Innovation systems perspectives: Institutional change to strengthen agricultural tertiary education in Sub-saharan Africa

The changing face of African agriculture in the wake of myriad global, regional and local challenges requires adjustments in agricultural capacity development. Universities are better placed to spearhead this change but they too need to adjust the architecture of their programmes. This paper examines the ongoing evolution of the organizational architecture of agricultural tertiary education in Africa. In line with the vision of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), this institutional realignment will erase the long held negative image of universities as backwater populated by egotistic academicians and bureaucratic administrators. The African university is poised to be explicitly positioned in the global knowledge arena as a facilitator of agricultural innovation, technology, institutions and development. A systems perspective is used to explore these possibilities based on experiences from RUFORUM. The paper concludes that the conception of an innovative capacity building programme in Africa must go hand in hand with associated efforts to create a coordinated, multilayered, supra-scale institutional arrangement cognizant of agricultural policy and local contexts. It is suggested that regional, national and local characteristics and differences must come to the fore in the design of demand-driven agricultural tertiary education and training programmes.
Institutional change to strengthen agricultural tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
North Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource

About the RUFORUM 2010 Biennal Conference
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Strengthening Higher Education"