[Thought Piece] RUFORUM IN 2032


Background

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 155 African universities operating within 38 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and has a mandate to oversee graduate training and networks of specialization in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Its activities are coordinated by a Secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The organization evolved from its predecessor, the Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry (FORUM) program of the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2014, RUFORUM signed a cooperation agreement with the African Union Commission (AUC) to support implementation of the AUC Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa, 2024 (STISA 2024). RUFORUM is also a key implementer of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). RUFORUM supports universities to address the important and largely unfulfilled role that universities play in contributing to the well‐being of small‐scale farmers and economic development of countries throughout Africa. In 2002, the Kenya Government introduced free primary and secondary education and is today pursuing 100% transition from primary to secondary as well as from secondary to tertiary colleges, including University education. In 2016, Malcolm Blackie envisioned the creation of the new African university, which would attract the bright, motivated, but poorly educated student and young women into higher education. African universities are being challenged to produce ‘job creators’ not ‘job seekers’, and, in response, entrepreneurship courses are being cascaded into degree programs. This is the reason why the World Bank is funding the ENABLE youth programs in most African countries, including Kenya, where the Outreach center of the University of Eldoret is one of the agribusiness incubation centers.

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