My farm is now a demonstration centre for the community


Over the years, agriculture as a sector has improved the lives of many people who engage in it. This is what largely motivated me to venture into it. But I also wanted to undertake it on a commercial scale that benefits me and the community. Because most of the farmers in my community are engaged in growing maize, rice and beans, I also decided to start with these crops. 

I planted maize on 3.5 acres of land.  From experience, I learnt that maize production requires a lot of monitoring and proper management in order to reap good benefits from it. This is what is lacking among many growers. So as a student of agriculture, I had to follow the right steps of production. That means I had to buy good quality seeds to begin with. Over a period of two days, my family and I were engaged in the planting of the seeds.

The maize Garden

I achieved a high percentage of germination. I also ensured to weed the garden in a timely way, which helped to reduce completion for food between the weeds and the crops, and increase the speed of growth. However, a long spell of sunshine negatively affected the crops, which forced me to spray the garden using a fertilizer, as a way of boosting growth. Unfortunately, this did not help much. I was able to harvest only seven sacks of maize grain. I shared this experience with some of the farmers in my community, and the lessons learnt have helped them do better in terms of the way they handle their production process.

I also decided to experiment with growing other crops, so I ventured into rice growing. Although I haven’t harvested it yet, I believe the variety of seeds I’ve planted is good enough to reap the returns I anticipate. I also wanted to use to demonstrate to farmers in my community that rice growing can be done even without planting it in wetlands. Because I don’t have enough labour to undertake manual weeding, I spray the garden to keep weeds away. I am hopeful that the results at harvest time will be positive.    

   

Kyeyune Spraying the maize

Beans is another crop that I have been growing, largely as a source of food for my family. Since beans are leguminous crops, I decided to add some nitrogen into the soil because the land had been previously overused and was not producing as much yields.  The beans are now doing well, and have reached the flowering stage. Another good thing is that taking care of beans is not a hectic undertaking as long as they are planted at the right time and weeding is undertaken regularly.

Drying the maize

In addition to all those projects, I have set up a small banana plantation to provide food for the family. The plantation was set up immediately after I got the scholarship. I’m glad to report that we are already reaping the benefits. Thanks to RUFORUM for the opportunity of the scholarship at Gulu University. It has been a life changing opportunity not only for me but my entire community.

By Ignatius Kyeyune

I looked at the good side of the lockdown, now I’m reaping from it


My name is Joseline Orishaba, and I come from Keitampene village, Kajara county in Ntumgamo district. I’m pursuing a bachelor of science degree in Information and communication Technology at Gulu University. Being a student supported by the MasterCard Foundation under RUFORUM, I chose to look at the good side of the lockdown, and it has turned out to be a great opportunity for me to exploit my farming abilities. Through the RUFORUM programme, we have benefited not just from financial support, but also entrepreneurship trainings. These trainings have taught me how to save and invest in projects that will improve my livelihood and those of my community.

So, during the lockdown, I decided to spend more time trying to improve all the skills I had learnt. I started a poultry enterprise, raising breeding local chicken and then selling the eggs to earn income that I used to support my siblings and grandmother.With the favorable climate that we experience in western Uganda, I also planted beans from which I hope to reap at least 70 kilogrammes for home consumption. Although I had previously started raring goats, some were stolen and so I have had to start afresh. I have bought six more goats and I plan to expand this project. 

Joseline Orishaba

Besides farming, I have also been able to attend new entrepreneurial trainings as well as an online course on girl-child centred design, from Philanthropy University, where I was awarded a certificate. The course focused on how to recruit girls and look into their challenges so that solutions that would enable them prosper socially and economically are designed. I believe that investing in the girl child has positive returns for the community.

Joseline Orishaba digging

I studied this course because I have a passion of reaching out to girls especially teenagers in my community. I should have implemented this skill but since people are social distancing as one of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I haven’t been able to mobilize the girls. My wish is to do more online courses and attend webinars training sessions but the remoteness of my home and lack of access to reliable electricity and internet connectivity cannot let me do so.

Taking goats to graze

Because many people lost jobs and had no means of feeding their families, I saw this as an opportunity to give back to the community. I provided a few vulnerable families with maize flour, beans and soap. All this has been possible with the generous support from the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM.

By Joseline Orishaba

Selling handmade crafts helped me earn extra income during lockdown


My name is Emmanuel Okwir, a Cohort III student at Gulu University. Being a beneficiary of the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM scholarship helped restore my hope for an education. It has taken me places, and I have benefited from various mentorship opportunities during the programme.    

Emmanuel Okwir

I come from a family headed by a single mother, and life has not always been easy for us. So, during the lockdown, I decided to focus on further building my business by opening up a shop that specializes in selling and making products such as bags, sandals, shoes, baskets, paper beads and necklaces from African inspired materials. 

It is a business I opened in November 2019. Although it had started picking up fast, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.However, from the entrepreneurial trainings that I attended, which were facilitated by RUFORUM, I have already developed new ideas on how to take the business forward and soon, the implementation process will start.

A collection of African Jewllery

I have also been saving part of my stipend to secure a piece of land on which I plan to construct a family home, as we currently live in a rented house.I also invested some of my monthly stipend to undertake and complete an online certificate course in food processing at the Digital School of Food and Agriculture.

Through the support from the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM, I hope to transform my community for the better.

I have spent the lockdown running a piggery


Before l got a scholarship from RUFORUM, life was a constant struggle for me and my family. My parents were engaged in agriculture, but it did not bring in enough income to support the household. Out of a family of 11 siblings, I was the first to go to university. On the other hand, while my brothers attended a government aided school, my sister could not pursue her higher education further after completing Advanced levels because there were no finances.

When I benefited from the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM scholarship, l started supporting my father to pay school fees for four 4 of my siblings. The other three are in lower primary, under the government free education programme, which means that all I have to do is provide them with scholastic materials and registration fee. That’s what I did before schools were closed because of COVID-19.

My goal is to see to it that my siblings get the kind of education I have been able to get. And that’s why I decided to open a savings account with an insurance company for a policy that offers education related covers.  From my scholarship stipend, I’ve been able to save Shs300,000 every month into the education insurance fund. Over a five-year period, I hope to have saved about Shs18million. The long-term closure of schools also propelled me to think of alternative income generating activities that I could engage in while I spent time at home. 

Pru Edusave Plan for school fees

Starting a piggery

First, I started with piggery. With the knowledge, I had acquired at the university through my engagements with the community, I was able to launch the piggery enterprise. We already had a mature pig in the homestead, so I decided to sell it and use the money to buy more piglets and food for the animals. In the course of running the project, l trained my siblings and the youth in the community on how to take care of the animals, including good feeding practices, deworming and spraying against diseases.

Adong feeding one of the pigs

The plan now is to expand the project by stocking more piglets, while at the same time engaging community members on how to venture into large scale piggery. Most of the community members rare one or two pigs at any given time because majority haven’t taken on the enterprise as a commercial venture.

Growing vegetables

During the lockdown, I also decided to start growing vegetables such as egg plants, onions, tomatoes, green pepper and carrots. Because access to markets was a big challenge at the time, we decided to consume the vegetables we had planted at home. The plan was also to sell the extra vegetables within the community. However, this was not successful because most people didn’t have the purchasing power. As an agricultural student, I also asked my brothers to design a solar drier that we could use to preserve the bulk of the vegetables.

Picking vegetables

A housing project

Having grown up sleeping in a grass thatched house, my desire has always been to live in a permanent- iron roofed structure. That dream is starting to take shape. Since I haven’t been contributing towards tuition for my siblings who have been at home since March because of Covid19, I have been spending my stipend on buying construction materials, including bricks and cement. Although the project hasn’t taken off, I plan to construct a three-bedroom house for my family.

Our home

I also have plans for the future. I hope to start a business venture that will specialise in selling chicken and chips. I would also like to start raring chicken on a large scale.

Building material

The MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM support has come a long way in changing our lives, even more so during the pandemic.

By immaculate Adongo

After the struggle, there is a crown. A story of a RUFORUM Intern


My name is Evaline Acan and I hail from a small district called Oyam in northern Uganda. During my early childhood, Lived in Kampala Uganda’s capital city with my father. However, at the age of 12, my father lost his job and as a result, I was sent to Oyam.

Evaline Acan

While in Oyam, I joined Survivors’ Infant primary school until I completed my primary leaving examination (PLE). An examination that determines one’s entry into secondary school in Uganda. While Survivors’ Infant primary school, I admired our school bursar and thought to be an account. 

In 2009, I was very excited to join senior one  at St. Mary Magdalene Girl’s school, but my father who was the bread winner had lost his job and therefore did not have the money to pay my school fees. That got me worried and uncertain about the continuity of my education.

Miraculously, my paternal uncle who heard about my fate offered to pay school fees. I went to school but it was not a smooth path. I always reported late to school, missed a lot of lessons and I sometimes evened miss exams. In order to catch up with other students, I borrowed books from my friends at the end of every school term so that I could copy the notes that I missed.

During the school holidays, my parents always went to the farm and left me at home to do domestic chores. In order to create time for reading, I would wake up early in the morning and do house chores quickly and then gather whatever I needed in the kitchen to prevent unnecessary movement and distraction while I cooked because only then, was I able  to read when the environment was cool and free from noise. It was also the most appropriate time because most people were at their farms.  

Soon, it became routine for me to read in the morning while cooking and copy notes in evening before night fall since our only source of light were candles which were sparingly used for only lighting.  

When I got to S4, everything changed in my favour when my uncle who was now my school fees sponsor paid my fees for an entire year as opposed to the termly arrangement that I had been accustomed to.  I was used to being sent to collect my fees balance. There was no more missing of lessons and exams. I completed my Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examination successfully and emerged that best in my school, as the only student with a first grade.

My parents were pleased and encouraged my uncle to sponsor me for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) at St. Lawrence citizen high school Crown City. Upon completion of UACE, one is expected to join the University. While at St. Lawrence, I took up a combination of Physics, Economics and Mathematics PEM (Sub computer).  Everything went on well, my school fees were fully paid and I was living with my uncle in Kampala where I had enough time and resources to read and study.

Upon completion of UACE exams were over, preparations had to be made for me to join a higher institution of learning, either a University or a Vocational Institution (TVET) However, there was a big challenge. My uncle who had been sponsoring me lost his job because the company that he worked for ran bankrupt and could not sustain all their workers.  As a result, they decided to lay off some employees, of which my uncle was among them. At this point I could not see any possibility of joining a university and my dream of becoming an accountant was shattered. All hope was lost and all in my mind was marriage but when I thought of lives of the married people in my village, how the women suffered farming and providing for their families without the support of their husbands I became discouraged because farm work was not something that I liked doing.

Confusion was all around me then I had to try prayers and fasting over the situation. Months passed without any change and the worry was becoming too much, So my parents decided that I should apply for a course at the university which I did and I was admitted for Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at Gulu university but there was no money to pay tuition.

Three weeks after the reporting date, my sponsor called me and told me to prepare and go the school and that he got a contract with the United Nations, therefore paying tuition would not be a problem but the requirements and hostel fee was to be provided by my parents. Finally I was able to go to school again.

In the beginning, I never liked the course because I wanted to become an accountant. As a result, I used to attend both computer science and Business administration classes for about one month. One day, I attended a physical computing seminar for computer science and Information Technology (IT) students. In that seminar, the facilitators discussed about the need for IT in the society and I liked the way they played around with codes to make robots perform certain actions and move in different direction. My interest in doing Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) became stronger and soon I forgot about accounting.

Upon completion of my Bachelor degree in 2019, I had the interest of enrolling for a Masters program in Information Technology. I applied for many scholarships but did not succeed in getting any so I decided to volunteer with two organizations to keep myself busy as I continued looking for scholarships and a paying job.

In May 2020, I came across the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) internship job advert over the internet and applied for it. Lucky enough, I was called for an interview and two weeks after the interview, the RUFORUM human resource manager called and told me that I got the job and I was to start work o the 1/Sept/2020.

My first day in office, I met the Executive Secretary of RUFORUM who told me to invest in my future. I never took it serious but every time I would meet him, he would repeat the same thing. One day, He wrote an email requesting me to apply for a master in information technology and the organization offered me a scholarship. I was very excited when I heard about the offer. I applied for masters of information technology at Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) and am now pursuing my studies.  Iam grateful to the RUFORUM Executive Secretary Prof. Adipala and RUFORUM secretariat at large for the scholarship and for making my dreams come to a reality.  

Here is how my smart gardening is working


The idea of starting a smart garden began in March this year, when we returned home after the university was closed. Other lower institutions of learning had also been closed. So, my siblings were all home. That meant there were more people to feed all at once, and that would put a huge strain on my parents. That’s when I decided to venture into different types of farming.

I started by planting vegetables such as collard, onions, spinach, tomatoes and green pepper to cut on the cost of buying food for the family on a day to day basis. To achieve this, I made use of the available space in our backyard by filling up soil in different sacks to act as the “garden”.

Smart Garden

Because we did the planting before the rainy season, we had to manually water the crops every evening. We also worked as a family team, so we all had an opportunity to learn a skill in the process. The only challenge I’m facing at the moment is birds eating up the crops. We have had to cover up some of them in transparent nets to prevent the birds from destroying the leaves. Besides growing vegetables, I also support my mother to take care of the banana plantation, which in turn has also been one of our biggest sources of food.

Another enterprise I’ve ventured into is raring local chicken. I started by purchasing 10 hens—just enough for the small space that we have. Overtime, we have been selling the chicks to earn an income. But we also consume the eggs and meat as part of our diet. During the lockdown, I also identified another gap that existed in our town: there were no hair salons within the vicinity, and getting synthetic hair for braiding hair was difficult. So, I took advantage of the gap to start one. I rented out a kiosk which I have turned into a salon. I have one employee. I also use the space at the front of the kiosk to sell snacks and tea. I’m hopeful this business will eventually take off and bring in even more returns. When I’m not tending to my garden or looking out for the chicken, I spend time undertaking online courses to improve my skills in communications, public speaking and entrepreneurship in emerging economies.

The support I have received from the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM has changed my perspective to life—and for the better.

By Priscilla Namulondo

COVID-19 lockdown kick-started my passion in pineapple farming


My name is Gloria Nampija. I’m a second-year student at Gulu University, pursuing a degree in Biosystems Engineering. I am also a beneficiary of the MasterCard Foundation scholarship programme under RUFORUM.

When institutions of learning were shut down in March because of COVID-19, I decided to return to my ancestral home in the Eastern Uganda District of Kaberamaido where I started venturing into agriculture to keep busy. But farming has always been a lifelong passion. Coupled with the mentorship I’ve benefited from RUFORUM, I believed this was my opportunity to make that life-long dream a reality. I also opted to grow pineapples because they are easy to manage while on the farm, and the financial returns are encouraging.

Nampija Weeding pineapples

All a person requires for this kind of enterprise are pineapple suckers and land. The land I farm on was given by my parents.

Because of the limited amount of land that I had to carry out this project, I decided to intercrop the pineapples with 140 banana plants. Apart from increased income, the other advantage of intercropping the two crops is that the bananas also provide shade to the pineapples

I hope to harvest about 200 pineapples from the one acre of land I have utilized, which will go towards supporting me and my family. I have also ventured into tree planting, and I believe I will reap the benefits in the long run. Trees are also crucial for conserving the environment, which is an added benefit to the community.

In all this, the MasterCard/RUFORUM support has helped to horn my entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

By Gloria Nampija

What being a TAGDev scholar has taught me


My name is Iyaloo Sheyavali. I hail from Oheti region in northern Namibia. I am currently a final year student pursuing a master of science degree in Food Security and Community Nutrition at Gulu University in Uganda. My programme is funded under the Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development project (TAGDev), and supported by the MasterCard Foundation.

Iyaloo Sheyavali from Namibia is a Mastercard Scholar at Gulu University under TAGDev projects

Since I got into this programme, it has been quite a journey—both inspiring and challenging at the same time. I gained experience, I got exposed to a diversity of people, from different backgrounds and countries, and I attended conferences and trainings on personal development and entrepreneurship. Some of the trainings I’ve participated in include how to make biomass briquettes, research proposal writing, data analysis, and report writing. I was also involved in a number of field visits, where I interfaced with farmers who are engaged in different agricultural enterprises including livestock, horticulture and mixed farming. I have also worked closely with the community during field attachments https://ruforum.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/in-the-community-gulu-university-msc-students-train-mothers-on-nutrition/ and throughout my research process. These experiences have made me develop team spirit and professionalism.

Life in Uganda

Uganda has now become my second home. The people are kind, loving and smart. I have seen so many opportunities here especially in the food sector. This is particularly so in the areas of food processing, quality and safety. With weather that favours agricultural production throughout the year, the country has done well to harness this benefit to its advantage.

Coming from a semi-arid country, I was surprised to see a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year here. For instance, in my country, avocados and pineapples are expensive and rare. However, food waste remains a huge challenge for Uganda. Food gets wasted because in a season, the output from the farmers cannot all be absorbed by the market. Given that most of these are perishable products, with a short shelf-life, a big percentage of it gets thrown away before it is consumed.

Value addition remains low or lacking in many instances.

I once experimented adding value to tomatoes by cooking and turning it into paste and then using vinegar as a preservative.  When I showcased it at Gulu University’s first agri-preneurship symposium, it drew a lot of interest from the public, and all the products I made were bought. I hope before I complete my school programme, I can get a chance to teach a group of women in the community the different methods of processing fruits and vegetables safely, without altering or losing their nutritional value.

During this period, I have spent at home because of the Covid-19 lockdown, I have learnt one lesson: do not help people by giving them money, but rather create for them a source of income. I come from a large family that is supported by a single parent–my mother Hambeleleni Sheyavali. This puts a lot of pressure on her and becomes even more challenging when learners return to school. So, to ease that pressure, I decided to create an extra stream of income for the family.

I bought 50 Lohmann brown chicken (layers) for my mother. Over the past one year, she has managed to run the chicken business successfully and it is sustaining itself. She also lost only three chickens during the process. With this success and lessons learnt, we plan to buy extra 500 chickens to expand the business. 

Layers

The experience and exposure I gained from the TAGDev scholarship has made all this possible, and I am excited to return home and build on this progress. I believe this is a stepping stone to many more great ventures. I would like to thank MasterCard Foundation, RUFORUM and the TAGDev team for the support, training and mentorship.

By Iyaloo Sheyavali

Call for papers for a special issue in the African Journal of Rural Development


Background

The development of the agriculture sector remains a key pillar and pathway of the economic and social development of many nations. It also holds the promises of improving food and nutritional security across the world. Universities and research institutions, have a prominent role to play in achieving these aspirations, through production of research output, knowledge, and innovations that meet the needs and challenges in the agricultural sector, and advancing the technologies for future world. In Africa, the role of universities and research institutions in catalysing societal development is even more crucial, in the current context of demographic explosion, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation are implementing the Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to African Growth and Development (TAGDev) project to increase universities’ relevance and impact on the community, with a particular emphasis on smallholder farmer communities. In these processes, it is well acknowledged that research along the agricultural value chains and focusing on aspects that are meaningful for livelihoods, will have considerable long-term implications for societal well-being and sustainable development. Further, the impacts of these research outputs on society are even greater when they are practical, communicable and locally exploitable.

The African Journal of Rural Development (AJRD) is an online open access multi-disciplinary journal that shares knowledge on all aspects that focus on sustainable rural development of rural communities. The journal focuses on the following areas:

  1. Sustainable agriculture and protection of natural resources
  2. Social and economic changes in agriculture and forest management
  3. Environmental management of agroforestry systems
  4. Management of water and hydric resources as indicators of quality of life and sustainable development in rural environments
  5. Use of primary production, forestry, and agriculture as sources of renewable energy
  6. Sustainable land use
  7. Ecological production, food safety and guarantee of origin

As part of strengthening dissemination of research outputs and lesson sharing in the TAGDev project, the AJRD invites student beneficiaries of the TAGDev project, including postgraduates students and their supervisors, to submit journal papers following the journal instructions for authors, guidelines and format (http://www.afjrd.org/jos/index.php/afjrd/information/authors).  

The deadline for submission is 31th December 2020. Papers should be submitted through the journal online platform (http://www.afjrd.org/jos/index.php/afjrd/about/submissions). All submissions will be scanned for originality through the anti-plagiarism software, peer reviewed and published as open access journal articles.

The Journal publishes in French and English. Therefore, authors can submit papers in either English or French. For inquiries about your submission, please contact us through ajrd-pub-assistant@outlook.com.

[Press release] RUFORUM announces the first sub-committee of Principals and Deans of the 129 Network member Universities


Kampala 14 October 2020 In line with the decision of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Board and the Annual General meeting decisions of 2019 that established a sub-committee of Principals and Deans, and following guidance of the RUFORUM Board Executive Committee meeting of 23 June 2020, RUFORUM is pleased to announce the constitution of the Principals and Deans Sub-Committee.

This Committee acts on behalf of the Principals and Deans of RUFORUM Network to provide guidance on operational issues coming from member universities, countries and National Forums. It is also responsible for preparing the agenda for the Principals and Deans meetings during the RUFORUM Annual General Meetings and Triennial Conferences

Constituted in-line with the established procedure, the Principals and Deans Sub-Committee is  constituted to take into account; the established procedure of rotational representation among member universities, with the country hosting the AGM assuming the position of Chairperson of the Sub-Committee, and deputised by a representative from the University hosting the AGM in the subsequent year. Four to Five other members form part of the committee to provide for regional and gender representation.

The Sub-Committee reports to the full Principals and Deans Committee which is constituted by representatives of Principals and Deans and Directors of Schools from all RUFORUM member Universities. The Chairperson reports to the RUFORUM Secretariat and the Board Executive Committee.

We are pleased to announce the first Principals and Deans Sub-Committee.

First Principals and Deans Sub Committee effective 1st October 2020

No.NameGenderUniversityRegionComments
1Dr. Abdelaziz Yasri[1]MaleMohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), MoroccoNorth AfricaHost of 2020 AGM
2Prof. Adedjobi Philippe Laleye[2]MaleUniversity of Abomey Calavi, BeninWest AfricaHost of 2021 AGM & Triennial Conference
3Dr. Nyakudya ElijahMaleUniversity of Zimbabwe, ZimbabweSouthern AfricaHost of 2022 AGM
4Dr. Abel AtukwaseMaleMakerere University, UgandaEastern AfricaHost of 2023 AGM
5Dr. Simon AngombeMaleUniversity of Namibia, NamibiaSouthern AfricaHost of 2024 AGM & Triennial
6Dr. Tinna MananiFemaleLilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MalawiSouthern AfricaFemale Representative
7Prof. Juma ShabaniMaleUniversity of Burundi, BurundiCentral AfricaRegional Representative

Note to Editors

About RUFORUM:

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), is a consortium of 129 African universities operating in 38 countries on the continent with a mission to ‘strengthen the capacities of Universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of smallholder 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’. RUFORUM was established by Vice Chancellors in 2004 with a Secretariat hosted at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. In 2014 RUFORUM signed a MoU with the African Union Commission to support implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) Priority One on reducing poverty and ensuring food and nutrition security. RUFORUM has supported the training of 1958 MSc and 536 PhD graduates, of whom 98% work in their countries or region, the generation of over 300 agricultural technologies and mobilized over US$214.9 million for strengthening postgraduate education in Africa. Please visit www.ruforum.org for more information.

For additional information, photos and interviews, contact the following persons

Contacts:

Maureen AgenaCorporate Communications, & Advocacy Specialistm.agena@ruforum.org
   



[1] Chairperson until 2021 Triennial Conference

[2] Vice Chairperson until 2021 Triennial Conference and to assume Chairmanship after 2021 Triennial Conference up to 2022 AGM when he hands over to the Chair from Zimbabwe: The rotation system to continue in subsequent years

[Press release]RUFORUM announces the 16th Annual General Meeting hosted in Partnership with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco


Kampala 14th October 2020 The 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) will be virtually hosted by RUFORUM Secretariat in Partnership with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, in Morocco (UM6P). The various activities of the AGM will be held starting October through to November 2020. It will be the first AGM to be hosted in North Africa with an intention of introducing RUFORUM to North Africa as well as UM6P to other universities in Africa.

The 16th AGM will run under the theme: “Higher Education- Private Sector Partnership: Harnessing Opportunities for Agricultural Transformation in Africa” As a continuously growing network of 129 Universities in 38 countries in Africa, RUFORUM activities are held in different countries and regions in the continent as a way of enabling different stakeholders to come together and promote a greater appreciation of the different countries and regions. 

Last year, the 15th Annual General meeting was held at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana and provided an opportunity for mobilizing wider participation of West African Universities in RUFORUM activities.  RUFORUM recognises the fact that Science, Technology, Innovation (ST&I) and research play a critical role in food and nutrition security, economic development at national and continental level as well as poverty reduction. The AGM will therefore bring together several actors from academia, Government, Private Sector, media, research institutions, farmers and students to not only dialogue on topical issues but to also share experiences and lessons

The Annual General meeting allows for RUFORUM to conduct its Governance business but at the same time bringing together several actors to dialogue on needed action to strengthen agricultural and education, science, technology and innovation development in the continent – Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, Executive Secretary, RUFORUM

Given the virtual nature of this year’s Annual General Meeting, the schedule will be stretched over a month to accommodate the various stakeholders and reduce on overcrowding and stretching of the programme. All RUFORUM stakeholders including the Governance Organs are therefore invited to take note of this schedule and plan accordingly. The details of the individual programme activities will be shared in due course through the RUFORUM AGM website and other communication channels. We continue to count on your support and look forward to your active participation in your respective capacity.

See below the proposed schedule for the Virtual RUFORUM 2020 Annual General Meeting.

SCHEDULE OF THE RUFORUM GOVERNANCE MEETINGS AND THE 16th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

No.MeetingProposed DateProposed Time (EAT)Zoom Meeting Link
  Governance Meetings   
1Joint meeting of the Technical Committee and TAGDev Steering Committee2nd Oct 202014:00 – 16:30Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 853 1943 0320 Passcode:  394553
2Principals and Deans Sub-Committee 19th Oct 202014:00 – 16:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 850 4310 8616 Passcode: 017288
3International Advisory Panel23rd Oct 202016:00 – 18:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 852 4721 7593 Passcode: 438504
4Technical Committee26th Oct 202014:00 – 16:30Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 823 6168 4624 Passcode: 558788
5Finance and Administration Sub-committee28th Oct 202014:00 – 16:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 853 3591 1253 Passcode: 281841
6Audit Committee30th Oct 202014:00 – 16:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 850 9446 8575 Passcode: 267622
7Principals and Deans Committee2nd Nov 202014:00 – 17:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 897 7516 2857 Passcode: 534816
8Board Executive Committee6th Nov 202016:00 – 18:30Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 892 9740 8106 Passcode: 508731
9Board Meeting11th Nov 202016:00 – 18:30Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 822 2542 5709 Passcode: 032751
16th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting 
10Capacity Building on Online Contents Development16th and 17th Nov 202011:00 – 18:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 817 7098 5752 Passcode: 800728
11Side Events for interested groups18th Nov 202012:00-19:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 856 9217 6139 Passcode: 681322
12Introducing UM6P and Official Opening of the AGM19th Nov 202015:00-18:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 882 8455 4298 Passcode: 989470
13The RUFORUM AGM Business Meeting20th Nov 202015:00-18:00Meeting link: Click here Zoom ID: 826 4406 1825 Passcode: 820638

Note to Editors

About RUFORUM:

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), is a consortium of 129 African universities operating in 38 countries on the continent with a mission to ‘strengthen the capacities of Universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of smallholder 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’. RUFORUM was established by Vice Chancellors in 2004 with a Secretariat hosted at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. In 2014 RUFORUM signed a MoU with the African Union Commission to support implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) Priority One on reducing poverty and ensuring food and nutrition security. RUFORUM has supported the training of 1958 MSc and 536 PhD graduates, of whom 98% work in their countries or region, the generation of over 300 agricultural technologies and mobilized over US$214.9 million for strengthening postgraduate education in Africa. Please visit www.ruforum.org for more information.

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is an institution oriented towards applied research and innovation with a focus on Africa. The University is engaged in economic and human development and puts research and innovation at the forefront of African development. A mechanism that enables it to consolidate Morocco’s frontline position in these fields, in a unique partnership-based approach and boosting skills training relevant for the future of Africa. Located in Benguerir, near Marrakech, in the heart of the Mohammed VI Green City, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University intends to shine on a national, continental and international scale. More than just a traditional academic institution, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) is a platform for experimentation, a breeding ground for opportunities, which students refer to as a “School of Life”

https://www.um6p.ma/en

For additional information, photos and interviews, contact the following persons

Contacts:

RUFORUM Secretariat  
Dr. Francis Otto    
Maureen Agena
 


  Manger- Knowledge Hub     Corporate Communications, & Advocacy Specialist
   

f.otto@ruforum.org    

m.agena@ruforum.org
UM6P Morocco  
Abla EL HOSNI     Zineb AGUISOUL  
   

UM6P    
UM6P
    Abla.ELHOSNI@um6p.ma     Zineb.AGUISOUL@um6p.ma


[Press release]The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) of the Government of the Republic of Uganda signs an MOU with RUFORUM


Kampala 7th October 2020 The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoST&I) of the Government of the Republic of Uganda has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in Kampala.

The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is to enhance the deployment of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for poverty reduction, rural livelihood improvement, entrepreneurship and job creation, and national development in Uganda through a partnership between RUFORUM and MoSTI. 

Mr. David O.O. Obong (L) the Permanent Secretary at MoSTI and Prof. Adipala Ekwamu of RUFORUM after signing the MOU

As a continuously growing network of 129 Universities in 38 countries in Africa, RUFORUM recognises the fact that Science, Technology & Innovation (ST&I) plays a critical role in poverty reduction, food and nutrition security and wider economic transformation at national and continental level. Therefore, institutions engaged in research and development for which universities are a great part, should be mobilized and organized to engage more in contributing to national and continental science, technology and innovation.

The signing of the MOU is an acknowledgement that Public-private partnerships are important for achieving impact at scale and reducing duplication of effort at national and regional level. A multi-sectorial and multi actor approach towards integration and building a robust national science, technology and innovation enterprise is necessary.

There must be a strong link between education, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and with the Industry.  To build STI, we must strengthen the basic Sciences- Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, Executive Secretary, RUFORUM

A conducive national STI ecosystem and policy environment are important for proliferation of ST&I and its deployment for food security, poverty reduction, livelihood improvement and national development.

Today marks the beginning of a partnership and collaboration between MoSTI and RUFORUM to jointly mobilise resources from various sources to fund deployment of ST&I in attainment of food and nutrition security, livelihood improvement, entrepreneurship and job creation, and national economic development as aspired by the Government of Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan.

For Uganda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Science, Technology and Innovation must be at the centre. At MoSTI, we use a holistic approach including partnerships of this nature– Mr. David O.O. Obong, Permanent Secretary, MOST&I

(L-R) Mr. Makara, Ms. Nyakaisiki, Mr. Obong from MoSTI and Prof. Adipala, Dr. Nakayiwa and Dr. Otto from RUFORUM

Through its initiative of Building Africa’s Science and Technology Capacity for Economic Growth (BASTIC), RUFORUM recognises that increasing the use of science technology for innovation will require high level skills to drive institutional transformation and agricultural led growth. RUFORUM continues to contribute to this vision by supporting Universities to build effective human capital to engage in research, policy, service provision, and the private sector, as well as translate knowledge into innovations for sustained economic growth and food security. The sighing of this MOU marks the start of engagements with Ministries of Science, Technology and Innovation in the 38 countries of RUFORUM’s operations in Africa.

Note to Editors

About RUFORUM:

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), is a consortium of 129 African universities operating in 38 countries on the continent with a mission to ‘strengthen the capacities of Universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of smallholder 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’. RUFORUM was established by Vice Chancellors in 2004 with a Secretariat hosted at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. In 2014 RUFORUM signed a MoU with the African Union Commission to support implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) Priority One on reducing poverty and ensuring food and nutrition security. RUFORUM has supported the training of 1958 MSc and 536 PhD graduates, of whom 98% work in their countries or region, the generation of over 300 agricultural technologies and mobilized over US$214.9 million for strengthening postgraduate education in Africa. Please visit www.ruforum.org for more information.

About Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda

The Government of Uganda established a Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) on recognizing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are the drivers of socio-economic growth and transformation the world over. Science, Technology and Innovation development is an important determinant of progress and transition from pre-industrial to knowledge-based societies. Therefore, the extent to which a country has harnessed STI has a direct bearing on its level of development.

The Ministry is primarily responsible for creating an enabling policy environment for STI and national development as articulated in the National Science, Technology and Innovation (2009) Policy, the National Development Plan [NDP II: 2016/17 – 2019/20] and the Vision 2040. Please visit https://mosti.go.ug

For additional information, photos and interviews, contact the Corporate Communications, and Advocacy Specialist below.

Contacts:

Name: Maureen AgenaCorporate Communications, & Advocacy SpecialistEmail: communications@ruforum.org
m.agena@ruforum.org


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