambo Uganda Male
14 Alma Muropa Zimbabwe Female

Graduates from the course have returned to their home countries and constitute a pool of mid-level practical professionals engaging in policy analysis, research, graduate teaching in Biostatistics and Biometry, consultancy services in data analysis and reporting, and design of Monitoring and Evaluation tools for impact evaluation. Some of the graduates have opted to further advance their qualifications in the field and enrolled for PhD programmes.

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Strengthening University-Private Sector Partnerships in Agriculture – The Fifth RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week


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Over 600 delegates, including 300 graduate students, 60 university Vice-Chancellors, policy makers, development partners and several delegates from all over Africa, Asia, Europe and America will convene at the Fifth RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week during the week of 17-21 October 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. Key Speakers confirmed for this conference include; Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, The President of Mauritius, Her Excellency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, African Union Chair and Reeta Roy, The President and Chief Executive Officer at The MasterCard Foundation.

Higher Education has been highlighted as a critical component of implementing the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024), and the African Union Agenda 2063. The RUFORUM African Higher Agricultural Education Weeks and RUFORUM Biennial Conferences, conceptually, focus on providing a platform for African Universities and other higher education stakeholders, including graduate students, to discuss and tackle ‘frontier’ issues that are critical in transforming African Universities towards enhanced relevance for development in Africa, particularly through postgraduate training. The Conferences showcase RUFORUM students’ and other cutting edge university-led research in Africa.

The Fifth African Higher Agricultural Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference will be held 17-21 October 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa along the theme “Linking Agricultural Universities with Civil Society, Private Sector, Governments and other Stakeholders in support of Agricultural Development in Africa”. The Conference is co-organized with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Centre for Coordinating Agricultural Research in Southern Africa (CCARDESA), and six RUFORUM member universities in South Africa namely Stellenbosch University, University of Free State, University of Fort Hare, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria and University of Venda.

The event will feature distinguished speakers, plenary sessions, parallel side meetings, an exhibition, and merit awards in agricultural education, research and innovation. For the first time, the conference will place special emphasis on university-private sector partnerships.

“For too long, universities in Africa have operated in a bubble, opaque to the needs of the private sector. Investment in higher education will give us less returns if our products do not address the market demands”, said Prof. Adipala Ekwamu of RUFORUM. “Learning about the issues surrounding university-stakeholder collaborations and crafting how to nurture, grow and maintain these partnerships is the focus of the Fifth RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week ”,  he added.

The conference is open to all stakeholders in higher education and agricultural development in Africa. Graduate students in agricultural and related sciences, researchers, academicians, development practitioners, philanthropists, civil society, private sector institutions and policy bodies are hereby invited to participate. A call for abstracts is now open for participants who would like to present papers at the event.

Information about registration, application for side events and exhibitions is available on the conference website. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using #AfricaHEWeek2016 and follow @ruforumsec for updates.

Click here to download the press release.

Call for applications: A training course on advanced genomics and bioinformatics


Submission by 10th August, 2015                

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks to strengthen the capacity of the African scientific community, to conduct bioscience research and significantly contribute to improved agricultural products that can enhance livelihoods of farmers in the region.

As part of this capacity building programme, the BecA-ILRI Hub in collaboration with SLU will hold a training workshop on Advanced Genomics and Bioinformatics commencing from 7th– 18th September 2015. The workshop aims to provide a learning forum for researchers in bioinformatics, computational biology as well as scientists utilizing computational methods in their research.
We are seeking applicants from East and Central Africa who require advanced skills in Bioinformatics to support their research. A total of 25 graduate students and early career researchers will be selected based on evidence of productive research and relevance of the training to their current research. Applicants who are currently engaged in agricultural research within a national research institute or a university are highly encouraged to apply.
Selected participants will attend an intensive 2 weeks training workshop at the BecA-ILRI Hub in Nairobi, Kenya. The program includes comprehensive lectures and hands-on training sessions in Linux, Genomics and Next generation sequencing technologies, Genome and transcriptome assembly, Metagenome and metagenomic analysis tools and their applications to biological research.

A team of creditable facilitators from the SLU, New York University and BecA-ILRI Hub (Kenya) will conduct the training.

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