RUFORUM : catalyzing improvement in agricultural research and training

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is a consortium of 66 African universities operating within 26 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM supports univeristies to address the role that they play in fostering innovations responsive to demands of small-holder farmers through the training of high quality researchers...


The RUFORUM consortium - established in 2004 - is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and has mandate to oversee graduate training and networks of specialization in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

RUFORUM has an MoU with the African Union for strengthening science, technology and innovation capacity in Africa.

RUFORUM has worked closely with two Departments of the African Union Commission since its signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with African Union Commission in July 2014. The two Departments are Human Resources, Science and Technology and the Department for Rural economy and Agriculture. For more information on RUFORUM’s engagement with African Union, please click here.

RUFORUM has several unique features for building Africa’s innovation capacity and for engaging universities in development process and practice, as it:


…is owned and managed by Africans.


…provides a wide array of training opportunities for stakeholders, and is in the process of establishing credit transfer mechanisms among the member universities.


…derives its agenda largely from the continent wide policy frameworks especially of the African Union‐New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), The African Union Science, Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024); The African Union Policy Framework on Revitalising Higher Education in Africa; the Sub regional Multi–Country Agricultural Productivity Programmes; The National Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) of the member States and Governments and constant review of global trends and foresight planning to ensure Africa has the required capacity for global competitiveness.


 …allows for joint action by the member universities

Considering the above scenario, RUFORUM team strongly believes in fostering:

  • innovative and responsive research
  • high performing and proactive graduates
  • dynamic platform for university networking
  • advocacy for agricultural higher education
  • and university transformation for relevance,

able to generate sustainable livelihoods and national economic development.

Graduate agricultural training (and Quality Assurance Program), impact-oriented programs (e.g. The RUFORUM ICT Program), projects and agricultural research are the major generation and delivery mechanisms for RUFORUM outputs linked to agricultural sector.

Highly skilled and proactive graduates become professionals working in the agriculture sector. Once there is a critical mass of professionals, the assumptions is that these will drive change within their own organizations. These organizations then train the next generation of high quality graduates, creating a virtuous circle of improvement in agricultural research and training that RUFORUM is aiming to catalyze, - RUFORUM Training.

Visit RUFORUM Institutional Repository providing free access to the resources that make RUFORUM a leader in postgraduate training and research in the agricultural sciences in Africa. All materials included in this Knowledge Repository are either Open Access or Open Educational Resources (OER). They are free to download, distribute, and in the case of OER, to adapt for educational purposes. 

Why do I share this story?

We often talk about creating people-centred innovative solutions and know that innovation springs from science whether formally or informally yet we still ask, “What can we do about it?” I believe that if scientists in Africa shared their evidence-based stories in ways that can be understood by all stakeholders including rural communities, policy and decision makers, we can create the Africa that we have always wanted to see.

Knowledge is power!, - A mathematician’s passion for simplifying science to catalyse innovation, RUFORM blog

For more information about RUFORUM, please contact: [email protected]


RUFORUM - Capacity Building in Agriculture 

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