During the 7th Africa Higher Education Week and the RUFORUM Triennial Conference in Benin, RUFORUM recognised individuals making significant contribution in transforming their communities and institutions. Four Categories of people were awarded during the official opening ceremony at Palai de Congres, Contonou, Benin. As a Network, RUFORUM periodically recognizes individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to development in the continent, and to their own countries, institutions, and society.
Africa’s development like in other parts of the world is driven by the foresight and work of individuals who have dedicated their efforts to generate innovations and/or drive change efforts towards improvement of livelihoods and economic advancement of their nations, and the global community at large. There are many such individuals. This year RUFORUM recognizes 17 individuals who have contributed significantly to development in Africa. Among these are people who have championed agricultural transformation in the continent, promoted innovations and human capital development and catalyzed and continue to support RUFORUM engagement in the policy arena across Africa and globally, making the voice of African Universities heard in the continent. Below is the list of persons recognied during the RUFORUM 7th Higher Education Week;
- Her Excellency Prof. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, former President of the Republic of Mauritius, recognized for her distinguished devotion to the advancement of Science and Technology through inclusive policies in Africa.
- Dr. Agnes Kalibata for her exemplary leadership and contribution to championing agricultural transformation in Africa.
- Prof. Monty Patrick Jones for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of agriculture in Africa.
- Dr. Gabriel Gadison Ajedra Aridru for his exemplary contribution to advancing the cause of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa.
- Dr. Mary Shawa for her influence in the fight against HIV in Malawi and for fostering linkages between Science and Policy for economic development of Africa.
- Prof. John Ssebuwufu for his distinguished accomplishments in the field of Higher Education and its management on the African Continent.
- Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda for exemplary engagement and leadership in the effective delivery of transformative research and policy for Africa’s food systems.
- Mr. Khalid Bomba for his exemplary, strategic and transformative leadership in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector.
- Prof. Stella Williams for her distinguished contribution to the advancement of equity and gender inclusivity in Africa’s rural development.
- Dr. David Nielson for his extensive and exemplary contribution to strengthening agricultural research in Africa and promotion of rural and agricultural advisory services.
- Prof. Ali Mahamane for championing peace and conflict resolution in the Lake Chad Basin and for his contribution to higher education in Africa.
- Prof. Kathleen Ann Muir Leresche for her excellent leadership and passion for transforming higher education for inclusivity, relevance and innovativeness.
- Prof. Sita Guinko for his distinguished contribution to science and higher education in Africa.
- Dr. Dorothy Limunga Njeuma Effange for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of education in Africa.
- Prof. Iman El-Mahallawi for her distinguished contribution to the field of Metallurgy in Africa.
- Prof. George Yobe Kanyama- Phiri for his significant contribution to food security in Malawi and to the advancement of higher agricultural education in Africa.
- Prof. Souaïbou Farougou for his outstanding contribution to human capital development and research in the field of Animal Microbiology and Pathology in Africa.
The 17 individuals represent a few of the many individuals whose work is helping to transform livelihoods and economic situation in the continent. RUFORUM applauds them for their significant contribution to development in Africa.
Secondly, RUFORUM recognised Five Outstanding Young Scientists making significant contribution to research and development in Benin. The Five Outstanding Young Scientists are Dougnon Tamegnon, Dr Assede Emeline Sessi, Dr Salko Kalowole Dr Dossou Michel and Dr Akomian Fortune Azihou.
Thirdly, RUFORUM recognized Three outstanding model famers from Benin that were identified by the Ministry of Agriculture .
The last category that was recognized are the 22 young African Entrepreneurs. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has been running the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition (RUYAEC) since 2016. This year, RUFORUM recognizes 22 outstanding Entrepreneurs from across Africa and they are; Ghislain Irakoze, Abdul Gafaru Dasana Amin, Jacques Baruani Mulanga, Hillary Nahurira, Costantine Edward Herman, Dorah Momanyi, Jovia Kisaakye, Samuel Mwangi, Grace Nyokabi Kimani, Boby Ogwang, Elie Ntirenganya, Damilola Aminat Adeyemi, Evariste Nshimirimana, Wilbur John Kihumuro, Gislaine Matiedje Nkenmayi, Marion Nyangoma, Akwo Ashangndowah, Esther Wanjiru Kimani, Adaeze Akpagbula, Rhona Brooks Birabwa, Rodrigue Landry Badedji, and Maxime Malieh