Regional Universities Forum for capacity building in Agriculture
UDs obtains full membership
Dschang,UDs/SIC-30/10/18.The University of Dschang from the 22nd October, 2018 marked its full membership into the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) network for the 2018 year with all rights and privileges. This scientific platform has as main objective to provide for African universities to demonstrate their capacity as knowledge centers that facilitate rural innovation. This innovation is geared towards solving community problems leading to achievements of the sustainable development goals. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 85 African universities operating within 35 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM is coordinated by a Secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The forum provides opportunity for universities to share best practices, experiences and lessons including how to best harness demographic dividends on the continent. The impact of this forum is measured through regular studies, field visits and grantee reports. The goal is to provide free access to the resources that make RUFORUM a leader in postgraduate training and research in the agricultural sciences in Africa. The presence of this citadel of agricultural knowledge will enhance a vibrant agricultural sector which will be linked to African universities which produce high-performing graduates and high-quality research responsive to the demands of Africa’s farmers for innovations and generate sustainable livelihoods and national economic development.
The role of UDs in the forum will work in light with the mission of the Forum to strengthen the capacities of universities, foster innovations responsive to demands of small-holder farmers through the training of high quality researchers, the output of impact-oriented research and the maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers, national agricultural research institutions and governments.
RUFORUM has seven goals:
- Train a critical mass of Masters and PhD graduates, who are responsive to stakeholder needs and national/regional development goals;
- Develop collaborative research and training facilities that achieve economies of scope and scale;
- Increase the participation and voice of women in agricultural research, production and marketing;
- Improve the adaptive capacities of universities to produce high quality and innovative training, research and outreach activities that can contribute to policy and development practice;
- Increase the use of technology to support effective, decentralized learning and the sharing of knowledge;
- Mainstream new approaches within university teaching and research that emphasizes quality, innovation, and impact across the agricultural sector’s full value chain; and,
- Create a dynamic regional platform for policy advocacy, coordination, and resource mobilization for improved training, research and outreach by universities.
The forum is designed to closely link universities and post-graduate students to rural communities and to promote inclusive and sustainable development. It responds to the following challenges – inadequate access to research funding, poor problem identification and inadequate research methods. Quality and relevant research is central to effective post-graduate degree training, especially in terms of educating the next generation of agricultural scientists in the region. UDs will surely explore such potentials and benefit enormously from its membership/