In collaboration with the Governments of Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, and Mozambique,the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) are jointly preparing the launch of a Call for Proposals for a regional program of Strengthening Higher Agricultural Education for Agri-Food Transformation in Africa (SHAEA). The official call is expected to be launched by the end of August 2018. This is part of the preparation for a proposed investment project expected to be reviewed by the World Bank Group (WBG) Board by June 2019. The purpose of the pre-call for proposals announcement is to inform in advance universities from the above-mentioned five African countries and their partners which are interested in becoming a regional anchor university (RAU) through a competitive selection process under the project and plan to jointly prepare applications in response to the upcoming call which will have more details.
The proposed SHAEA project is intended to develop competent and relevant human resources required to accelerate agri-food system transformation in Africa through strengthening (i) agri-food related education and training enhanced with transdisciplinary approaches, experiential learning and applied research at selected African regional anchor universities; (ii) university linkages to the agricultural sector
at both the regional and national levels – its priorities, needs and stakeholders; and (iii) university partnership with private and public entities related to agri-food both within and outside Africa. SHAEA is part of the WBG’s significant investment in human capital in Africa with a regional emphasis that complements other regional investment projects such as the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence projects, the West African Agricultural Transformation Project (WAATP) and the Eastern and Central African Agricultural Transformation Project (ECAATP). The concept of the proposed SHAEA project has been developed through broad consultation with relevant stakeholders in Africa including governments, tertiary education institutions and the private sector.
The following six key gap areas in terms of knowledge and skills required by agri-food systems transformation in the region have been identified:
- Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship
- Agri-food Systems and Nutrition
- Rural Innovation and Agriculture Extension
- Agricultural Risk Management and Climate Change Proofing
- Agriculture Policy Analysis
- Statistical Analysis, Foresight and Data Management
The proposed SHAEA project will support the governments of the participating countries to collectively address challenges in these regional key gap areas with interventions of: (a) selecting Regional Anchor Universities (RAU) through a competitive and transparent process from among existing higher education institutions in participating countries that have agricultural capacity at the post graduate level and that show strong potential to help address regional challenges in the defined key gap areas taking into account
national priorities; (b) strengthening these selected RAUs through capacity-building in leadership and management; development of transdisciplinary programs, entrepreneurship and faculty; partnership with public and private entities; and outreach to the agricultural sector; thus enabling the RAUs to produce quality and relevant training and applied research that meets the needs of agricultural sector; (c) establishing a strong culture of collaboration and partnership between higher education institutions and other tertiary education institutions with the agriculture sector; (d) the selected RAUs to become theregional hubs for innovation and training and to instigate real development impact; and (e) developing a culture of results-orientation and accountability in institutional management through a results-based financing mechanism. As a regional project, SHAEA will be governed by its Regional SteeringCommittee (RSC) including of representatives of the governments of the participating countries and facilitated by its Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) – RUFORUM.
RAUs will be selected within participating countries through a transparent and competitive process. Universities do not need to be RUFORUM members to apply. All submitted proposals that meet the eligibility criteria will be evaluated by an Independent Evaluation Committee and the RSC will make the final selection decision. Interested universities should meet all the following eligibility criteria:
- Be from one of the participating countries which have International Development Association(IDA) funding availability.
- Has had at least 10-year’s history of establishment legally (public or private) with at least 5 cohorts of graduates with Master’s degrees
- Offer postgraduate programs at the Master’s level (preferably also at the PhD level) in areas related to agri-food systems with preference given to institutions that are active in at least one ofthe identified regional key knowledge gap areas
- Has at least one existing active and functional regional partnership in the area of agriculture
- Demonstrated on-going effort in reform/change for institutional improvement
- No land acquisition needed if civil works are expected to be financed under the project
- If a university has an existing agricultural Africa Center of Excellence (ACE), it can apply as long as the proposed focus area for becoming a RAU is not the same as what is already supported by the agricultural ACE
- Only one proposal per university can be submitted
For more details and criteria of how to submit proposals, please download SHAEA Pre-call for proposals announcement Final
- Find French version here
- Portuguese version……Coming soon!