Kerio Valley: A beautiful land with an amazing culture

By mugonya John 


Mr. Mugonya

In September this year, I received communication from the International Crop Research Institute for Semi_Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) that my application for an internship placement had been successful. Getting an internship opportunity soon after defending my Master’s thesis at Gulu University, was exciting and double blessing. I looked forward to working with a multi-disciplinary team from various countries. I was selected to work in the Markets Institutions Nutrition and Diversity program, particularly on analysis of livestock market systems among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the Kerio Valley of Kenya. The internship was supported by the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) through the Regional Universities’ Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

I reported for the intership at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi which hosts the Eastern and Southern regional office of ICRISAT. The center is home for nineteen international organizations many of which are under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium. I was warmly welcomed and given adequate support beyond my expectations.

I started the preparation for the Kerio Valley study with a voracious review of literature related to livestock market systems’ function and structure. Given the time and financial resources availed, qualitative research methods were preferred over quantitative. I was not acquainted to qualitative research methods, therefore I was supported by my line supervisor and other team members. I was also supported by two experts in qualitative studies notably Caroline Hambloch and Emma Elfversson particularly in designing the study methodology. I have gained a lot of knowledge, skills and insights in qualitative research especially in methodology development, data collection and transcription.

During data collection, I was pleased to see a beautiful part of Kenya, the Kerio Valley. The valley is geographically shaped like a triangle and it touches three different counties which include; Elgeyo-Marakwet, West Pokot and Beringo.  The valley is home to majorly two tribes; the Marakwets and the Pokots. The Pokots are pastoralists while the Marakwets are agro-pastoralists. In Kerio Valley, livestock is very important for people’ livelihoods and as a means of transport given the terrain of the land. A striking attribute about these people is the social capital amongst them. For example, I witnessed the community contributing towards education of three children two in high school and one at the university who belonged to a teacher within the community. This internship is a great experience both in terms of developing my research skills and in appreciating various cultural practices.

I will forever be thankful to RUFORUM, the MasterCard Foundation and ICRISAT the opportunity they have accorded me to learn and grow through valuable and spectacular experiences.

Contact: Phone: +256 771890353, Email:, Twitter: @mugonyaj

Figure 1: A truck loading mangoes in Sangach center, Elgeyo Marakwet County


Figure 2: Donkeys carrying luggage across a stream near the cattle trade area in Lomut, West Pokot County

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Figure 3: Goats moving to the grazing area along Tot-Kolowa road


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Figure 4: Female traders selling milk in Chesegeon livestock market in West Pokot County

Experiences with Marakwet and Pokot Communities in Kerio Valley, Kenya

By Redempter Mbula Mutinda


A View of Kerio Valley

Marakwet and Pokot communities were not something new to my ears. No one who studied Social studies subject in Kenyan primary education would miss studying Nilotes and the Kalenjin tribe, sub-ethnic groups. All media houses in Kenya could at times highlight news about cattle raiding conflicts in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot border along Kerio Valley. Despite being passionate about working and empowering people at grass root levels to realize their livelihoods through exploitation of their full potential through agriculture-based activities, I never pictured myself working with pastoral and post-conflicting communities. When I got the opportunity, the excitement I felt at the thought of meeting the Pokot and Marakwet people and being in the ‘famous Kerio valley’ overcame all the fears I had.

I was eager to experience ‘nomadism’ and see large herds of livestock at an up-close. Being from an ASAL region, Machakos, where livestock keeping is a source of livelihood, I knew the experiences and lessons learnt would also benefit my community. The over 500 Km distance from Nairobi to Kerio valley, felt like a 150 Km travel. I used a flight from Nairobi to Eldoret, shortening the journey by 6 hours. Getting down the valley was scenic; I had never seen a road with abnormally many corners. I stayed in the valley for two weeks interacting with Marakwet and Pokot communities; I appreciated the rich culture of the two communities.


Redempter with a Marakwet woman

My biggest focus was fodder; hence, I was eager to find out how they fed their large herds of livestock. It was to my surprise that the first farmer I visited, in Chesongoch, a Marakwet, had about 10 cattle and a few sheep and goats. Two cows that were being milked, were a Friesian and Ayrshire breeds. I could see some Napier grass growing near the homestead. That got me excited to interact more with the farmer and understand the difference between what was in my mind and reality that welcomed me in Kerio Valley. “All the animals I had kept were taken by Pokots long ago, all the ones you are seeing I have bought them”, the farmer narrated. From the conversations, I understood that the farmer opted to keep animals that he can manage to feed and avoid their long-distance movements in search of pasture. He had a store where he kept bags of acacia and green grams pods, ready for the dry season. That was the trend for Marakwet people, a few number of livestock kept, grazing within their homesteads. The Marakwet people were so welcoming and open to let others know about their culture. They value livestock and were willing to take up fodder growing and commercialization. Some farmers indicated how dairy enterprises were promising in the area and felt fodder availability would make it thrive. Marakwet old women use animal skin to cover themselves wherever they go, as it is hard.


Goats Moving along Tot-Kolowa road

The experience with the Pokot community was completely different from the Marakwet community. I could find large herds of Zebu cattle along the roads alongside young men who were dressed in a wrap garment around the waist, big loop earrings, headgears and holding sticks. The Pokot were full of cultural practices and very proud of it. They were nomads and I could rarely find a permanent homestead. An elder and chief gave me an overview of the area, indicating that the Pokots were mainly pastoralists with very few who had adopted farming.

I had an encounter with a ‘Loserokow’, the one who is respected by the community along the Kerio Valley. He was a serious commercial farmer, doing kales, beans, maize, bananas and the tomatoes under irrigation. It was impressive to find a transformed Pokot man; He said he was so proud of enjoying his hard work rather than risking his life in the cattle raiding. The workers on his farm were so happy to get their livelihood from working on the farm. The Kolowa market traders were buying his farm produce daily. After explaining the fodder project to the farmer, he was willing to do a demonstration plot for his community to see and implement.


Kitchen garden for a Pokot woman in Kolowa

Then I met a hardworking Pokot woman, who believed that their place is dry land but that should not mean dry brains. She was doing controlled grazing and had a dam on the farm. She said that the dam would sustain water all through the dry period until it rained again. Her livestock would never lack water and grass throughout the year. It was fascinating to see her kitchen gardening integrated with livestock keeping. She had placed vegetable grown in sacks as goats and sheep would feed on them if placed on the ground.

As an agribusiness person, I saw many opportunities in the region that could be undertaken by the communities to improve their livelihoods. Fodder commercialization would be a lucrative business supported by other enterprises such as dairy, mangoes and apiculture. My encounter with Kerio Valley and communities living there was an exciting experience. I never understood why it was called ‘Valley of death’ yet I saw a scenic valley full of opportunities and hope.

Grazed Lands

Redempter in an over-grazed bare land in Tiaty Sub-County, Baringo

I take this opportunity to thank the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and International Crops Research Institute for semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) for the opportunity to be part of Crop-livestock integration project at Kerio Valley. Special appreciation goes to the people of Kerio Valley for their warm welcome and cooperation during the entire stay. I also extend my gratitude to Chesongoch Mission fraternity for their host.

Press Release:New Appointments Within the RUFORUM Network

Kampala 16, January 2020 The 15th Annual General Meeting which took place at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana from 2-6 December 2019 ended with the appointment of key individuals to the various Governance organs of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and at the Secretariat. These new appointments are for positions of; Board Deputy Chairperson, Chairperson of the  International Advisory Panel, Chairperson of the Principals and Deans Committee and the appointment of the new Knowledge Management Specialist for RUFORUM. We are pleased to present to you the new appointees.

  1. Professor Theresa Nkuo-Akenji, RUFORUM Deputy Board Chairperson

BoardProfessor Theresa Nkuo-Akenji, Vice Chancellor, University of Bamenda in Cameroon was appointed the New Deputy Board Chair for RUFORUM during the 15th Annual General Meeting that took place at the University of Cape Coast on 6th December 2019. She replaces Prof. Ophelia Inez Weeks, the former Vice Chancellor University of Liberia. Prof. Nkuo-Akenji will work closely with the Board Chair Prof. George Kanyama-Phiri in providing strategic guidance to the Board and the Network at Large.

  1. David Neilson, Chairperson, International Advisory Panel of RUFORUM

David NielsonThe new Chairperson of the RUFORUM International Advisory Panel (IAP), Dr David Neilson from USA worked with the World Bank Group in Washington as Lead Agriculture Economist until his retirement. He brings to the Network a wealth of experience in International Development. The International Advisory Panel (IAP), a sub-committee of the RUFORUM Board, plays a key role in supporting the Board and the Secretariat to position the RUFORUM network to take advantage of the opportunities in, particularly, the external environment. Composed of eight individuals from both within and outside Africa, the IAP brings together high level individuals with a wealth of experience and that are strategically placed to support RUFORUM to better understand the external environment. The IAP meets regularly through physical, as well as during on-line meetings. During the 15th Annual General Meeting, the new team of the IAP members chaired by Dr David Neilson met to explore collaborative partnership opportunities for RUFORUM.

  1. Elvis Asare Bediako, Chairperson Principals and Deans Committee

AsareProf. Elvis Asare-Bediako the new Chairperson for the Principals and Deans Committee is from Ghana and replaces Prof. Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama who was recently appointed the Vice Chancellor of University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya. Professor Asare-Bediako is the current Dean of School of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Plant and Environmental Sciences from the University of Warwick, UK, with specialization in Plant Virology. He also holds Master of Philosophy Degree in Crop Science (Plant Pathology), Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture, and Diploma in Education, all from University of Cape Coast. He specializes in virus diseases of horticultural, vegetable and food crops, with special interests in virus characterization, diagnostics, plant-virus-vector interactions, and development of integrated crop improvement strategies. He has conducted a number of scientific research works including breeding for high yielding and virus resistant crops. He has been involved in releasing a number of high yielding cowpea varieties that are resistant to viruses, striga and drought and two white flesh and three yellow flesh cassava (high beta carotene content) which are resistant to cassava mosaic disease.

  1. Nada Siddig Abdalla Musa, Knowledge Management Specialist

nadaNada Siddig Abdalla Musa from Sudan has been appointed the New Knowledge Management Specialist at the RUFORUM Secretariat.  She is currently pursuing PhD study in Agricultural and Rural Innovation at Makerere University; she holds MSc in Agricultural Information and Communication Management from Egerton University; MSc in Computer Engineering and Networks from University of Gezira and BSc. in Electronics Engineering (Hons) from Sudan University of Science and Technology. Nada started her career as an Information Technologist at the Administration of Human Resource Development and Information Management of the Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC, Sudan) (2004-2014). Nada has more than 10 years’ experience in Computer and Networks development, and a wealth of experience in Information and Knowledge Management mainly in Agriculture field.

We welcome all the new appointees and wish them well in their new assignments. We believe that they will each add value to the Network.

Press Release: First Cohort of Masters students supported by Mastercard Foundation through TAGDev Graduate at Gulu University


The first Cohort who had just graduated pose with their Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and their Lecturers in Gulu, Northern Uganda

Kampala 15, January 2020 The just concluded 15th Gulu University Graduation Ceremony which took place on 11th January 2020 in Gulu District, Northern Uganda was a special one to RUFORUM.  This was because 14 Students supported by MasterCard Foundation through the TAGDev project and the Nurturing grants at RUFORUM were conferred with degrees. The graduates who were from the Faculty of Agriculture were conferred Masters of Science degrees in Agri-business Enterprise Development and Food Security and Community Nutrition degrees. They excitement and sense of achievement coupled with immense gratitude were palpable as one of the graduates Lucy Achiro said

I thank RUFORUM and Mastercard Foundation for supporting my studies. Above all I thank my parents and the Almighty God for bringing me this far.

Since July 2016, RUFORUM, in partnership with MasterCard Foundation, Gulu University and Egerton University are implementing an eight year programme aimed at transforming African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to development challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. This eight year Project will support the training of 220 (110 undergraduate and 110 postgraduate) economically disadvantaged students from across Africa.  The Programme further provides opportunities for transformative action research using the RUFORUM Community Action Research Programme (CARP+) to enhance university-led community impact and the RUFORUM Agricultural Enterprises Challenge Program (RECAP), for developing a critical mass of young business leaders by providing a supporting environment.. The project is being implemented through Gulu University in Uganda and Egerton University in Kenya.  The very first cohort which was admitted in 2017 comprised a total of 30 students from eight countries; Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. See their profiles.


Associate Prof. Ongeng Duncan (C) poses for a photo with two of the graduates.


The MasterCard Foundation is a funder, a convener, and a catalyst for change. The Foundation believes that the change will be driven from within the continent and in particular at country level by the character, hard work, and ingenuity of the people on the continent. The Foundation has made significant investments in Uganda a total of approximately US$336.9 million directly and in part to Uganda through 24 projects running in Uganda. Through the support from Mastercard Foundation, RUFORUM has been able to Pilot new models of agricultural education and entrepreneurship training at two partner universities (Gulu and Egerton) and TVETs, scaling successful approaches across the RUFORUM member universities in Africa. In total US$27 million dollars has been invested in the eight year TAGDev project at RUFORUM with eight million dollars going directly into the programme in Uganda.

Your journey as transformational leaders influencing agricultural development, social and economic wellbeing of your families, communities, countries and Africa as a whole has began, we look forward to hearing from you of the respective successes and lessons, be the ambassadors you’ve been trained to be- Dr. Egeru Anthony Program Manager-Training and Community Development

We wish congratulate them all and wish them the very best. We also thank Mastercard Foundation for believing in the young generation in Africa.


PRESS RELEASE: RUFORUM admits 20 new Universities to join the Network

Group AGM Ghana

Kampala 13, January 2020  At its 15th Annual General Meeting held 6th December 2019 at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, RUFORUM formally approved further expansion of its membership and ratified the admission of 20 Universities as full member Universities of RUFORUM Network  from a total of twelve (12) countries in Africa.

This now brings the total number of RUFORUM member Universities to 125 from 38 Countries, in comparison to 10 Universities from five countries in 2004. The Newly admitted Universities are; Universite’ de Kisangani and Universite’ Officielle de Bukavu from the Demiocratic Republic of Congo,  L’Universite De Bamenda (Cameroon) Aksum University (Ethiopia), Maseno University (Kenya), Somalia National University(Somalia), West Kordufan University (Sudan), University of Mpumalanga (South Africa), Mulungushi University (Zambia), Midlands State University  and Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (Zimbabwe), Universite’ Nationale d’Agriculture and University of Parakou (Benin), Cape Coast Technical University, Koforidua Technical University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and University of Education, Winneba (Ghana), Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Federal University Dutsin-ma and Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Nigeria).

Prof. George Kanyama-Phiri, the Chairperson of RUFORUM Board stated that “the growth and expansion in membership is a sign that RUFORUM has come of age and therefore, this will help the network to carry out its core mission, which is to strengthen the capacities of Universities to foster innovations responsive to the demands of smallholder farmers and value chains through the training of high quality researchers”. He added that this step responds to critical issues for network growth owing to the increased demand from Universities to be admitted into the RUFORUM network. It clearly demonstrates the RUFORUM value addition to Universities and the contribution to higher education in Africa and beyond.

RUFORUM member Universities are focusing on investing in science and institutional capacity development, and also in building the human capital base in Africa. Because many universities in Africa have for so long been seen as de-linked from communities, the RUFORUM Network universities have been called upon to redirect the way universities do their research to closely link with the communities,  RUFORUM Network has focused on harnessing the resident capacity that exist in universities to foster collaboration rather than competition. RUFORUM continues to attract especially postgraduate students to agriculture and natural sciences in the continent and achieve significant economies of scope and scale in rigorous and relevant training and research. RUFORUM is guided by its vision 2030 of Vibrant, transformative universities catalysing sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa. With its expanded membership, the network is now comprised of member Universities from Central Africa (Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazaville, Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC, Gabon, Chad), Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda), North Africa (Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia), Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), and West Africa (Benin, Cote d’lvoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal and Togo). The Network’s Secretariat is in Kampala, Uganda and hosted by Makerere University, one of the founding members.

On behalf of the Network, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, Executive Secretary RUFORUM welcomes all the new member Universities and believes that their joining of the network will strengthen its operations in the various Member States.

Below are the newly admitted member Universities as of December 2019

Region Country No. Institution Address
Central DRC 1 Universite’ de Kisangani Kisangani
2 Universite’ Officielle de Bukavu Bukavu
Cameroun 3 L’Universite De Bamenda P. O Box 39 Bambili
Eastern Ethiopia 4 Aksum University Aksum University
P.O Box 1010 Axum, Ethiopia
Kenya 5 Maseno University Maseno University,
P.O. Box 3275-40100, KISUMU, Kenya
Somalia 6 Somalia National University Somalia National University Coloumbia Road Reg> X/Wayne P.O Box 15 Mogadishu, Somalia
Sudan 7 West Kordufan University Sudan
Southern South Africa 8 University of Mpumalanga Vice Chancellor University of Mpumalanga Private Bag X11283
Cnr R40 and D725 Roads|Riverside|Mbombela,1200
Zambia 9 Mulungushi University Mulungushi University
Great North Road Campus
P.O Box 80415, Kabwe, Zambia
Zimbabwe 10 Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology CSC Campus Plot 151,
Longlands Road, Marondera
P.O Box 35 Marondera, Zimbabwe
11 Midlands State University Midlands State University Private Bag Number 9055, Gweru Zimbabwe
Western Benin 12 Universite’ Nationale d’Agriculture Universite’ Nationale d’Agriculture
01 BP 55 Porto-Novo,
Tel: +22920213288
Porto-Novo, Benin
13 University of Parakou University of Parakou BP 123
Ghana 14 Cape Coast Technical University P. O Box DL 50 Cape Coast
15 Koforidua Technical University Koforidua Technical University P.O Box KF 981 Koforidua
16 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi
17 University of Education, Winneba P. O Box 25 Winneba, Ghana
Nigeria 18 Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta PMB 2240 Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
19 Federal University Dutsin-ma Federal University of Dutsin-Ma
P.M.B 5001 Dutsin-Ma,
Katsina State, Nigeria
20 Nnamdi Azikiwe University P.M.B 5025 Awka
Anambra State, Nigeria

Africa Women Vice Chancellors’ forum opens at the 15th RUFORUM AGM

The 3rd annual Forum for Women Vice Chancellors in Africa (FAWoVC) kicked off yesterday at the University of Cape Coast, with official opening remarks made by Hon. Shirly Ayorkor Botchway, Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
The forum which brings together women Vice Chancellors and Rectors, scientists in academia (both women and men), researchers and students is being held alongside the 15th annual general meeting of RUFORUM. The theme for this years’ FAWoVC is “Enhancing Women Participation and Leadership Role in Africa’s Universities Agenda for Agricultural Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovations.


Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang (2nd Left), Chancellor of the Women’s University in Africa, Former Minister of Education and Former Vice Chancellor of  University of Cape Coast
shares a light moment with some of the Female Vice Chancellors from around Africa.

In her remarks, Minister Ayorkor acknowledged that while the number of females in Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) has been growing over the years, women remain significantly underrepresented in the field of science generally across the continent. She said policy makers need to ensure that deliberate programmes are put in place to address the challenges that keep women and girls from participating in STI.
During the course of the day, several speakers made presentations on different aspects of how to enhance women’s participation in the field of science, especially in academic spaces.


Prof. Alice Pell, Cornell University

Prof Alice Pell, the former Vice Provost at Cornell University in the US gave the first keynote address for the day, focusing on the State of women’s participation in science, technology and innovation, with a particular focus on Africa. Prof Domwini Dabire Kuupole, the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast emphasised the need for political will and commitment at institutional level. Without such deliberate commitments, he said it would be difficult to get more women into positions of leadership at institutions of higher learning. “Some of the deliberate efforts that I’m talking about should include putting in place affirmative action as a way of encouraging women to study STEM at higher institutional level and we need to catch them young,” said Prof. Kuupole

He added that sensitization on gender equality and equity could also make a big difference and raise awareness among leaders in higher academic institutions. “It is not enough to say let us have a 50-50 parity at admissions. How do we maintain the girls throughout their education and help them stay in academia?” he asked. Prof. Kuupole noted that institutions of higher learning need to put in place well-structured capacity building programmes as part of their strategic policy. This way, he says they are able to design specific programmes on training and mentoring.

Dr Irene Annor Frempong, another lead speaker and Director of Research at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)-Ghana, said science and gender equality are critical ingredients that can help in achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063. Currently, she said only 35 per cent of all the continent’s students who are enrolled in STEM related fields are women. “Long standing gender biases are steering women and girls away from science related fields and this will have dire consequences for Africa. It is therefore imperative that effective actions are employed to increase their participation in STEM,” said Frempong. Aside from the (FAWoVC) forum, another parallel session that focused on how to foster global partnership for higher education and research also attracted a number of speakers and participants. Some of the key issues discussed focused on Africa’s Food and Agriculture outlook, looking at trends and emerging issues, higher education and research in Sudan, and sharing of best practices of how to promote global partnerships for higher education. Lead Speaker, Dr Kwesi Atta-Krah, the Director, Country Alignment and Systems Integration, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture said universities should do more to make Agriculture appealing as a profession and with business orientation, not just as a course of study.

For more details, please follow #AGMGhana2019 on twitter and visit


Annonce de trois (3) lauréats du Prix de RUFORUM pour les Jeunes Scientifiques de l’Année 2019

En commémoration de l’Assemblée Générale Annuelle du RUFORUM au Ghana, le Forum Régional des Universités pour le Renforcement des Capacités en Agriculture (RUFORUM) a dévoilé le Concours de RUFORUM du Prix pour les Jeunes Scientifiques spécifiquement destiné à honorer les jeunes scientifiques et dynamiques qui sont extrêmement prometteurs pour leurs achèvements scientifiques au Ghana. Les trois (3) jeunes scientifiques récompensés du Ghana ont été sélectionnés de manière compétitive parmi quatre catégories de prix  à la suite d’examens approfondis réalisés par une équipe d’experts techniques dans les domaines spécifiés (voir le tableau I ci-dessous). Une catégorie était exclusivement réservée aux femmes scientifiques.

Tableau 1: Catégories de Prix

LES FEMMES DANS LA SCIENCE Pour la reconnaissance des femmes chercheuses les plus prometteuses du Ghana qui ont démontré leur excellence dans un domaine scientifique. Candidats féminin uniquement.
AGRICULTURE, SCIENCES VÉGÉTALES ET DÉVELOPPEMENT RURAL Pour la reconnaissance des chercheurs les plus prometteurs du Ghana qui travaillent dans le domaine de l’AGRICULTURE ET DES SCIENCES CONNEXES et qui s’engagent à élaborer des modèles durables contribuant à accroître la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et à améliorer la qualité de la vie des personnes vivant en milieu rural
DÉVELOPPEMENT DURABLE ENVIRONNEMENTALEMENT SONORE Pour la reconnaissance des chercheurs les plus prometteurs du Ghana qui travaillent dans les domaines de la TERRE, des ÉCOSYSTÈMES, des ÉTUDES ENVIRONNEMENTALES ET ÉCOLOGIQUES, des SCIENCES OCÉANOGRAPHIQUES et SOCIALES et sont en train de contribuer à la protection de notre planète et à la conservation de ses ressources naturelles.
INNOVATION EN INGÉNIERIE ET SCIENCES PHYSIQUES Pour la reconnaissance des chercheurs les plus prometteurs du Ghana qui travaillent dans les domaines de la CHIMIE, de l’INGÉNIERIE, des MATHÉMATIQUES et de la PHYSIQUE et les utilisent pour générer une croissance durable et perturbatrice, avec un potentiel élevé d’impact industriel et / ou social.


Tous les candidats nommés ont été examinés par trois évaluateurs indépendants et les trois meilleurs sélectionnés pour les prix. RUFORUM a le plaisir d’annoncer les trois lauréats  qui recevront leur prix dans la  matinée du 6 décembre 2019 à l’Université de Cape Coast, au Ghana (voir tableau II ci-dessous).

RUFORUM félicite les gagnants du prix et adresse ses remerciements à tous les candidats pour avoir répondu au Concours de RUFORUM du Prix pour les Jeunes Scientifiques de l’Année 2019. Nous remercions également les examinateurs pour leur aide dans le processus de sélection.

Tableau II: Trois (3) lauréats du Prix de RUFORUM pour les Jeunes Scientifiques de l’Année 2019

No. Nom Institution Genre Nationalité Score Moyen
1 Dr. Stephen Edward Moore Université de Cape Coast  Masculin Ghana 79.7
2 Dr. Dickson Adom Université des Sciences et Technologies Kwame Nkrumah Masculin Ghana 76.7
3 Dr. Shadrack Kwadwo Amponsah Institut de Recherche sur les Cultures du CSIR  Masculin Ghana 75.0

Download complete press release Young Scientists_2019_French_



Three (3) winners of the RUFORUM Young Scientists Award 2019 announced

In commemoration of the RUFORUM Annual General Meeting in Ghana, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) unveiled the Young Scientist Award Competition specifically to honor young and dynamic scientists who hold tremendous promise for scholarly achievement in Ghana. Three (3) Young Scientist awardees from Ghana have been competitively selected from four award categories (see Table I below) after extensive reviews by a team of technical experts in the specified fields. One category was exclusively reserved for women scientists.

The competitive selection of the RUFORUM Young Scientist Award 2019 was based on the award categories shown in Table I below.

Table 1: Award Categories

WOMEN IN SCIENCE To recognize Ghana’s most promising women researchers who have demonstrated excellence in a scientific field. Female   applicants only.
AGRICULTURE, PLANT SCIENCES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT To recognize Ghana’s most promising researchers who are working in the field of AGRICULTURE AND RELATED SCIENCES and are committed to developing sustainable models that help in increasing food and nutrition security and improving the quality of life of people living in rural areas.
ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT To recognize Ghana’s most promising researchers who are working in the field of EARTH, ECOSYSTEM, ENVIRONMENTAL and ECOLOGICAL STUDIES, OCEANOGRAPHIC, and SOCIAL SCIENCES and are contributing to protecting our planet and conserving its natural resources.
INNOVATION IN ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES To recognize Ghana’s most promising researchers who are working in the field of CHEMISTRY, ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS, and PHYSICS, and are harnessing it to drive a disruptive and sustainable growth, with a potential for high industrial and/or societal impact.

All the nominated applicants were reviewed by three independent evaluators and the top three selected for the awards. RUFORUM is pleased to announce the three winners (see Table II below) who will receive their award prizes in the morning of 6th December 2019 at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

RUFORUM congratulates the award winners and extends its appreciation to all applicants for responding to the RUFORUM Young Scientists Award 2019.     We also  thank the reviewers for their help with the selection process.

Table II: Three (3) winners of the RUFORUM Young Scientists Award 2019

No. Name Institution Gender Nationality Average Score
1 Dr. Stephen Edward Moore University of Cape Coast  Male Ghana 79.7
2 Dr. Dickson Adom Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology  Male Ghana 76.7
3 Dr. Shadrack Kwadwo Amponsah CSIR-Crops Research Institute  Male Ghana 75.0

Download the complete Press release Young Scientists_2019_Press_Release_


Annonce des vingt (20) lauréats du Concours de RUFORUM pour des Jeunes Entrepreneurs Africains de l’Année 2019

Le Forum Régional des Universités pour le Renforcement des Capacités en Agriculture (RUFORUM) a le plaisir d’annoncer les 20 lauréats du Concours de RUFORUM pour Jeunes Entrepreneurs Africains  de l’année 2019 (Afrique de l’Ouest). Le Concours a attiré 421 jeunes (110 femmes et 311 hommes) provenant de 12 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest, incluant : le Nigéria, le Bénin, le Burkina Faso, la Côte d’Ivoire, la Gambie, le Ghana, le Libéria, le Mali, le Niger, le Sénégal, la Sierra Leone et le Togo. Le processus suivant en trois étapes a été entrepris pour identifier les 20 meilleurs lauréats :

  1. Toutes les 421 candidatures ont été évaluées pour vérifier leur conformité aux directives relatives à l’appel.
  2. Au total, 373 candidatures (soit 88,6%) étaient conformes et ont été chacune examinées par trois évaluateurs.
  3. Les 60 meilleures candidatures (soit 16,1%) ont été présélectionnées pour le deuxième niveau d’évaluation. Chaque candidature a été une nouvelle fois examinée par une équipe de trois évaluateurs experts.
  4. Les 20 meilleures candidatures ont été sélectionnées comme gagnantes après avoir passé le second niveau d’évaluation

La liste finale des 20 meilleurs lauréats provenant de six pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest est présentée dans le tableau ci-dessous.

RUFORUM croit au pouvoir de transformation de l’entrepreneuriat pour lutter contre le chômage des jeunes en Afrique. Responsabiliser et impliquer les jeunes dans le développement d’entreprises faciliteront l’intégration des jeunes dans la croissance économique pour l’emploi des jeunes.  Les vingt  (20) entreprises sélectionnées de manière compétitive recevront un voyage avec toutes dépenses payées (billet d’avion et frais d’hôtel) pour participer et présenter  leurs innovations à l’Assemblée Générale Annuelle (AGM) à Cape Coast au Ghana, du 2 au 6 decembre 2019.

L’appel à candidatures était focalisé sur l’Afrique de l’Ouest et constituait la première édition du Concours de RUFORUM pour les Jeunes Entrepreneurs Africains qui est de nature sous-régionale. Le premier concours qui avait été organisé en 2016 avait attiré 756 candidatures provenant de 38 pays. Les quinze (15) entreprises de jeunesse les plus compétitives avait été primées lors de la Cinquième Semaine de l’Enseignement Supérieur Africain et de la Conférence Bisannuelle de RUFORUM qui s’était tenue à Cape Town en Afrique du Sud. Le deuxième concours avait été organisé en 2018 et avait attiré 1 332 jeunes provenant de 42 pays Africains et  23 entreprises compétitives de jeunes avaient été primées  lors de la Sixième Semaine de l’Enseignement Supérieur Africain et de la Conférence Bisannuelle de RUFORUM qui s’était tenue à Nairobi au Kenya.

RUFORUM remercie tous les candidats pour leur participation au concours de RUFORUM pour des Jeunes Entrepreneurs Africains de l’année 2019 (en Afrique de l’Ouest) et leur réponse aux évaluateurs.

20 meilleurs lauréats  du Concours de RUFORUM pour les Jeunes Entrepreneurs Africains de l’Année 2019 (en Afrique de l’Ouest) classés par  Score

No. Série Nom Genre Nationalité  Langue Score Moyen
1 1521 Aisha Kombeh Jatta  Féminin Gambie Anglais 80.0
2 1623 OBOGNON  Noel  Masculin Benign Français 79.3
3 1628 Thierno Souleymane AGNE  Masculin Sénégal Français 78.3
4 1575 Oluwatomisin Kolawole  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 77.3
5 1595 Fatodu Taiwo Olawande  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 77.0
6 1756 Abdou Rachidi Fancisco  Masculin Bénin Français 76.0
7 1439 Toyin Olowogbon  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 75.7
8 1765 DOSSA Sonagnon Jocelyne  Féminin Bénin Français 75.5
9 1830 Omasan Alabi  Féminin Nigeria Anglais 75.3
10 1555 Felix Ayite  Masculin Togo Français 75.0
11 1455 Anthony Ebitimi Owei  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 74.7
12 1819 MEDENOU Codjo Mawunou Esteban  Masculin Bénin Français 74.3
13 1549 Ante Joseph  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 73.7
14 1581 Israel Terwase AYUA  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 73.7
15 1629 Nnaedozie George Idoko  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 73.3
16 1836 Benjamin Agyin Turkson  Masculin Ghana Anglais 73.3
17 1694 Tunde Adeyemi  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 73.0
18 1440 Michael Olusanya  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 72.7
19 1796 Ugochukwu Stephen Ugwudi  Masculin Nigeria Anglais 72.7
20 1814 ADECHIAN Akinhola  Masculin Bénin Français 72.7


Twenty (20) winners of RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2019 announced

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is pleased to announce the 20 winners of the 2019 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition (West Africa). The competition attracted applications from 421 youth (110 females and 311 males) from 12 countries in West Africa including: Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The following three stage process was undertaken to identify the top 20 winners:

  1. All 421 applications were reviewed for compliance to the call guidelines
  2. A total of 373 (88.6%) applications were compliant and were each evaluated by three assessors
  3. Top 60 (16.1%) applications were shortlisted for the second level of evaluation. Each application was once again assessed by a team of three expert assessors
  4. Top 20 applications were selected as winners after undergoing the second level evaluation

The final list of the top 20 successful winners from six countries in West Africa are presented in the Table below.

RUFORUM believes in the transformative power of entrepreneurship in addressing youth unemployment in Africa. Empowering and involving young people in enterprise development will support youth integration into the economic growth for youth employment. The twenty (20) competitively selected business enterprises will receive an all-expense paid trip (air ticket, and hotel costs) to participate and pitch their innovations at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Cape Coast Ghana, 2-6 December 2019.

The call for applications focused on West Africa and was the first edition of the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition that is sub-regional in nature. The first competition which was organized in 2016 attracted a total of 756 applications from 38 countries. The fifteen (15) most competitive youth enterprises were awarded during the Fifth Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference that was held in Cape Town, South Africa.  The second competition was organized in 2018, it attracted a total of 1,332 youth from 42 African countries and 23 competitive youth enterprises were awarded during the Sixth Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference that was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

RUFORUM extends its appreciation to all applicants for responding to the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs 2019 Competition (West Africa) and to the reviewers.

Top 20 winners of the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2019 (West Africa) ranked by Score

No. Serial Name Gender Nationality Language Average Score
1 1521 Aisha Kombeh Jatta  Female Gambia English 80.0
2 1623 OBOGNON  Noel  Male Benin French 79.3
3 1628 Thierno Souleymane AGNE  Male Senegal French 78.3
4 1575 Oluwatomisin Kolawole  Male Nigeria English 77.3
5 1595 Fatodu Taiwo Olawande  Male Nigeria English 77.0
6 1756 Abdou Rachidi Fancisco  Male Benin French 76.0
7 1439 Toyin Olowogbon  Male Nigeria English 75.7
8 1765 DOSSA Sonagnon Jocelyne  Female Benin French 75.5
9 1830 Omasan Alabi  Female Nigeria English 75.3
10 1555 Felix Ayite  Male Togo French 75.0
11 1455 Anthony Ebitimi Owei  Male Nigeria English 74.7
12 1819 MEDENOU Codjo Mawunou Esteban  Male Benin French 74.3
13 1549 Ante Joseph  Male Nigeria English 73.7
14 1581 Israel Terwase AYUA  Male Nigeria English 73.7
15 1629 Nnaedozie George Idoko  Male Nigeria English 73.3
16 1836 Benjamin Agyin Turkson  Male Ghana English 73.3
17 1694 Tunde Adeyemi  Male Nigeria English 73.0
18 1440 Michael Olusanya  Male Nigeria English 72.7
19 1796 Ugochukwu Stephen Ugwudi  Male Nigeria English 72.7
20 1814 ADECHIAN Akinhola  Male Benin French 72.7

Download Press Release Young Innovators 2019


Webinar Title: FAO’s Education for Effective Nutrition in Action (ENACT) Course

On behalf of the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and RUFORUM, we are pleased to invite you to join our webinar on 14th November 2019. Details below.

FAO Webinar: Education for Effective Nutrition in Action (ENACT) Course

Join us for a webinar on 14 November, 2019 at 15:00-16:00 East African Time.

Register at

In the framework of the FAO project “Strengthening capacities for nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems”, and in collaboration with RUFORUM, we are excited to invite you to a webinar on FAO’s Education for Effective Nutrition in Action (ENACT) Course.

There is a global call for food systems transformation, as current food systems are challenged to provide the healthy diets needed for optimal health and wellbeing. Concurrently, there is a need for a radical change in diets, in order to confront the threat to human health and survival posed by the global syndemic of obesity, undernutrition and climate change. However, dietary behaviour change is notoriously hard to achieve, and requires a full range of policy interventions, both hard (regulation, incentives, trade and market restructuring) and soft (persuasion, nutrition education, information). FAO has been investing in building capacities in nutrition education, and developed the ENACT course between 2011 and 2015 ( The course was piloted by universities in 14 African countries, is currently being used by at least 16 universities in 13 African countries and in Sri Lanka, and is now being adapted for India.

This webinar is targeted towards institutions training nutrition or health undergraduate/graduate students to become professionals who will carry out nutrition education in the African context. Objectives of the webinar are to:

  • Present an overview of the ENACT course,
  • Present an institutional experience of adopting and integrating the ENACT course into the university curriculum, and
  • Discuss with universities any questions they may have on the ENACT course.

The speakers are:

  • Speaker: Dr. Cynthia Matare, Nutrition Education Specialist, FAO
  • Speaker: Mr. Norbert Amuna, Lecturer, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Volta, Ghana
  • Moderator: Prof. Marena Manley, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Innovation Challenge: Disruptive Agricultural Technology (DAT) by Ministry of Agriculture and World Bank, Uganda


The Government of Uganda (GOU), through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) received a 150m dollar fund from the World Bank towards the cost of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP). The project objective is to raise on-farm production, productivity, and marketable volumes of Beans, Rice, Maize, Cassava and Coffee, in specified geographical clusters, making up 42 districts.

During its implementation, the project is met with various challenges such as; the lack of a farmer register, low farmer enrolments onto the program, lack of mechanisation services such as tractor hire, lack of institutional capacity to train individual farmers, lack of systematic pest and disease management among others. These challenges have slowed the progress of the project towards the realisation of the development objective. It is envisioned that interventions such as Disruptive Agricultural Technological (DAT)[1] solutions can help turn around the project performance, through automation of key business processes along the value chain, as well as improving service delivery to the intended project beneficiaries. MAAIF, through the ACDP has thus organised a DAT Innovation challenge, in which firms and Individuals with agricultural digital solutions that could mitigate a challenge or several within the project scope, will be showcasing their products to a panel of judges.

Objective of the Innovation Challenge

The overall objective of the Innovation Challenge is to explore opportunities offered by Disruptive Agricultural Technologies (DATs) to address the challenges identified in the implementation of the ACDP.


Interested start-ups, entrepreneurs, and businesses with a functional, and market-tested digital solution in any of the challenge areas identified below;

Challenge 1: Advisory and Information for Agricultural Productivity

  • Solutions for profiling farmers and increasing registration and enrolment
  • Solutions for delivering agricultural extension and advisory for beneficiary farmers on the subsidy program
  • Solutions for delivering digitally enabled equipment hire services, such as tractor hire
  • Solutions for real-time alert of pest and diseases, and early warning
  • Solutions offering soil productivity information, satellite imagery as well as remote sensing

Challenge 2: Market linkages

  • Solutions for establishing input and output market linkages
  • Solutions for bulking of demand for imports of adapted fertilizer and agrochemical supply through PPPs
  • Solutions for strengthening of the agro-input dealers’ distribution network and quality control systems

Challenge 3: Financial Inclusion

  • Solutions for input credit e-wallet and insurance among other

Challenge 4: Data

  • Data and statistics
  • Integrated Management Information System

Selection model

All applicants that responded to the EOI (attached) that ran in the New vision on the October 07, 2019, will be evaluated for compliance with the eligibility criteria as defined in the advert. The successful candidates will then be profiled and prepared to participate in the challenge by a contracted firm; The Innovation Village (TIV), in a one-day boot camp

The Event

The event will be organized by MAAIF, supported by the World Bank, through a contracted events management firm; Talent Africa Limited. The shortlisted candidates will show case their products to a carefully selected panel of judges that include technocrats from the government technical departments, academia and the private sector. Innovations will be evaluated in accordance with a judging criterion developed by TIV in collaboration with MAAIF and the WB. Winners will be selected from each of the challenge areas, and will be rewarded in the following manner;

  1. All the selected participants will be receiving a certificate of recognition, for being a part of the event.
  2. A medal will be rewarded to the first 3 qualifiers in each of the challenge areas.
  3. The ACDP will procure the DAT solutions that will be evaluated as fit to solve the implementation challenges of the program


A timeline (attached), leading to a successful event has been prepared and is on course. The timeline activities include; preparation of the innovators, publicity and communication aspects, as well as the event’s deliverables.

Apply here

[1] “Disruptive Agricultural Technologies (DATs) are digital and non-digital innovations that enable smallholder farmers to leapfrog their current constraints and improve their yields, incomes, nutritional status, and climate resilience. These technologies range from mobile apps, to digital identities for farmers, to solar applications for agriculture, to portable agriculture devices, to bio-fortified foods.”

More details Disruptive Agricultural Technology – Brief

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