The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM, see www.ruforum.org ) is a network of 126 universities in 38 African nations spanning the Continent with a vision to ‘create vibrant, transformative universities to catalyze sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa.’ The Network was established to foster integration of member universities into Africa’s development processes, particularly within strategies and frameworks for agriculture, higher education, science, technology and innovation. RUFORUM has supported research initiated through graduate training, developing elite varieties of native crops, commodity production practices and novel methodologies for sustainable natural resources exploitation for enhanced livelihoods. Adoption of the RUFORUM-induced technologies, innovations and management practices has significantly contributed to improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers on the continent. RUFORUM engagement with continental and global policy and advocacy has contributed towards increasing public and private sector investment into higher agriculture education and research as well as building capacity for knowledge generation and the application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. Since establishment in 2004, RUFORUM has directly sponsored the training of 1919 students at MSc degree level, 525 graduates at doctoral degree level and 118 undergraduate students. Several others have benefitted through attending its flagship Regional Training Programmes and participation in its sponsored community action research projects, convening events and skilling workshops. The network has mobilized resources over US$ 200 million to support research and training led by universities in Africa, vocationalisation of higher education through enhancing collaboration between universities and technical and vocational education training institutions, and strengthening university-community engagement initiatives. This paper summarizes the contribution of RUFORUM to the Africa continent-wide developmental strategies.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series
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