Opportunités de Formation de Troisième Cycle dans le cadre du Programme d’Assistanat d’Enseignement Supérieur de RUFORUM (GTA)


Lors de la réunion annuelle des Vice-Chanceliers / Présidents / Directeurs de Section / Recteurs des Universités Membres de RUFORUM (voir les liens sur le Dépliant de RUFORUM et l’Aperçu de RUFORUM) qui s’est tenue le 11 novembre 2020, les ViceChanceliers ont réaffirmé leur engagement envers le Programme d’Assistanat d’Enseignement Supérieur (GTA) qu’ils ont initié en 2014. Les objectifs du GTA sont les suivants: i) Améliorer la qualité de l’enseignement supérieur et augmenter le nombre du personnel académique formé au niveau du doctorat dans les universités Africaines; ii) Fournir à la recherche doctorale des opportunités de contribuer plus directement au développement de l’Afrique; iii) Renforcer la collaboration interuniversitaire dans le domaine de l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique; et iv) Promouvoir la mobilité du personnel parmi les universités membres de RUFORUM et à travers l’Afrique. 

Suite à la réunion des Vice-Chanceliers du 11 novembre 2020, le Secrétariat de RUFORUM est heureux d’annoncer la disponibilité des opportunités de formation dans ses différentes Universités Membres dans le cadre de l’accord GTA. Le Secrétariat sollicite plus d’offres d’autres universités membres pour former des candidats GTA

Dans le cadre du Progamme GTA: 

  1. Les universités d’envoi  nomment les membres de leur personnel pour être  formé pendant que le secrétariat de RUFORUM aide à les placer dans les universités d’accueil (hôte) 
  2. Les universités d’envoi s’engagent à payer les frais de voyage, d’assurance, de survie et de recherche de leur personnel en formation
  3. Les universités d’accueil renoncent aux frais académiques et aux coûts y associés, et fournissent un logement aux boursiers GTA admis
  4. Une fois que le processus d’admission est terminé, les universités d’envoi et d’accueil ainsi que le boursier GTA nommé signent un accord tripartite pour guider l’accueil et la formation du boursier
  5. Dans certains cas où des opportunités existent, l’université d’accueil peut associer le boursier GTA au programme de recherche de l’université d’accueil
  6. Le secrétariat de RUFORUM facilite l’accord GTA et fait le suivi sur la formation des boursiers GTA

Les nominations par les Vice-Chanceliers pour les positions disponibles doivent être soumises au Secrétaire Exécutif de RUFORUM à  secretariat@ruforum.org dès que possible.

No. Université d’AccueilPaysCours/programmes disponiblesNombre de positions disponibles
1Université d’Agriculture et des Ressources Naturelles du BotswanaBotswanaMaster en Education Agricole
Master en Génie Agricole (Conservation des Sols et de l’eau, Mécanisation, aménagement de Terres)
Master en Science Agricoles (Agronomie, Science des sols, Protection des Plantes, Horticulture)
Master Sciences Animales (Reproduction Animales, Santé Animale, Systèmes de Gestion Animale, Nutrition Animale)
Doctorat en Sciences Agricoles (Agronomie, Science des sols, Protection des Plantes, Horticulture, Agroforesterie)
Doctorat en Sciences Animales (Reproduction Animales, Systèmes de Gestion Animales, Nutrition Animale)
  15    
2Université d’eSwatinieSwatiniDoctorat en Economie Agricole
Doctorat en Vulgarisation Agricole
  6
3Université d’Abomey CalaviBéninDoctorat en Mathématiques
Doctorat en Physique
Doctorat en Statistique et Biométrie
Doctorat en Changement Climatique
Doctorat en Irrigation
5
No. Université d’AccueilPaysCours/programmes disponiblesNombre de positions disponibles
4Université d’Agriculture et des Ressources Naturelles de LilongweMalawiDoctorat en Vulgarisation Agricole
Doctorat en Economie Agricole et des Ressources 
Master en Economie Agricole et Appliquée
Master en Gestion Agro-Industrielle
Doctorat  en Aquaculture et Pêche
Doctorat en Agriculture (Science Animale)
  15
5Université de NairobiKenyaDoctorat en Biochimie
Doctorat en Biologie (Botanique)
Doctorat en Protection des Cultures/Entomologie
Master en Génie Biomédical
Doctorat en Sciences Animales
Doctorat en Elevage Animal
Doctorat en Génétique Moléculaire ou en Elevage
Doctorat en Gestion de la Faune
Doctorat en Gestion de la Fertilité des Sols
  8  
6Université KenyattaKenya1. Doctorat en Economie Agricole2
7Université d’EldoretKenyaDoctorat en Science des Semences
Doctorat en Sciences de Sols
Doctorat en Aquaculture et Pêche
Doctorat en Foresterie et Science du Bois
Doctorat en Sciences Environnementales
Doctorat en Education Technologique
    6
8Université de Maseno Doctorat en arts et design 1
Doctorat en Technologie de Communication et des Médias 1
Doctorat en Technologie de l’Informatique 1
Doctorat en Economie et Gestion d’Entreprise 1
Doctorat en Statistique et Sciences Actuarielles 1
Doctorat en Sciences Pures et Appliquées 1
Doctorat en Éducation des Besoins Spéciaux 1
No. Université d’AccueilPaysCours/programmes disponiblesNombre de positions disponibles
   Doctorat en Planification Urbaine et Régionale 1
Doctorat en Informatique 1
Doctorat en Pathologie Humaine 1
9Université de ZambieZambieDoctorat en génie civil et environnemental
Doctorat en Gestion de l’Ingénierie
Master en Génie Electrique
Doctorat en Mécanique des Roches/
Doctorat en Exploitation Minière à Petite Echelle
Doctorat en Gestion de Construction 
Doctorat en Santé des Adolescents (Santé Sexuelle et Reproductive)
5  
10Université des Sciences et Technologies de MbararaOugandaDoctorat en Administration et Planification de l’Education
Doctorat en Santé Publique
Doctorat en médecine et sciences
Doctorat en Gestion 
Doctorat en Génie Biomédical
Doctorat en Mathématiques
6
11Université de KyambogoOuganda1. Doctorat/Master en Nutrition Humaine et Besoins Spéciaux 2
12Université d’HaramayaEthiopie Doctorat  en Changement Climatique et Conservation de la Biodiversité 
Master en Changement Climatique
Master en Conservation de la Biodiversité et Gestion des Ecosystèmes
10
13Université de NamibieNamibieDoctorat/Master en Nutrition Animale
Doctorat/Master en Reproduction Animale
Doctorat/Master en Génétique Moléculaire Doctorat/Master en Production Avicole
5
No. Université d’AccueilPaysCours/programmes disponiblesNombre de positions disponibles
   Doctorat/Master en Gestion des Pâturages
Doctorat en Transformation des Fruits et Légumes
Doctorat en développement de produits
Doctorat en Chimie Alimentaire Doctorat en Science des Céréales
Doctorat en Microbiologie Alimentaire
 
14Université du Grand ZimbabweZimbabweDoctorat/Master en Amélioration des Plantes focalisé sur les céréales traditionnelles (sorgho, millet et rapoko)
Doctorat/Master en Apiculture (ouvert à tous les aspects intéressants de l’Apiculture)
Doctorat/Master en Nutrition des Animaux (focalisé sur les races indigènes des animaux)    
               3
15Université de Cape CoastGhanaOuvert à recevoir des candidatures dans divers domaines en fonction de l’intérêt du candidat et de la disponibilité des programmes à l’Université de Cape Coast  Ouvert
16Université de KhartoumSoudanDoctorat en Agronomie (amélioration des plantes, relations plantes-sol-eau et physiologie du stress des cultures)
Doctorat en Horticulture (légumes/potagers et pomologie)
Doctorat en économie agricole et vulgarisation
Doctorat/Master en protection des plantes (criquets et Apiculture) Master en sciences et technologies alimentaires (cours et dissertation) Master en Biotechnologie Agricole (cours et dissertation)  
               4
* D’autres opportunités seront communiquées à mesure que nous recevrons la confirmation des universités membres. Veuillez consulter le site Web de RUFORUM: www.ruforum.org

Secrétariat de RUFORUM Le 09 Mai 2021

Postgraduate Training Opportunities under the RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program (GTA)


During the annual meeting of Vice Chancellors/Presidents/Principals/Rectors of RUFORUM Member Universities (see links about RUFORUM flier and RUFORUM at a Glance) held on 11th November 2020, the Vice Chancellors re-affirmed their commitment to the Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program that they initiated in 2014. The objectives of the GTA are to: i) Improve the quality of higher education and increase the pool of PhD-level trained academic staff in African universities; ii) Provide opportunities for the doctoral research to contribute more directly to African development; iii) Strengthen inter- university collaboration in the field of higher education in Africa; and iv) Promote staff mobility among RUFORUM member universities, and across Africa. 

Following the meeting of the Vice Chancellors on 11th November 2020, the RUFORUM Secretariat is pleased to announce the availability of training opportunities at the different Member Universities as part of the GTA arrangement. The Secretariat invites for more offers from the other member universities to train GTA candidates.

Under the GTA arrangement:

  1. The sending universities nominate the staff to be trained and RUFORUM Secretariat helps to get them placed in receiving (host) Universities.  
  2. The sending universities commit to pay for travel, health insurance, upkeep and research of their staff under training.
  3. The receiving/host universities waive the fees and associated costs, and provide accommodation for the admitted GTA Fellows
  4. Once admission process is completed, the sending and host universities and the nominated GTA Fellow sign a Tripartite Agreement to guide the hosting and training of the Fellow
  5. In some cases where opportunities exist, the host University may attach the GTA Fellow to the research program at the hosting university.
  6. The RUFORUM Secretariat facilitates the GTA arrangement and follows up on the GTA training

The nominations by the Vice Chancellors for the available positions should be submitted to RUFORUM Executive Secretary at secretariat@ruforum.org as soon as possible. 

No. Host UniversityCountryAvailable Courses/programsNumber of Available positions
1Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesBotswanaMSc Agricultural Education
MSc Agricultural Engineering (Soil and Water Conservation, Mechanization, Land Use Planning
MSc Crop Science (Agronomy, Soil Science, Crop Protection, Horticulture streams)
MSc Animal Science (Animal Breeding and Reproduction, Animal Health, Animal Management Systems, Animal Nutrition streams)
PhD Crop Science (Agronomy, Soil Science, Crop Protection, Horticulture, Agroforestry streams)
PhD Animal Science (Animal Breeding and Reproduction, Animal Management Systems, Animal Nutrition streams)
  15    
2University of eSwatini eSwatiniPhD in Agricultural Economics
PhD in Agricultural Extension
  6
3University of Abomey CalaviBenin PhD in Mathematics
PhD in Physics
PhD in Statistics and Biometry
PhD in Climate Change
PhD in Irrigation
5
No. Host UniversityCountryAvailable Courses/programsNumber of Available positions
4Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesMalawiPhD Agricultural Extension
PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics 2.
MSc in  Agricultural and Applied economics
MSc in Agribusiness Management.
PhD in Aquaculture Fisheries
PhD in Agriculture (Animal Science)
  15
5University of NairobiKenyaPhD in Biochemistry
PhD in Biology (Botany)
PhD in Crop Protection/ Entomology
Masters in Biomedical Engineering
PhD in Animal Science
PhD in Animal Breeding
PhD in Molecular Genetics or Breeding
PhD in Wildlife Management
PhD in Soil Fertility Management
  8  
6Kenyatta University Kenya1. PhD in Agricultural Economics2
7University of EldoretKenyaPhD in Seed Science
PhD in Soil Science
PhD in Aquaculture and Fisheries
PhD in Forestry and Wood Science
PhD in Environmental Science
PhD in Technology Education  
6      
8Maseno University KenyaPhD in Arts and Design
PhD in Communication and Media technology 1
PhD in Information Technology 1
PhD in Business Administration and economics 1
PhD in Statistics and Actuarial Sciences PhD in Pure and Applied Sciences 1
No. Host UniversityCountryAvailable Courses/programsNumber of Available positions
   PhD in Special Needs Education 1
PhD in Urban and Regional Planning 1
PhD in Computer Science 1
PhD in Human Pathology 1
9University of ZambiaZambiaPhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering
PhD in Engineering Management
MSc in Electrical Engineering
PhD in Rock Mechanics/
PhD Small scale mining
PhD in Construction Management
PhD in Adolescent Health (Sexual Reproductive Health)
5  
10Mbarara University of Science and TechnologyUgandaPhD in Educational Administration and Planning
PhD in Public Health
PhD in Medicine and Science
PhD in Management
PhD in Biomedical Engineering
PhD in Mathematics
6
11Kyambogo UniversityUganda1. PhD/MSc in Special Needs and Human Nutrition 2
12Haramaya UniversityEthiopia PhD in Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation
MSc in Climate Smart Agriculture
MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management
10
13University of NamibiaNamibiaPhD/MSc in Animal Nutrition
PhD/MSc in Animal Breeding
PhD/MSc in Molecular Genetics
PhD/MSc in Poultry Production
PhD/MSc in Rangeland Resource Management
5
No. Host UniversityCountryAvailable Courses/programsNumber of Available positions
   PhD in Fruits and Vegetable processing
PhD in Product Development
PhD in Food Chemistry
PhD in Cereal Science
PhD in Food Microbiology
 
14Great Zimbabwe UniversityZimbabwePhD/MSc in Plant Breeding focusing on traditional grains (sorghum, millet and rapoko)
PhD/MSc in Apiculture (Open to any interesting aspects of beekeeping) PhD/MSc in Livestock Nutrition (focusing on indigenous breeds of livestock).
3
15University of Cape CoastGhanaOpen to receive applications under various fields depending on the candidate interest and the availability of the programs at University of cape CoastOpen
16University of Khartoum SudanPhD in Agronomy (plant breeding, plant-soil-water relations, and crop stress physiology)
PhD in Horticulture (vegetables and pomology)
PhD in Agricultural economics and extension 
PhD/MSc in crop protection (locust, Apiculture and beekeeping) 3. MSc in food sciences and technology (by courses and dissertation) 2. MSc in Agricultural biotechnology (by courses and dissertation)  
4
* More openings will be communicated as we receive confirmation from member universities. Kindly check the RUFORUM website: www.ruforum.org

RUFORUM Secretariat 9th May 2021

RUFORUM Recognizes Two Higher Education Champions (Ugandans)


Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 129 African universities operating in 38 countries across Africa has created impact across the continent which has been due to the contributions from several individuals, Institutions and Members. In a meeting held in 2007 at Maputo, Mozambique, the RUFORUM Vice Chancellors decided that RUFORUM should recognize individuals who have made significant contribution towards Higher Education and broad development in Africa. Today 6th May 2021, RUFORUM recognized the contribution of two higher education champions from Uganda, Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu and Dr Gabriel Gadison Ajedra Aridru

Prof Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu left receiving the archolade

Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu has held various leadership positions in higher education as Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, Director of Research and Programmes at the Association of African Universities, Chancellor of Kyambogo and of Kampala International Universities, Principal of Kisubi Brothers University College, Principal of Kyambogo Institute of Teacher Education and he is the current and pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kisubi in Kampala, Uganda

Professor Ssebuwufu has made many distinguished accomplishments in the field of higher education and its management on the African continent. He was the architect of Makerere. Prof Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu is on the left receiving the archolade Dr Gabriel Gadison Ajedra Aridru is on the left receiving the citation University’s ‘quiet revolution’. He championed the establishment of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Development in Agriculture (RUFORUM) that is today a leading continental body for Higher Education in Africa. He contributed greatly to growth in the funding portfolio of the Association of African Universities to support higher education research in Africa. Through his various engagements and participation on various Boards and Councils, he has contributed to promotion of investments in higher education infrastructure, distance learning, new postgraduate curricula, regional ICTs, environmental protection, science technology and innovation, and higher education, not only in Uganda but across Africa.

Dr Gabriel Gadison Ajedra Aridru left receiving the citation

Dr Gabriel Gadison Ajedra Aridru has served Africa in various capacities. He is the current State Minister of Finance in the Cabinet of Uganda, a position he has held since 2016. He is also the current Director for Kim’s Dreamland Property and Consulting Company of Uganda. Prior to this, he served as the State Minister of Finance for Investments, and as an engineer for the National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda. Dr Ajedra’s international experience includes his service as the Chief Project Coordinator for the Ministry of Works and Transport of Botswana, Lecturer of civil engineering at the University of Botswana, Advisor on Infrastructure for the Government of Botswana, as a Senior lecturer at the Development University of Bahamas, and Assistant lecturer at the University of Brunswick in Canada.

Dr Ajedra Aridru has been a recipient of several scholarly awards and recognitions due to his outstanding performance. Some of his academic and scholarly works have been published in international journals and he been a lead speaker in several international convenings. He has been at the forefront of supporting advancement in the field of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa. He has advocated for intra-Africa collaboration in the field of Higher Education and has championed resource mobilisation for Higher Education in Africa.

Contacts: Name: Evaline Acan; Communications Assistant; Email: communications@ruforum.org

Here is Papillon clothing line that I started during lockdown


By Fongwa Vanessa Ngwi

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” These are the words that my mother often told me as I was growing up. Although it didn’t make sense to me at the time, over the years I have come to appreciate them-and also live by the same principles. And despite facing several hardships and challenges through my education journey, these obstacles have also helped inspire me into doing the kind of things that I do now.

That is why when my sister participated in a modelling competition, I was immediately triggered to start my own fashion business. It is also at that point that I knew I had the talent in designing. But this dream was not realised until I became a scholar under the Mastercard Foundation. With savings from my monthly stipend, I was able to start Papillon Clothings. To help run the business, my team consists of my elder sister who is actively involved in the day-to-day operations back home in Cameroon. Our products include “papillon T-shirts, hoodies and pullovers”. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed business in recent months, we are looking for opportunities to expand our customer base beyond Cameroon. I also hope to leverage on my presence as a student in Uganda to expand our customer base by opening a branch of the business here.

Besides starting a clothing line, I have also used my time during the long home break to enrol for a three-month course at a fashion academy in Gulu. At the end of the course, I hope to have acquired more skills in entrepreneurship in the clothing industry. I also plan to extend this knowledge to young vulnerable girls back home in Cameroon. This will be my way of giving back to the community. But all this would not have been possible without the financial support I have received from the Mastercard Foundation through RUFORUM.

I started rearing goats back home in Benin


By Monique Mededode Sognigbe

For a long time, volunteerism has been something I have engaged in regularly. I like doing things that will result in positive changes in the lives of those I help. My motivation to volunteer is based on the notion, “the more you give, the more you receive,”. This is why I have been involved in a number of community transformation and entrepreneurship initiatives.

Being a Mastercard Foundation sponsored student through the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), has offered me with opportunities to engage in a number of community services. For instance, I participated in a cooking programme for mothers and caregivers while volunteering at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital. The purpose of the initiative was to impart knowledge to mothers on the best, affordable and nutritious foods that they can give to their children to facilitate proper growth.

The attachment programme offered an experiential engagement platform for both students and the community and turned out to be a great chance of giving back. As a final year graduate student in Food Security and Community Nutrition, I am also a volunteer teaching assistant at the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, where I teach a course unit titled “Food Handling and Storage Technologies”. The course introduces the students to the fundamental principles of food and crop handling and storage.

Back to what I have been doing during this prolonged stay at home, I started a small-scale goat farming business in Benin where I come from. The project is being managed by my parents.

I am also currently undertaking a number of online courses, including one on Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness at the African Management Institute and Environmental Assessment of policies and project development at the Institute of the Francophonie for Sustainable Development.

Soon, I plan to launch a Facebook page where I will be sharing tips on health, wellbeing, nutrition and the underutilised benefits of African legumes and vegetables.

I thank RUFORUM, the Mastercard Foundation and Gulu University for giving me the opportunity to be part of the TAGDev project.

I got admitted into the prestigious YALI programme because of my innovative projects


By Olivier Nihimbazwe

During lockdown, I was admitted to the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), as part of the 42nd Cohort for the East Africa Programme. As part of the initiative, I will be taking a four-week training either virtually or physically in (Nairobi) from mid-November to December 2020.

YALI is an initiative that was started by former US president Barack Obama, as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of innovative leaders, to shape the future of entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management in Africa. The programme is sponsored by the MasterCard Foundation, Deloitte and USAID.

Figure 1: The two pieces of land I purchased

Earlier in May, I had also applied for the D-Prize grant programme, which awards up to $20,000 to social entrepreneurs to implement three-month pilot projects of proven interventions in developing countries, with the possibility of scaling for up to five years. For this project, I was particularly interested in the Chlorine Dispenser challenge which could potentially provide clean water to rural areas through chlorination treatment. My concept note was selected and the implementers of the project have asked me to draft a full proposal. Hopefully I can go ahead with the project if I get funding. In the meantime, I have started a non-profit organisation called Water4Dev, with the aim of implementing clean water programmes in rural areas of Burundi where children continue to die because they lack access to clean water. This particular project is a give-back to my community initiative, which is also in line with my undergraduate programme (Environmental Health), and what I am currently pursuing at graduate level—Nutrition. Aside from these initiatives, I have also been providing support to my family in Burundi. Earlier in the year, I connected my mothers’ house in the village to electricity (Figure 2). 

Figure2: The electricity I connected in my mothers’ house

I also purchased two pieces of land (Figure 1) near my home district of Cibitoke. When I get the opportunity to return home, I plan to sell one of these properties to increase my capital and use the other to set up my business. My plan to set up a poultry farm for egg production.

I opened a shop to sell clothes


By Rachel Kobusinge

Like most students, when schools closed because of COVID-19, I returned home and started engaging in small income generating projects, including running a small vegetable farm and shop.

Because I live within a trading centre however, and with limited access to land, it was not possible for me to scale the agricultural project and make it commercially viable. So, I decided to concentrate on the shop. Being a student of agri-entrepreneurship at Gulu University, I had already set up a small business near the university even before COVID-19 happened. Although the business was closed when the government announced a total lockdown of the country, it resumed operations after some of the restrictions were eased. Being fully engaged now in the running of the business has provided me with the experience and knowledge on how to succeed and the challenges that I need to overcome. This is something I wouldn’t have known since I had given the responsibility of running the business to someone else as I concentrated on school.

I have now been able to discover the points of weaknesses that the business faces, and how to manage finances effectively.

Aside from running the shop, I also undertook an online course called Fundamentals of Digital Marketing.

The course covered a range of issues, including how to leverage the power of the internet to grow your business, display advertising and how to compete effectively in the market place.

These courses have enhanced my skills to effectively position my business online in order to attract more customers.

However, despite the successes that I have registered, there have also been challenges. Since mine is a business where face-to-face interaction is inevitable, there was the fear of catching COVID-19 in the process of running the business. But I have ensured that I adhere to the SOPS issued by Ministry of Health at all times.

RUFORUM has also been able to provide us with enough internet data, which has made running my business online easier.

A scholarship that changed my family’s life


By Gloria Namuyombya

Back in 2017, when I had lost all hope, when it felt like my academic life had come to an end, I got a phone call that changed everything, and made me hopeful of the future.

It was at that moment that I believed I still had a chance to make it in life and ever since that eventful day of the phone call, my life has never been the same again.

Apart from the fact that I am pursuing an undergraduate degree, there has been a lot of progress within my family as a whole. Before benefiting from the scholarship, my family and I lived in a slum, in a house built from mud and wattle. Coming from a family of seven, we all had to fit in the one-room house which also acted as the kitchen, living space as well as sleeping area.

With the monthly stipend I receive as part of my scholarship benefit, I was able to purchase a new piece of land (50*100 ft) in Kakiri-Wakiso District where we are currently constructing a decent home.  

I’m also glad to note that the new home has four bedrooms, a living room and dining space. It feels awesome to know that my family and I now have a decent place that we call home. A few years ago, this was something unimaginable.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-11.png
The photos above show our former home and our new home

I also enrolled my little sister to a boarding school. Growing up in a slum, I saw many girls fail to make it to secondary school level because of teenage pregnancies. I didn’t want my sister to end up in the same trap.

Apart from taking care of my sister’s educational needs, including her tuition, I also support my other siblings by providing them with school requirements (before schools were shut down to prevent COVID-19).

Thanks to the scholarship, none of my siblings was ever sent home due to failure to pay school fees or the lack of scholastic materials. 

I have also enrolled one of my brothers to a car mechanics training. Being busy at the garage also means he is able to keep away from peer pressure and bad influence. So far, he has gained skills that I believe he will use to earn an income long after completing his formal studies.

Before benefiting from the scholarship, we rarely managed to afford two meals a day as my mother did not have the finances to do so. But now with additional income coming in through the scholarship, we can afford two meals a day, including breakfast.

The business my mother engages in has seasonal market. That means when she has low or no sales, I am able to step in and provide for the family.

This is how we have been able to sustain ourselves.

I am grateful to MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM for the opportunity offered to me to be able to impact my family in a positive way. All this wouldn’t have been possible without your generous and continued support.

I will continue on the path of transforming not only my family, but the community as well.

Returning home armed with skills: Journey for improving potato production in Rwanda


By Norbert Iraboneye

Norbert is Rwandan nationality and was supported by TAGDEV-Egerton program through RUFORUM and MasterCard foundation for his master’s study. He completed Master degree in agronomy program/2020 from Egerton University/Kenya. His agricultural research project was based on the improvement of potato production using none-soil acidifying compound fertilizer and canola green manure for soil fertility and potato bacterial wilt management in Nakuru county/Kenya.

Through different agricultural skills got in class and experimental research project findings, he looked back in his country the area for improvement and he come up with a proposal to contribute the improvement of potato production in Rwanda. Potato is one of the top food crops in Rwanda generating income to many farmers and the country in general. It is grown by round 70,000 farmers, with total annual production of 6,000,000 tonnes, yet the production per hectare 7-9t/ha is far below the potential of 30-45t/ha (FOSTAT, 2021). Less information on good agricultural practices and insufficient clean seed potatoes being the major cause of low production. Rwanda is a country with high growing population and with small area compared to other in the East African countries, hence a need to improve agricultural production to feed increasing population.

Figure 1: FAPA Awardee with farmers in their potato farm

Through RUFORUM-FAPA program, Norbert was awarded a financial support to disseminate new agricultural skills got from Kenya to the famers in his home country to improve agriculture production. The project was implemented in Nyabihu district/ Northern Province in collaboration with Rwanda agricultural Board/ Musanze station. The main objectives of the project were to contribute in the improvement of potato production through learning and exchanging agricultural skills with farmers, familiazing with working environment as well exploring potential area for business. Norbert used famer field school approach (FFS) to disseminate good agricultural practices (GAP) to the farmers, where a demonstration field for learning was set with the farmer group leaders in Nyabihu district/ Jenda sector.  All agricultural practices were done with farmer group leaders as they go to implement them in their farms and training their respective famers they are leading in different location.

Figure2: FAPA awardee with farmers participating demonstration plot practices. A; preparation of plots and making planting lines, B; application of fertilizer in planting lines, C; covering fertilizer with shallow soil layer before planting, D; planting of seed potato taking into account recommended spacing (80×30cm)
Figure3. Discussion with farmers on how best to use right chemicals basing on locally available ones
Figure4. Application of top dressing fertilizers with farmers (FFS/Demonstration plot)

RUFORUM POST COVID-19 Strategy: Education, Agriculture Innovation and Livelihoods in times of Crisis


The global COVID-19 pandemic over the last 17 months has created disruptions in all aspects of life. Education at all levels has equally been affected and this has called for reimagining the manner with which education is delivered and the value of education to society. Higher education institutions have had the opportunity to demonstrate their relevance to society amidst the most challenging time when they equally have to figure-out how learning and their operations have to continue. Universities in Africa are still grappling with the COVID-19 impacts but it is time to move-on and double the efforts to build long lasting resilience in our education systems and communities.

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) a network of 129 universities from across 38 African countries over these 17 months has undertaken a raft of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, the network has been alive to the realities on the ground and the ever evolving needs and changes required by society from the universities. The network has been successful in responding and addressing some of these challenges but the journey within the current circumstances is rather undefined and requires resilience and flexibility if success is to be realised.

RUFORUM’s response ability is built on its track record as a dynamic and resilient network in operation since 2004. Through its collective action, the network has been able to strategically focus on delivering its aspirations enshrined in the vision that seeks for “vibrant, transformative universities catalysing sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa”. The network over the years has been active in providing sciences solutions for development especially promoting food and nutrition security through a focused attention on key priority and staple food crops including wheat, maize, rice, cassava among others. RUFORUM has been cognizant of the fact that for Africa to become competitive in the world, human capital development needs to remain a key priority action. In working with African Governments and development partners, building the next generation of scientists for Africa through the regional training and research programmes has been activated and taken to scale. Lately, effort is geared towards responding to the current continental challenge of youth unemployment through a focused attention supporting youth to create enterprises, jobs and expand employment opportunities.

This RUFORUM Post COVID-19 Strategy focused on education, agriculture innovation and livelihoods in times of crisis is a collective reflection of the network and partners arising from a consultative process throughout 2020 to 2021 involving nearly 6,000 participants from across 80 countries. It provides three focus intervention areas in the post covid-19 situation: (1) Stabilizing food security in a transforming agri-food system for smallholder farmers’ gain; (2) Stabilizing higher agricultural education delivery through leveraging network strengths; and (3) Facilitating business recovery and enable entrepreneurs re-build in post COVID-19 era. RUFORUM remains committed to approaching these action packs through a collective and collaborative approach leveraging on the extensive networks and partnerships within and outside the network. The network recognises that the successes achieved so far are a result of a collective action and partnerships and as such, in this time of need for doubling our efforts, partnerships will remain key in achieving a resilient higher agricultural education that responds to the priorities and needs of society.

It is therefore my honour to invite you to read and contribute towards moving this agenda forward.  We will in due course share Arabic, French and Portuguese versions of the documents, which we will upload on our website (www.ruforum.org )

Prof. Adipala Ekwamu

Executive Secretary

Concours des Jeunes Entrepreneurs Africains de RUFORUM-Edition 2021 [French]


Le Forum régional des universités pour le renforcement des capacités en agriculture (RUFORUM ; www.ruforum.org), un consortium de 129 Universités de 38 pays africains, a le plaisir de lancer officiellement la quatrième Edition du concours des jeunes entrepreneurs africains de RUFORUM. L’objectif général du concours des jeunes entrepreneurs Africains de RUFORUM est de favoriser la culture de l’esprit d’entrepreneuriat, par la promotion de l’innovation commerciale et l’octroi de fonds de démarrage aux jeunes africains ayant des idées commerciales créatives et innovantes. A cet effet, le concours vise les jeunes entrepreneurs africains et produits d’incubateurs de moins de 35 ans pouvant concourir pour 20 prix, en mettant en évidence leurs innovations, entreprises, concepts commerciaux et propositions.

Cette quatrième Edition (voir ici les éditions précédentes) du concours se fera à l’échelle continentale, et donc, vise tous les pays africains. Les prix et récompenses seront décernés à Cotonou, au Bénin, lors de la Conférence Triennale RUFORUM en Décembre 2021.

RUFORUM vise à décerner 20 prix à de jeunes innovateurs et entrepreneurs dans les domaines suivants: alimentation et agro-industrie, incubations, TIC, santé, ingénierie, ressources naturelles et météorologie, entre autres. Les lauréats des éditions précédentes de 2016, 2018 et 2019 ne sont plus éligibles.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez visitez https://ruforum.smehub.africa/. La date limite pour l’envoi des candidatures dans le cadre de cette quatrième Edition est le 31 Mai 2021.

2021 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition [English]


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 129 Universities in 38 African Countries, is pleased to announce the call for 2021 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition (RUYAEC). The overall purpose of the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition (RUYAEC) is to catalyse entrepreneurship through promotion of business innovation and provision of seed funding to young entrepreneurs with creative and innovative business ideas among African youth. RUYAEC will target young African entrepreneurs and incubates below 35 years of age to compete for 20 awards that show case their innovations, enterprises, business concepts and propositions.

This fourth round (see previous rounds here) of the RUFORUM Young Innovators Competition will be an Africa-wide competition and hence it will target all African countries. The awards will be made in Cotonou, Benin during the RUFORUM Triennial Conference in December, 2021.

RUFORUM targets to provide 20 awards to young innovators and entrepreneurs in the following fields: Food and agribusiness, Incubations, ICTs, Health, Engineering, Natural resources, and Meteorology, among others. All the 2016, 2018, and 2019 RUFORUM Young Innovators Awardees are NOT eligible to apply.

The RUYAEC operates within one of RUFORUM’s values and principles of creativity seeking to offer opportunities to develop innovative solutions both in addressing the problems faced by smallholder farmers, and in managing research projects in remote areas.

For more information, please visit https://ruforum.smehub.africa/. The new revised deadline of submissions of applications for this fourth round is 31st May 2021.

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