Opening remarks by Dr Alice Mutiti Mweetwa, RUFORUM Deputy Executive Secretary During The: MODULAR TRAINING PROGRAMME

On Public Policy Cycles for Family Farming for State and Non-Sate Actors in Zambia, 25thApril, 2022

The Food and Agricultural Organization Representative in Zambia, Her Excellency, Madame Suze Percy Filippini

Representatives of Family Farming Unit of Food and Agricultural Organization at Rome

The Dean of the School of Agricultural Sciences or His representative

Directors and Heads of Units in the Government of the Republic of Zambia or their representatives

Representatives of the Private Sector, the farmers & farmer ogarnizations, and other institutions

All Distinguished Participants

Ladies and Gentlemen

All protocols observed

  1. I bring you greetings from the Executive Secretary, Professor Adipala Ekwamu, and the team at the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Secretariat in Kampala, Uganda. It is indeed a great pleasure to be co-hosting this event here in Zambia. Allow me to briefly introduce RUFORUM.
  2. RUFORUM is a network of 148 universities in 38 African countries. It was established in 2004 by Vice Chancellors of 10 universities from Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
  3. It is legitimized through the RUFORUM Charter signed by Member States in Africa. Today, Zambia is at an advanced stage in the signing process.
  4. There are four member universities in Zambia: 1. The University of Zambia, 2. The Copperbelt University, 3. Mulungushi University 4. Kapasa Makasa University which was only admitted during the RUFORUM Annual General Meeting of 2021 in Benin.
  5. In Zambia, RUFORUM’s footprints include: 1. Human capital development at Master’s and doctoral levels 2. Research grants 3. University of Zambia led SADC Regional Centre for Plant Breeding and Seed Systems 4. Zambia Higher Education Day with RUFORUM participation 5. Support to the Zambia National UN Food Systems Summit, among others.
  6. RUFORUM was founded to mobilise African universities to deliberately contribute to the well-being of small-scale farmers, other members of rural communities, and economic development of countries throughout Africa. Therefore, its mission is to strengthen the capacities of universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of small-holder farmers through the training of high quality researchers, the output of impact-oriented research and the maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers, national agricultural research institutions and governments.
  7. RUFORUM has several core activities, among which are also the improvement of the adaptive capacities of universities to produce high quality and innovative training, research and outreach activities that can contribute to policy and development practice and create a dynamic regional platform for policy advocacy, coordination, and resource mobilization for improved training, research and outreach by universities in Africa.
  8. RUFORUM derives its medium to long term agenda from challenges in the continent observed by its members, African continent wide policy frameworks including the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25), Policy Framework on Revitalizing Higher Education in Africa, the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024), Science Agenda for African Agriculture (S3A) and the Regional Economic Communities’ higher education, agriculture and science, technology and innovation strategies and frameworks. RUFORUM is also an implementing partner for Africa Union’s priority Area One of STISA 2024 – Eradicating Hunger and Achieving Food and Nutrition Security, and the Action Plan for the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government Championing Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AU-C10).

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen. Read More Here

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