The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 29 universities in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, was established in 2004. The consortium originally operated as a program of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1992. RUFORUM has a mandate to oversee graduate training and networks of specialization in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries. Specifically, RUFORUM recognizes 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-Saharan Africa region. We strongly believe in Innovative and Responsive Research, High Performing Proactive Graduates, A Dynamic Platform for University Networking, Advocacy for Agricultural Higher Education and University Transformation for Relevance.

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Building the Foundation for Research Building the Foundation for Research. In a region characterised by post-conflict reconstruction, food insecurity and agrarian economies, the need for trained experts in agriculture is massive, and will only increase. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), an organisational network comprised of 29 member universities across the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region, has positioned itself to ensure that universities respond to the needs of the region through the kinds of training and research they provide. Working with universities within the network, RUFORUM has coordinated and helped to establish regional master’s and PhD programmes that harness pockets of strength and expertise existing within the universities, in areas of strategic need.

“The aim of RUFORUM is not just to train students,” says Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, where the RUFORUM Secretariat is based. “We want a strong link to the communities, and a strong component of community engagement, so that when students finish their training, they know their role... We want them to have the passion to go and work with farmers in the country, to look at the modernization of agriculture.” Read more>>