25-27 October 2017. Lilongwe, Malawi. Every year, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 66 universities in 26 African countries, holds an Annual General Meeting which offers an opportunity for its members, stakeholders, and partners to take stock on the performance, relevance, and sustainability of the RUFORUM network.

RUFORUM Press Release_AGM 2017
October 2017 AGM Concept and Programme

The 2017 AGM provided RUFORUM governing bodies and their partners a special opportunity for a mid-term reflection on the implementation of the RUFORUM Strategic Business Plan (SBP2015-2020) while envisioning the future of Higher Agriculture Education and Science, Technology and Innovation development by 2030 in light of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want.

The three-day event included a total of 30 pre- and post-AGM side events ranging from statutory meetings of RUFORUM governance organs, to policy dialogue, development partners dialogue, and sessions on building and strengthening transformative leadership in African universities.

Pre-events
25 October. As one of the pre events of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Michigan State University (MSU) and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) on the Innovation Scholar Program. 
The 15 month innovative capacity building program, is a creative collaboration between LUANAR and the Global Centre for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) under MSU.

The ISP was developed by the two institutions based on the needs of the university community. The major gaps within the university related to low innovations in the learning process and institutional leadership. Thus the program has two tracks tailored to the different needs of the university staff.

Dr. Linus Opara (Stellenbosch University)


25 October. #Visioning2030Ahead of the 13th RUFORUM AGM, a two-day Technical taskforce meeting for the Committee of 10 Heads of State Championing Higher Education, Science and Technology in Africa. The aim of the meeting was to engage with Regional Economic Commissions such as SADC, IGAD, AUC, AfDB, AAU and ACBF on issues to be tabled to the Committee.

Dr. Moses Osiru Deputy Executive Secretary RUFORUM provided a brief background to the establishment of RUFORUM and the roadmap to the Committee of 10 Heads of State meeting with emphasis on the discussions from the previous technical task meetings that have been held. 

Prof. Swanepoel summarized the activities carried out in the previous meetings. He stated that it was agreed upon for governments to increase investment in higher education with a portion of the one percentage of the GDP committed to R&D to a strategic higher education, science and technology fund. It was also agreed upon that governments should ensure quality of education is relevant and globally competitive with regards to continental mobility and articulation to strengthen higher education, science and technology. Ensuring strong policies at continental scale to create an enabling higher education environment was also fronted in order to ensure a legal framework and higher education act that governs. 

All in all, a number of priorities were discussed arising from the previous technical task team meetings and activities carried out to be forwarded for the 10 Heads of State meeting.

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This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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