The week’s activities ended on a high note with standout academic and entrepreneurial achievements being officially recognised.
RUFORUM’s 15 emerging innovators were each presented with the Young African Entrepreneurs Award and the best student posters were handpicked by a special panel.
Seven academics were recognised for their extraordinary contributions to RUFORUM’s goals, including:
- Prof Frans Swanepoel, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation at the University of the Western Cape for fostering higher education partnerships in Africa.
- Prof Didier Pillot from France for fostering collaboration between AGRINATURA and RUFORUM.
- Dr Mary Shawa, Permanent Secretary , Government of Malawi for linking universities to policy agenda
- Dr John Lynam for his knowledge contribution to Africa’s development
- Professor Patrick Rubaihayo for championing crop improvement in Africa.
- Dr Patrick Okori for envisioning RUFORUM’s collaborative capacity building agenda for Africa.
- Dr B.K. Patel for foresight in creating the FORUM programme that laid the foundation for RUFORUM
Ugandan Minister of Higher Education, Prof John Chrysestom Muyingo, praised RUFORUM and said: “This conference is in a class of its own”
He encouraged researchers to approach policymakers when they go home, since their skills are in demand: “Politicians want to interface with you, because they are suffering with searching for votes so much an you have the answers to their problems!”
Malawian Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Emmanuel Fabiano, said that he foresees the forum will continue gaining momentum in years to come:
“My expectation is that RUFORUM is going to continue to grow and that the efforts and the vision and mission of RUFORUM is going to become very sustainable, especially when all our Heads of Government in our countries are supporting RUFORUM,” he said.