25 July 2016. RUFORUM Press Release. The MasterCard Foundation and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) will collaborate to test new models of agricultural education in Africa. The eight year commitment of US$ 27.1 Million from MasterCard will focus on smallholder farmers, connecting university education to the needs of rural communities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development. Gulu University (Uganda) and Egerton University (Kenya), both early adopters of the RUFORUM approach, will be the key implementers of the program.
This eight year project will support the training of 220 (110 undergraduate and 110 post graduate) economically disadvantaged students from across Africa. Students will benefit from leadership training to ensure that they become Africa’s next generation of agricultural leaders. The Program will further provide opportunities for transformative action research using the expanded RUFORUM Community Action Research Program (CARP+) to enhance university-led community impact. The CARP+ will include supplemental focus on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to enhance gains through greater collaboration and joint action between universities and TVET institutions. The Program will be scaled out through a series of competitive challenge programs and policy to other universities in Africa.
This funding supports RUFORUM’s broader objective to train the next generation of agricultural scientists within Africa. It also strengthens RUFORUM’s vision of achieving ‘a vibrant agricultural sector linked to African universities that can produce high-performing graduates and high-quality research, responsive to the demands of Africa’s farmers for innovations, and able to generate sustainable livelihoods and national economic development’. The partnership between RUFORUM and MasterCard Foundation will help fast track the achievement of this vision.
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