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RUFORUMs Contribution to transforming Agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa Professor Adipala Ekwamu 2 nd ASARECA General Assembly 9-13 December 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "RUFORUMs Contribution to transforming Agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa Professor Adipala Ekwamu 2 nd ASARECA General Assembly 9-13 December 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 RUFORUMs Contribution to transforming Agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa Professor Adipala Ekwamu 2 nd ASARECA General Assembly 9-13 December 2013 Royal Palace Hotel, Avenue du Large, Bujumbura, Burundi

2 Who Are We Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture A consortium of 32 full member universities and 5 Associate Universities in 18 ECSA countries Founded in 2004 – previously known as FORUM since 1992

3 Human Resource rationalization – regional centers of excellence for training the next generation of agricultural scientists (academic mobility) Connecting universities to national agricultural research systems, private sector and rural communities Collective Voice for tertiary agricultural education and research policies (national & regional) Regional Reference Point - provision of agricultural information and knowledge targeting agricultural universities There are limited initiatives to foster collective action by agricultural universities – opportunity for RUFORUM Why RUFORUM Exists

4 What Change would we like to see High performing African universities that strive to produce skilled, proactive graduates, demand driven research output and innovation in response to regional and national agricultural development priorities. – Increased Influence of RUFORUM Universities – Increased Influence of RUFORUM alumni – RUFORUM becomes Regional Reference Point

5 Low Public Agricultural R&D investment between 1981 – 2006 Number of Agricultural researchers declined in half of SSA; Less than one in four holds a PhD; Only 18 percent are women; Staffing shortages; Outdated curricula (woomer, Blackie report; FARA Study) Deteriorated labs and facilities The Environment that we are operating in

6 How do we organize our work? Guided by a Business Plan with a Strong focus on activities supporting improved engagement with the smallholder farmers, communities and the poor. 1.Demand-driven agricultural capacity development through the Competitive Grants System 2.Activities that guide and support research and institutional grants 3.Monitoring and Evaluation 4.Harnessing ICT for improved Performance at the Secretariat and Universities 5.Tightened and Enhanced RUFORUM Governance and Management

7 1.Capacity building (MSc, PhD, Post-doctoral & short courses) 2.Rationalized resource use for training & research 3.Innovative structures for training, research and outreach 4.Impact-oriented research in universities 5.Increase in the participation and voice of women in agricultural research, production and marketing 6.Increase the use of technology to support effective, decentralized learning and the sharing of knowledge 7.Advocacy, coordination & resource mobilization These are Our Strategic Goals

8 What are our achievements (1) Marshalled universities to modify & transform teaching curricula making it responsive - Ten relevant training programs introduced in the universities in the past 5 – 8 years Post-Graduates trained and being trained: 1,020 MSc since 1992 and 170 PhD since 2008 – Regional course based PhDs – Regional MSc Programs

9 What are our achievements (2) More University led research directly involving end users: over 5000 famers reached to date through CARPs and GRGs. More Farming households gaining from involvement in one supply or value chain. Mobilized resources for investments in support of AR4D efforts: – Over 250 Research Grants to Agricultural Faculty since 2004 – USD30 million mobilized on behalf of member universities since 2004

10 What are our achievements (3) Influenced the landscape of donor/development partners interest & support to Universities (through Colleges of Agric & related sciences – e.g. recent grants from Master Card; IDRC; BMGF; European Union; Australia Aid. 200 Networking Events since 2008: Strong & vibrant platform for engaging universities and strengthening partnerships between AR4D actors Co-championed high level policy dialogue linking universities: Kampala2005, CHEA2010, KIGALI2013

11 Mobilized universities to link with national level development agenda through the National Forums – this has been done successfully in three countries Taking Colleges of Agric closer to the farmers through our demand driven intervention approach University researchers more marketable & this has enabled many to win more & bigger research grants. Linked higher agricultural education with National Research Systems, Demands and Agenda

12 Our Partnership Strategy We rely on our existing extensive network that brings together over 30,000 faculty and non- academic experts Continue to build strategic alliances with key partners (AGRINATURA, SUPAGRO, ICRA, WUR, KIT, AU, NEPAD, AGRA, FARA, AAU, RECs, COMESA, EAC, IGADD, ASARECA, CCARDESA, SADC, ANAFE, IUCEA, CGIAR, APLU, AIAU, CTA, IFS, World Bank, etc) Partnerships and linkages with research institutions critical for improving quality of training

13 Building national capacities through networks and economies of scale i.Building capacity for agricultural policy and leadership across the agricultural public and private sectors ii.Integrating higher agricultural education with NARIs and with extension iii.Targeting scientists in CGIAR centers, NGOs, and independent research centers to participate in regional MSc and PhD programs and scaling up research outputs and uptake (1) How we see the future:

14 Enhancing regional collaboration and other science partnerships i.Forming scientific partnerships globally, with the CGIAR and advanced research institutes in emerging and industrial economies ii.Intra-African mobility to increase access to quality education across Africa, and supporting Post Docs iii.Broadening know-how through working exchanges with other SROs or networks (e.g., BecA, AERC- CMAAE, AGRA) (2) How we see the future:

15 Balanced growth from a consolidated core i.Engaging old and new partners to strengthen RUFORUM networks of specialization: dual role of knowledge generation (research) and outreach (service); ii.Support for food security research through the Community Based Research (CARPs) and Competitive Grants to address smallholder farmer needs, entrepreneurship capacity, and closely link universities to rural areas; iii.Strengthening platforms for joint learning and demand articulation and feedback; iv.Enhancing research skills and use of ICTs (3) How we see the future:

16 Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Plot 151 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda. Tel.: URL:


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