The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 147 African universities operating within 38 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM is coordinated by a Secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The organisation evolved from its predecessor, the Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry (FORUM) program of the Rockefeller Foundation. RUFORUM is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and has mandate to oversee graduate training. In July, 2014, RUFORUM signed a cooperation agreement with the African Union to support the implementation of the new African Union for Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa, 2024 (STISA 2024).
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 the sub‐ Saharan Africa region. The consortium has several unique features for building Africa’s innovation capacity and for engaging universities in development process and practice;
- It is owned and managed by Africans;
- It derives its agenda largely from the continent wide policy frameworks especially of the African Union‐New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), The African Union Science, Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024); The African Union Policy Framework on Revitalising Higher Education in Africa; the Sub regional Multi–Country Agricultural Productivity Programmes; The National Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) of the member States and Governments and constant review of global trends and foresight planning to ensure Africa has the required capacity for global competitiveness;
- It allows for joint action by the member universities. This is enhanced through joint faculty appointment for the 60 universities, payment of local fees by graduate students and national mechanisms (National Forums) which ensure wide stakeholder participation in the RUFORUM programmes; and,
- The consortium provides a wide array of training opportunities for stakeholders, and is in the process of establishing credit transfer mechanisms among the member universities.
Why RUFORUM Exists
Realize economies of scope and scale trhrough academic exchanges including fostering region centers of excellence to train the next generation of agricultural scientists
Provide an effective platform for University support to smallholder farmers through likages with national agricultural research systems, the private sector and rutal communities.
To champion national and regional policies to support efective postgraduate agricultural training and research.