The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Secretariat organized a pre-project inception meeting for three universities recently awarded projects by the Intra Africa Mobility Scheme funded through the European Union (EU). RUFORUM has been proactively providing technical backstopping to its member universities to mobilize resources for enhanced training and research in Africa.
As part of its services and value addition to the member universities, the RUFORUM Secretariat invited team leaders of the three projects -COTRA, REFORM and SCIFSA- to its offices from 11th -15th December 2017 to discuss implementation modalities and identify areas of synergy across the projects. The coordination teams of the three projects are staff from Makerere University, University of Eldoret, Mzuzu University, Uganda Martyrs University and Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar. To benefit from the lessons and experiences of previous grantees under the same scheme, coordinators of previous projects under the Intra Africa Mobility Scheme such as the Sharing Capacity to Build Capacity for Quality Graduate Training in Agriculture in African Universities (SHARE) and the Inter-University Cooperation to Train Crop Scientists for Enhancing Agriculture in Africa (CSAA) were invited to the workshop.
By the end of the workshop, the teams had developed various implementation documents including: student contracts, scholarship advertisements, partnership agreements and other strategy documents as expected by the EU. The coordinators appreciated the workshop as the outcomes provide a smooth take-off for project implementation and raise issues for discussion during the kick-off meeting slated for February 2018 in Brussels, Belgium under the auspices of the European Union.
About the Intra Africa Mobility Scheme
The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme is one of the actions of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy as outlined in its Roadmap 2014-2017. The Strategy recognises the crucial role of higher education for economic and social development as well as the strong potential of mobility to improve the quality of higher education by accelerating the use of transparency and recognition tools, and helping institutions develop better services to send and receive foreign students and researchers. The overall objective of the programme is to promote sustainable development and ultimately contribute to poverty reduction by increasing the availability of trained and qualified high-level professional manpower in Africa.
In May 2017, RUFORUM provided support to a total of 19 teams from 18 universities across Africa to respond to the Intra Africa Mobility call for proposals. Of the proposals submitted from these universities, three were among the seven that were selected for funding by the EU in 2017