(L-R) Dr. Dan Gustafson, Deputy Director – General for Programmes at FAO, and Prof Kanyama-Phiri, RUFORUM Vice Board Chair during the signing of the MoU in Lilongwe, Malawi

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacities Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) on the 26th October, 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding and committed to work together to strengthen  the capacities of RUFORUM member universities to better contribute to food and nutrition security, increase sustainability of agricultural and food systems, reduce rural poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

The event took place as one of the key highlight events of the RUFORUM 13th Annual General Meeting which took place in Lilongwe, Malawi, October 25-27 October, 2017. The partnership agreement was signed by Dr. Dan Gustafson, Deputy Director – General for Programmes at FAO, and Prof Kanyama-Phiri, RUFORUM Vice Board Chair.

“Together with FAO, RUFORUM can provide the students from its member universities with the most up to date knowledge resources and skills to produce high quality agricultural research and enable them to work with rural communities to generate innovative development solutions”, said Prof Kanyama-Phiri.

Similarly, Dr Moses Osiru, the RUFORUM Deputy Executive Secretary indicated that the implementation of this partnership agreement between RUFORUM and FAO will help students and university staff to increase their hands on experience placements in the FAO country level programmes  as well as update their knowledge through FAO e-learning hub currently co-hosted by RUFORUM and FAO

“As highlighted on the World Food Day, migration from poor rural areas is a huge challenge in Africa. Youth have the potential to revolutionize the agriculture sector and change the future of migration. We must increase the quality of agricultural education to strengthen the food and agriculture sectors in Africa and ensure employment opportunities to build healthy, bright and safe futures, making migration a choice rather than a necessity”, said FAO Deputy Director-General Daniel Gustafson.

Talking about the importance of this MoU at country level, Mr James Okoth, FAO Malawi’s Resilience Officer indicated that through this MoU they will be able to formalize the ongoing collaboration between FAO Malawi office and Malawian universities in terms of student’s internship placements and access to the available rich e-learning material provided by FAO. Click here to download the press release.

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