March 21, 2023

African Varsities Engage On Agro-Food Systems

2 min read

A grouping of major African universities, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (Ruforum) is set to engage governments on strengthening Africa’s agri-food systems in the Post Covid-19 era at their 18th annual meeting set for today.

Established in 2004, Ruforum brings together 147 universities from all African regions: Eastern, Central, Northern, Western and Southern Africa.

The organisation evolved from the Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry of the Rockefeller Foundation.

It is registered as an international non-governmental organisation and has mandate to oversee graduate training and networks of specialisation in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).

Ruforum has an understanding with the African Union for strengthening science, technology and innovation capacity in Africa.

Participating universities in Zimbabwe include the University of Zimbabwe, Africa University, Bindura University of Science Education, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University, Lupane State University, Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and Midlands State University.

The purpose of today’s meeting is to engage the ministers and policy makers in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development plus the general public on the general arrangements and the programme of the 18th Ruforum annual meeting.

This meeting will be held under the theme: “Strengthening Africa’s Agri-food Systems in the Post Covid-19 Era – Opportunities and Challenges.”

In a statement, Ruforum said the meeting was convened each year with member states and its network universities rotating the venue. This year, the Government of Zimbabwe and Ruforum member universities in Zimbabwe are hosting the meeting.

“The AGM will bring together higher education and agriculture leaders, researchers, policy makers, development partners, private sector actors, students, farmers, among others. This year’s AGM is expected to deliver an action plan for strengthening human resource and science capacity for the continent.

“It is also expected to deliver a re-commitment for collaborative undertakings by African governments, development partners and universities for enhancing Africa’s agri-food systems and strengthening responsiveness to emerging environmental challenges, and for the Ruforum action plan for the financial year 2022-2023 and key elements for developing Ruforum second operational plan (2023-2027) for the Ruforum Vision 2030.”

New member universities would be joining the Ruforum network.

The Ministers of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development and of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development plus technical experts and vice chancellors from universities in Zimbabwe among others, are expected to be part of the participants at the meeting.

By The Herald.

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