RUFORUM, established in 2004, is a consortium of forty-six African universities operating within twenty-two countries across the African continent. RUFORUM oversees graduate training and networks of specialization in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). It also supports universities to address the important and largely unfulfilled role that universities play in contributing to the well‐being of small‐scale farmers and economic development of countries throughout the sub‐Sahara African region. The biennial conference whose key objective was to provide a platform for dialogue on the role of agricultural universities in Africa’s development agenda, also explored ways to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and the African Union Agenda 2060.
The conference held at the Kenya International Convention Centre in Nairobi had its this year’s theme ‘Aligning African Universities to Accelerate Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals’. Here, RUFORUM affirmed itself as the biggest Agricultural organization in Africa by bringing together industry practitioners, academia, researchers, farmers, extension officers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
The Conference was officially opened on Tuesday October 23rd, 2018 by Education Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Dr. Amina Mohamed, who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta. Other dignitaries who addressed the conference during the opening include Uganda’s First Lady Mrs. Janet Museveni, South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training, Hon. Naledi Pandor and Malawi’s Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Bright Msaka.
Prior to the conference, a series of side events had been held including leadership training for postdoc students, IPR-WIPO training for Principals and Deans, nurturing grant-DAAD student’s event, leadership and management skills training for academic leaders and Africa Women Vice Chancellors forum, among others.
The participants drawn from over thirty-seven African countries. Kenyan universities such as University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Egerton University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Moi University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and University of Eldoret were among the universities that took part in the conference through presentation of researchers outputs and showcasing exhibits.