RUFORUM - Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture Limited by Guarantee
RUFORUM is a continental level association of 126 agricultural universities operating in 38 African countries. It envisions a vibrant, transformative universities catalysing sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa. RUFORUM’ s 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”
RUFORUM Strategic objectives are:
- Building synergy from networks of specialization to develop quality human resources and capacity required to intensify and increase Africa’s agricultural productivity and competitiveness;
- Ensuring the products, processes and knowledge developed through university research directly respond to and are used by value chain actors in the agri-food system to catalyse transformation; and,
- Marshalling resources and strategically allocating them to enable African universities to transform into viable institutional entities responsive to national aspirations and conditions through intensive knowledge-sharing and collective action.
RUFORUM’s Strategic thrusts are;
- 1. Train a critical mass of Masters and PhD graduates, who are responsive to stakeholder needs and national/regional development goals;
- 2. Develop collaborative research and training facilities that achieve economies of scope and scale;
- 3. Catalyze Technical and Vocational skills development and enhance TVET-University integration;
- 4. Increase the participation and voice of women in agricultural research, production and marketing;
- 5. Improve the adaptive capacities of universities to produce high quality and innovative training, research and outreach activities that can contribute to policy and development practice;
- 6. Increase the use of technology to support effective, decentralized learning and the sharing of knowledge;
- 7. Mainstream new approaches within university teaching and research that emphasizes quality, innovation, and impact across the agricultural sector’s full value chain; and, 8. Create a dynamic regional platform for policy advocacy, coordination, and resource mobilization for improved training, research and outreach by universities.
RUFORUM is governed by its Board of Trustees who are the Vice Chancellors of 126 universities is 38 African countries and five (5) non university Board members representing private sector, farmer organisations, policy makers and international organisations. RUFORUM’ s day today work performed by the Secretariat is guided by the Principals and Deans’ Committee, Technical Committee, an International Advisory Panel, and input from National Forums which are national chapters providing research, development and training needs to guide RUFORUM’ s interventions at national level.
RUFORUM recognizes the important and largely unfulfilled role that universities play in contributing to the well-being of small-scale farmers and other members of rural communities, and economic development of countries throughout Africa. RUFORUM derives its medium to long term agenda from 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 priority Area one of STISA 2024 – Eradicating Hunger and Achieving Food 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).
RUFORUM’s work is guided by its current strategy The African Universities’ Agenda for Agricultural Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AHESTI) commonly referred to at network level as Vision 2030.
RUFORUM contributes to the project through Work Package three (WP3), in particular co-leading, together with SLU, the Task 3.1 “Clustering Projects & Thematic Networks.”. RUFORUM co-develops the EU-AU projects database by providing the required fields based on the needs of researchers and students from African universities and farmers and private sector in Africa. RUFORUM will also lead the virtual clustering based on the database and Knowledge Management System designed and convene clustering workshops for of EU funded projects in Africa and Europe for the implementation of the Food Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) Roadmap.
- Mr Emmanuel Okalany is the contact person at RUFORUM. Emmanuel is a Technical Specialist for Development and Partnership at the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). RUFORUM is a network of 126 universities in 38 African countries which mobilises African universities to contribute to Africa’s development through agriculture research, Masters and PhD training, community outreach, and private sector engagement. Emmanuel has over five years’ experience in mobilising African university researchers to develop and manage agricultural research and training projects and management of institutional partnerships. He coordinates identification of strategic areas of agricultural Research and Development, development of R&D projects and required institutional partnerships to achieve and sustain impact. Emmanuel has previously worked with International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Uganda as a Climate change policy analysis Consultant under CCAFS Flagship 4 on Policies and Institutions for Climate-Resilient Food Systems. He is a PhD fellow of Agriculture and Rural Innovations at Makerere University, Uganda and holds a Masters in Geomatics and Natural Resources of the University of Florence, Italy.