The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in partnership with four of its member universities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) namely: Evangelical University in Africa (UEA), Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB), Official University of Bukavu (UOB) and Catholic University of Graben (UCG) launched a PhD programme in Agroecology and Climate Sciences on 8th April 2022 at UEA. The ceremony was officiated by Prof Virima Mudogo, Cabinet Director representing the DR Congo’s Minister of Higher Education. The PhD programme is an outcome of the Africa-wide consultations during the United Nations Food System Summit Dialogue of 2021 which identified key areas for science-led interventions to strengthen Africa Agri-food Systems and to develop response capacities and solutions to emerging challenges posed by, amongst others, climate change and resultant environmental hazards in the continent. The PhD Programme will be jointly run by the four DR Congo Universities and will be offered in both English and French. RUFORUM has provided seed funding for the PhD programme that will involve faculty and students from across the continent. The launch was preceded by a two days’ scientific event where universities in the region showcased their research activities to ameliorate the effect of climate change and other research innovations.
During the launch, Prof Mudogo who represented the Minister of Higher Education reaffirmed DR Congo’s Government commitment to strengthen the Higher Education sector in the country. He mentioned that DR Congo Government was planning to establish 10 Higher Education Centres of Excellence across the country and needed the support of RUFORUM to build staff capacity for Higher Education institutions and agricultural sector in the country.
Prof Adipala Ekwamu, the RUFORUM Executive Secretary, thanked the DR Congo’s Universities for agreeing to work collaboratively to build capacity for DR Congo and the wider continent. He thanked the Government of DR Congo for accrediting the PhD Programme and promised to link the PhD Programme to other related centres of excellence in and outside Africa.
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