“Youths prefer not to have a toothbrush for a day to a second without internet. ICTs have taken the world by storm especially young people under the age of 30, who constitute 50% of the world’s population.” Ruth Aine, Social Media Training Facilitator.
The whole world has become a global village interconnected through ICTs via social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, to mention but a few. Young people continue to be at the forefront to shape this digital age. They constitute the highest percentage of the age group that uses ICTs actively. This presents an opportunity in development for the youth who are leaders of the future generation. Social media has taken center stage as one of the key strategies in knowledge management for the 4th RUFORUM Biennial Conference. One of the key challenges in most developing countries is to disseminate proceedings and discussions from high-level meetings to the general public. It is very common for meeting proceedings along with very important information to find itself archived in libraries or bookshelves accumulating dust.Social media, however, provides an opportunity to people of various disciplines to have access to important discussions and proceedings in real-time and in a ‘less formal’ format.
It is against this background that RUFORUM assembled a team of 15 young and vibrant students from all across RUFORUM Member Universities and Colleges as onsite social media reporters for their 4th Biennial Conference.The main objective of the social media team is to share as much information from the events at the conference and to reach all corners of the world. Also, the team is expected to engage in discussions with various practitioners that are not present at the conference so as to keep them in the loop of the discussions happening on-site.
The conference celebrates ten years of RUFORUM as a network and its contribution to Higher Education in Agriculture in Africa. The conference participants will also deliberate on the role and strategies to harness ICTs in higher education. Strategies, innovations and issues surrounding the strengthening of partnerships and collaboration in agricultural research, education and extension will also take centre stage during the discussion, as this falls within the core mandates of RUFORUM.