RUFORUM participates in Regional Consultation on Higher Education in Africa

Right to left: Dr. Peter Materu of The MasterCard Foundation; Hon. Mary Teuw Niane, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal and Prof. Etienne Ehile, Executive Director, Association of African Universities at the Meeting Opening Ceremony

Right to left: Dr. Peter Materu of The MasterCard Foundation; Hon. Mary Teuw Niane, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal and Prof. Etienne Ehile, Executive Director, Association of African Universities at the Meeting Opening Ceremony

RUFORUM participated in a Regional Consultation on Higher Education in Africa hosted by the Association of African Universities and the Government of Senegal. The Meeting, which took place on 21-22 November 2016 in Dakar, Senegal, was sponsored by The MasterCard Foundation. It brought together key stakeholders in the higher education sector in Africa and other global actors to pursue two main objectives: 1) Develop a common understanding of the priorities and approaches that should be adopted to improve the relevance and quality of higher education in Africa; and 2) Develop a common understanding of how development partners can complement ongoing efforts, with a view to improving the relevance and quality of higher education in Africa.

In attendance were key stakeholders from regional and continental higher education institutions, African university vice chancellors, development partners, student representatives, and representatives from universities in the US and UK. The meeting was also graced by the Minister of Higher Education and Research in Senegal, H.E. Mary Teuw Niane, who chaired the opening session.

Discussions during the meeting focused on the key trends influencing the higher education sector in Africa as well as challenges. The insights and recommendations arising from these discussions will feed into The MasterCard Foundation’s wider education and learning strategy for Africa.

During the meeting, RUFORUM also used the opportunity to consult with stakeholders on the messages to deliver to the Committee of 10 African Heads of State and Government championing education, science and technology in Africa.

MUST: A university aligned to national aspirations


By James Mphande, Communications Manager

That Malawi has predominantly been an importing and consuming nation is well documented and it is sad. The goodness is that Government has finally decided to do something to make the country a predominantly producing and exporting nation.

And looking at the majority of countries at the centre of production, manufacturing and export, one thing is clear: They have embraced and are utilising science and technology. For Malawi, this means it too has to take the same root.

But first things, first. Malawi needs to develop knowledge and skills in science and technology with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship so that when industries are opened, there is a steady flow of human resources to transform raw materials into technologically inspired usable commodities and items.

This is probably where Malawi’s fourth public university comes in. The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) was established by an Act of Parliament No. 31 of 2012 with the aim of promoting the development, adaptation, transfer and application of science, technology and innovation for macro- and micro-economic development of Malawi.

Its vision is to be a world class centre of science and technology education, research and entrepreneurship which is being realised through the provision of conducive environment for quality education, training, research, and entrepreneurship, and outreach activities.

Officially opened on October 24, 2014, when fully operational MUST will have four schools i.e. the Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT), Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences (NSCES), Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS), and, Bingu School of Culture and Heritage (BSCH) to be led by Executive Deans.

Continue reading

RUFORUM recognised for its exemplary leadership and role in promoting Networking and collaboration in Higher Education, Research and S&T across Africa


Photo Credit: Science Forum South Africa

On the 9th December, 2015 during the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA), RUFORUM was awarded with the SFSA Science Diplomacy Award in the category recognizing “an international science partnership which has made an outstanding contribution to advancing African regional cooperation, integration and development .” RUFORUM was recognised for it’s work in supporting postgraduate training and networks of specialisation, especially in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).  The Award was conferred by Minister Naledi Pandor at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. Specifically the Committee noted that RUFORUM had been instrumental to promote regional integration and cooperation in agricultural research in support of regional development strategies.

RUFORUM has enhanced networking of African universities, linking them both to the rural communities and policy makers and supported internal transformation of higher education institutions for impact. RUFORUM has trained over 381 PhDs and 1,373 Masters within Africa with a 94% retention rate of alumni working in their countries of origin.

While receiving the award, the Executive Secretary, Professor Adipala Ekwamu thanked the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Naledi Pandor for convening the Forum that brought over 1,500 participants to talk about Science, Technology and research geared towards addressing the Science Agenda for Africa. Professor Adipala attributed this success to African universities working together as a network and focusing on where they could work together rather than on competition. He also thanked her for South Africa’s role in strengthening regional collaboration.

Among the delegates who attended the forum were H.E Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, African Union Chairperson and Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology. RUFORUM thanks the Forum for this recognition. Click here to download the press release or here to read related stories from the forum.

Mutharika challenges African universities: Commits to advance higher education through science and technology

Posted By Nyasa Times On October 22, 2015 (4:18 am) In Education, Featured

Mutharika touts education as key component towards a developed Africa

Mutharika touts education as key component towards a developed Africa

President Peter Mutharika has reiterated his commitment to strengthening cooperation in higher education, science and technology, observing its high time universities started producing graduates with high level skills.

The President was speaking when he opened a Ministerial Consultative meeting on the Strengthening of Higher Education, Science and Technology in Africa at Kamuzu Palace on Wednesday.

The meeting was held within the context of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which aims at realizing an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

“Science, technology and innovation (STI) is underpinned by the generation and use of knowledge through research, which itself requires the availability of a ‘cadre’ of highly trained science professionals.”

“It is the role of universities to train the future workforce for the continent, to undertake research and to ensure that generated knowledge makes an impact on African societies,” said Mutharika.

He noted that higher education in Africa faces some serious challenges that need proper planning and execution.

Some of the challenges include low quality of education, inadequate number of qualified staff at PhD level, limited infrastructure, outdated curriculum and pedagogies, lack of innovative delivery methods, inadequate use of information communication technologies (ICTs), inadequate funding to the sector, low research output, and low global competitiveness among others.

Continue reading