A delegation from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, has participated in the Biennial Conference of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), and the 6th Africa Higher Education Week at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.
The delegation included the Provost, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Prof. L.K Sam-Amoah; Dean, School of Agriculture, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako and Head, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Prof. Festus Annor-Frempong. Other members of the delegation were some lecturers and students from the School of Agriculture. Also, included in the delegation were two members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of 2019 RUFORUM Annual General Meeting(AGM).
The conference which was under the theme: “Aligning African Universities to Accelerate Attainment of African’s Agenda 2063”, was held from October 22-26, 2018.
2018 Biennial RUFORUM Conference
The 2018 Biennial conference focused on “University-Agriculture Community Transformation”. It provided an opportunity for participants to showcase their innovations as part of enhancing the university-farmer community partnership and engagement for meaningful innovation. The Conference engaged development partners and governments to articulate innovative funding mechanisms that would propel university transformation for impact. In addition, the youth and young researchers at the conference were exposed to senior professionals, researchers and mentors who would share with them strategies to accelerate innovative research careers, strengthen innovation for community impact, and strengthen research communication, publication and networking. Through the Young African Entrepreneurs Series, the youth and young researchers had the opportunity to be exposed to the practical entrepreneurship skills capacity enhancement and mentorship.
Opening of Conference
The Conference was officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary of Education, Kenya, Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed, on behalf of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya. She was accompanied by Uganda’s first lady, H.E. Janet Museveni and 25 government ministers including Ghana’s Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah and six permanent secretaries from different African nations. The conference was closed with a call to action, to move forward Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Participants of the Conference
A total of 1,107 participants from academia, private sector, Government, Development partners, students and farmers from over 50 countries participated in the conference. There were 20 pre-conference events, six meetings of the RUFORUM Statutory Organs, 67 exhibitions, 414 posters, 12 plenary sessions and 18 Technical parallel sessions. UCC will be hosting the AGM of RUFORUM in December, 2019.
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 105 African universities operating within 37 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) programme of the Rockefeller Foundation. RUFORUM is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and has the 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.