All roads led to Maputo-Mozambique for African universities offering agricultural training and research, to participate in the 4th Biennial RUFORUM Conference. This conference, held between 19th and 25th July 2014, coincided with the 10th anniversary of RUFORUM and marked a landmark in the convergence of African agricultural science philosophy and the objectives of pan African-leadership, fitting well within the African Union’s (AU) annual theme of Agriculture and Food Security.
The Faculty of Agriculture of JKUAT, one of RUFORUM’s 42 member institutions, was at the forefront in the numerous activities which took place during the conference. JKUAT’s participation ranged from the presentation of a theme address by the Vice Chancellor; Prof Mabel Imbuga, the participation in administrative and policy meetings by the Dean of Faculty; Dr. David Mburu, oral and poster presentation of scientific papers by faculty researchers and post graduate students, and an exhibition stand highlighting JKUAT-Agriculture’s programs and activities.
Dr. David Mburu, the Dean Faculty of Agriculture-JKUAT (right) in discussion with Dr. Jimaima Lako of the University of the South Pacific in Fiji (left), and Prof Nyeko Pen-Mogy, the Vice Chancellor of Gulu University in Uganda (centre) at the JKUAT stand
The faculty’s holistic approach to agriculture, the innovation and encompassing of new technologies with an emphasis on value addition proved a recurrent point of discussion amongst delegates and other participants. The faculty, one of RUFORUM’s select training centres, offers an MSc in Research Methodology to students drawn from all parts of Africa. Special note was made on the non-conventional approach to training as employed in the course and the versatile nature of the graduates who have benefited from the program.
Mr. John Njenga, a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Agriculture at JKUAT, emphasises a point while discussing his research presentation on Urban Agriculture, with Prof Olive Mugenda, the Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University
The faculty exhibition stand proved a lightning rod for delegates interested in the JKUAT story. Notable amongst the numerous visitors to the stand were the AU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Economy; HE Rhoda Tumusiime, a number of Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Deans and other delegates to the conference.
Ms Millicent Ogendi, a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Agriculture at JKUAT, welcomes visitors to the faculty stand
Participation in the conference provided the each of the delegates and the institutions that they represent the opportunity to forge new relationships, networks and collaborations.