Wednesday, 26 September 2012

3rd RUFORUM Biennial Regional Conference

24 – 28 September 2012. Entebbe, Uganda. Once every two years, RUFORUM organizes a regional week-long conference with the aim of fostering networking among its member universities and linking the universities to the other actors in the agricultural sector and tertiary agricultural education to lesson learn. 

The conference was organized around five broad themes:

Day One: Collective / Coordinated Action for Agricultural Innovation
The Programme for this day includes official opening by the Ugandan Minister of Education and Sports, two lead papers that will touch on various issues related to building Innovation Capacity of Farmers, facilitating smallholder access to modern technology, strengthening value chains and key policy issues for Agricultural development and African Tertiary Agricultural Education (TAE).

Day Two: Enabling Environment for Agricultural Development
We are arranging for a key note plenary paper on “overview of agricultural development landscape in Africa”. This will help set the stage for a panel discussion and later two lead papers, one on China Experience and the second on Brazil experience. We have arranged for a follow-up round table discussion on fostering African-Brazil-China partnership on Higher Education.

Day Three: Assessing Impact
A lead paper on Assessment of Agricultural Programmes focused on whether or not the agricultural programmes are really working? This was followed by a panel discussion and field / Alumni experiences on impact of University Higher Education and Research.

A side event drew lessons from especially RUFORUM Alumni and Market actors on strengthening engagement of African Youth in rural transformation and Agri-business. The RUFORUM Board had its Annual Meeting in the afternoon of this day.

Day Four: The Future of African Agriculture
Two lead papers were presented:
  1. the first on “Emerging and Future Trends and their Impact on African Development and Agriculture in particular - Foresight predictions”; and 
  2. a second on “Climate Change and implications on Food and Agriculture in Africa”. We have in addition, included a follow-up programme, to show case what RUFORUM is doing using a Market Place approach. 
The afternoon involved two events, a meeting of the youth and the RUFORUM Annual General Meeting of Vice Chancellors and key stakeholders.

Day Five: Agricultural Tertiary Education and Training. Two lead papers were presented:
  1. one on “Assessment of African Capacity Development in Agriculture” to be lead by African Capacity Building Foundation and 
  2. a second on “An overview of Investments in Agricultural Research and Higher Education in Africa” led by IFPRI. 
A follow-up side event promoted partnership for TAE in Africa. This was followed in the afternoon with the formal launch of the TEAM Africa initiative, and prize awards for conference best presenters and for the RUFORUM IMPRESSA competition.