Apply Now: The MasterCard Foundation at RUFORUM Scholarship Award 2017/2018


Background: The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, Gulu University and Egerton University are implementing an eight year program aimed at transforming 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 eight year program (2016-2024) and will be supporting students that are economically disadvantaged, those from post-conflict and conflict affected areas of Africa. Interested applicants will undertake their training at Gulu University and Egerton University.

Eligible Programmes: The RUFORUM Technical Committee (RTC) has identified the following priority programs for the academic year 2017/2018 as eligible for application and to be supported.
Gulu University
1. Bachelor of Science in Agri-Entrepreneurship and Communication
2. Bachelor of Science in Food and Agribusiness
3. Master of Science in Food Security and Community Nutrition
4. Master of Science in Agri-Enterprises Development
Egerton University
1. Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
2. Bachelor of Science in Animal Science
3. Master of Science in Community Studies and Extension
4. Master of Science in Agri-Enterprise Development

Who is Eligible to apply:
This scholarship opportunity is open to African students of all race, colour, dissent and who in particular are economically disadvantaged and those coming from conflict and post-conflict areas of Africa. The applicant has to be in position to qualify for admission into undergraduate and/or postgraduate programs at Gulu University and/or Egerton University as listed above. Students already having a scholarship of any kind are not eligible to benefit this scholarship opportunity anyone with a double scholarship if found will automatically be discontinued. Read more

Attention: No payment for application forms prior to submission is required.

Important downloads:

  1. RUFORUM Announcement
  2. RUFORUM Application form
  3. Egerton University Announcement
  4. Egerton University Masters Application form
  5. Egerton University Undergraduate form
  6. Gulu University Announcement
  7. Gulu University Masters Application form
  8. Gulu University Undergraduate Application form

Saving the Mozambique coconut: Uganda’s Ronald Kityo discovers parasitoids for the coconut whitefly

Delicious: The author enjoying the coconut fruit

Delicious: The author enjoying the coconut fruit

By Ronald Kityo

Armed with an Intra-ACP Mobility scholarship, blessings from my family, but no knowledge of Portuguese, I travelled to the Portuguese speaking country of Mozambique in 2015 to study for a Masters in Crop Protection at Eduardo Mondlane University. This trip was  my first long flight out of Uganda.

The weather in Mozambique was quite unfriendly, being either too cold or too hot depending on the season. Under these same conditions, though, coconuts in Mozambique thrived. The southern Africa country is the fourth largest producer of coconut in Africa. With over 100 products extracted from various parts of the plant, the coconut industry in Mozambique provides jobs for more than 80% of the active workforce and contributes to food security especially in the rural areas along the coast. I had seen coconut trees in Uganda, but I only got to taste the fruit while in Mozambique. What a delight it was.

However, coconut production in Mozambique is threatened by the coconut whitefly (Aleurotrachelus atratus) a tiny destructive pest which over the past six years has accounted for 70% of annual crop losses. The gravity of this threat to the country’s golden crop inspired me to undertake research on how to curb the problem.

My research sought to find parasitoids of the white fly as a means of biological control. Unlike parasites which do not necessarily kill their hosts, parasitoids always do, but no known parasitoids had been associated with this white fly since its discovery in Mozambique in 2011.

Searching for palm leaflets infested by the white fly

Searching for palm leaflets infested by the white fly

The search for parasitoids took me to the southern province of Inhambane, about 500 km away from Maputo. There I discovered, for the first time in Mozambique, four parasitoid species associated with the coconut whitefly. The study made recommendations that, if adopted, will contribute to the sustainable management of the invasive coconut whitefly in Mozambique and other coconut growing areas in Africa.

Studying in a country where the official language was different from that at home was a bit challenging, but thanks to the design of the Intra-ACP Mobility Program, our classes were taught in English. Otherwise, we would have had to spend a full year learning Portuguese before starting the course. We still took classes to learn basic Portuguese. Three months of class were enough for us to acquire basic communication skills and interact with the community around us.

The Intra-ACP Project Coordinator at Eduardo Mondlane University, Dr. Domingos Cugala, was a very good administrator, manager and like a father to me. I was lucky that he became my academic supervisor because he is an entomologist. He was greatly amazed by my openness to learning in his field of interest because my background was in Horticultural Sciences. Thanks to him, I progressed through my research very fast. In fact, by the first month of the first trimester I had already started writing my research proposal alongside the course work. I completed my Masters training ahead of schedule and will be graduating in the last week of November 2016.

 Ronald Kityo was a beneficiary of the Intra- ACP Academic Mobility Project. The project on “Inter-University Cooperation to Train Crop Scientists for African Agriculture (CSAA) was a result of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture effort to mobilize a consortium of Universities to undertake collaborative action that is envisaged to contributed to enhanced regional learning and quality postgraduate training. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Makerere University, Uganda and is scheduled to graduate (last Week of November 2016) with a Masters in Crop Protection at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. Email:

Related resources

Related resources

ICRA – Scholarship Application is Open for Professionals in Agricultural Education, Research and Agribusiness: March – May 2017

Application deadline (for scholarships): 19 October 2016

Learning, action research and outreach – Making higher education boost food security, 13 – 31 March 2017, Wageningen, The Netherlands

As a professional in tertiary agricultural education you are expected to prepare competent graduates for the job market. In addition, you are requested to do action research that contributes to innovation for food security, and provide services for rural communities that support inclusive development.

Get ready to make your courses more interactive and interdisciplinary!

How do you provide useful services to the surrounding community? How do you make research relevant for farmers and agribusiness so you better can attract funding?

Join ICRA’s course to find the answers to those challenges. Brace yourself for three challenging weeks with a range of activities such as trainer-assisted group sessions, role plays, case studies and excursions to education institutes. Click here to read more.

Linking research to inclusive development for food security – Facing rural innovation challenges, 15 May – 2 June 2017, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Researchers must make their work relevant for the inclusive development of involved communities. Agricultural professionals, farmers and their organizations need up to date information on how to most effectively improve food security.

This course introduces you to new approaches and tools for designing and managing participation in rural innovation that help to resolve both problems and find complementary solutions. It enables you to create and support effective partnerships, collaboration and dynamic stakeholder networks to co-create new knowledge for better agri-business deals and higher farmer income. Click here to read more.

Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius to address the RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week in Cape Town South Africa as part of joint efforts to strengthen Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa

Above: RUFORUM Board Members and Secretariat with Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius at State House, Port Louis, Mauritius

Above: RUFORUM Board Members and Secretariat with Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius at State House, Port Louis, Mauritius

Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the President of the Republic of Mauritius will address African Vice Chancellors, Principals, Deans, Graduate Students and other higher education stakeholders at the RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week to be held 17-21 October, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. This was confirmed by Her Excellency during a visit by a Delegation from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) to State House, Port Louis, Mauritius on 25 May 2016. During the visit, Her Excellency reaffirmed her commitment to working with other African leaders at all levels to increase Africa’s scientific research output.

Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim informed the RUFORUM Delegation of the recently launched Planet Earth Institute initiative to train over 10,000 African PhDs and the need to support women in science. The Planet Earth Institute, where Her Excellency is Vice Chairman and Trustee, is an Independent NGO and charity working for the scientific independence of Africa. Her Excellency informed the Delegation that while other emerging regions have invested heavily in science and technology, Africa is falling behind in the race for scientific development.

The RUFORUM delegation applauded Her Excellency for investing in the Country’s Research and Innovation Infrastructure through initiatives such as the BioPark in Mauritius, a first hub of its kind in the Indian Ocean that is dedicated space to biotechnologies for Research and Development. They also thanked her for the launching the “Ameenah Gurib Fakim Scholarship Programme” which recently recruited 10 PhD students from Mauritius.

Her Excellency pledged to work with RUFORUM to strengthen higher education, science and technology in Africa. Click here to download the full press release.