RUFORUM Expands Reach with Inauguration of West Africa Node at 19th Annual General Meeting

The RUFORUM Executive Secretary Prof. Patrick Okori.

In a landmark development, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) unveiled its West Africa Node during the 19th Annual General Meeting held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This strategic move follows the greenlighting of regional nodes in Western and Southern Africa during the 17th General Assembly in 2021 in Cotonou, Benin, showcasing RUFORUM's steadfast commitment to fostering collaboration and capacity building in agricultural education and research.

The decision to launch the West Africa Node is a strategic response to RUFORUM's remarkable growth, aiming to connect with 170 universities by 2023—a substantial leap from its inception with 10 universities in 2004. Headquartered in Benin, the West Africa Node will primarily serve Francophone countries within the RUFORUM Network. However, it extends its support to other West African nations, irrespective of language, aligning with the organization's inclusive approach.

During the Annual General Meeting, a dedicated side meeting delved into the operationalization of the West Africa regional node, underscoring RUFORUM's dedication to capacity building through collaborative partnerships. Engaging with partners in the North, the forum explored collaborations for resource mobilization and training initiatives. Joint efforts are underway to co-develop and implement a training program, the Interdisciplinary & Transformative Education Modular System (ITEMS), in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the Agrifood 5 Alliance.

RUFORUM's strides in establishing regional nodes mark a pivotal moment in its mission to enhance agricultural education and research. The commitment to short-term and medium-term activities underscores a comprehensive approach to ensuring the successful operationalization of the West Africa Node, emphasizing collaboration, awareness, and capacity building.

Over 50 agricultural universities across 15 countries are anticipated to engage in this initiative, reflecting RUFORUM's dedication to fostering a collaborative and impactful agricultural research and education landscape in the region. As the West Africa Node takes shape, it not only signifies a geographical expansion but also reinforces RUFORUM's commitment to cultivating a robust and interconnected network for the benefit of agricultural development across the African continent.


Article by RB Reporter