The Future of Agriculture and Its Skills Requirements in Africa – In Response to the African Union Vision 2063

Written by Bongiwe Nomandi Njobe – Executive Director at Tiger Brands Ltd and RUFORUM Board Member

Above: Bongiwe Nomandi Njobe - Executive Director at Tiger Brands Ltd and RUFORUM Board Member
Above: Bongiwe Nomandi Njobe – Executive Director at Tiger Brands Ltd and RUFORUM Board Member

As part of the celebrations to mark the 10 year anniversary of RUFORUM at the Fourth Biennial Conference held 21-25 July in Maputo, Mozambique, selected individuals provided reflections to RUFORUM network stakeholders. The following speech was delivered by Dr. Bongiwe Njobe, a member of the RUFORUM Board to RUFORUM Vice Chancellors at an evening event.  

I would like to start by expressing my deep appreciation for the opportunity to join – what I am coming to respect as a formidable – deeply rooted and oriented African led organisation – RUFORUM at the board level.  When I accepted to join I was not aware that part of my induction would be the need to – make a maiden speech – clearly I now know that there are no free dinners at RUFORUM. Whilst I appreciate the chance to share my thoughts on the future of agriculture and its skills requirements for our continent – I am also humbled by the challenge, as my intimate knowledge of all the recent advancements in the agricultural higher education sector is really limited and probably influenced by my experiences in South Africa and the SADC region. So whilst I will not ‘take the fifth’ on what I am about to say I do apologize in advance – in case any comments I make are out of context.

Synchronicity – a term originally coined by Carl Jung during his research into the phenomenon of the collective unconscious, has come to mean ‘the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection’. The holding of this RUFORUM Biennial Meeting on its 10th year of existence may have been a simple timing matter flowing from the biennial planning cycle; that it is held in Maputo where the African Heads of State adopted CAADP may be a coincidence, furthermore that it is also held during the year that the African Union (AU) has declared and celebrated as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security as part of the celebrations for CAADP at 10 may have been deliberate and if I may humbly add that this is also a year in which I find my way back to the area of my passion – African Agricultural Development – and that in my book – amounts to Synchronicity.  Irrespective of how we see the overlap in these reasons, I would like to start by adding my congratulations to the founders of the concept, implementers of the ideas and the beneficiaries of the programmes who are now the inspiration for reflection. Click here to read more

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