The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has appointed eight scientists to its Secretariat to support the implementation of its two main projects — AHESTI and the RUFORUM Vision 2030.
A consortium of 105 Universities in 37 countries in Africa, RUFORUM developed the African Universities’ Agenda for Agricultural Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AHESTI).
The 12-year strategy (2018-2030) was developed to strengthen the capacity of African universities and other tertiary institutions to contribute to economic transformation through the development of skilled, entrepreneurial and innovative human resources, technologies and innovations for the community and economic transformation.
In July 2014, RUFORUM signed a cooperation agreement with the African Union to support the implementation of the new African Union for Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa, 2024 (STISA 2024).
And with the new appointments, the Forum hopes to achieve the targets set under these projects.
The staff was appointed from Zimbabwe, Benin, Uganda, Sudan, and Ghana.
The three Ugandans that scored positions on the RUFORUM Secretariat are Judith Nakyobe, Francis Otto and Anthony Egeru.
Judith Nakyobe, a qualified Chartered Accountant, will be taking over as the manager for Finance and Administration.
Nakyobe is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA, UK) and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Uganda (ICPAU).
Judith Nakyobe is responsible for the management of the financial and human resource management systems in line with existing policies, laws, regulations, and procedures, according to a statement released by the Forum
Anthony Egeru, who holds a Ph.D. in Dryland Resources Management from the University of Nairobi, Kenya will be in charge of Training and Community Engagement.
Dr. Egeru will be responsible for the implementation of two flagship programmes: Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and Development (TAGDev) and Regional Anchor Universities for Agricultural Higher Education (RANCH).
Francis Otto, a holder of a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Reading, United Kingdom, is now the manager, Knowledge Hub.
Dr. Otto has more than 15 years’ experience in Higher Education and ICT sectors, according to RUFORUM and he will be responsible for the Knowledge Hub for University Networking, partnerships, and Advocacy (K-HUB).
He brings diverse experience in quality assurance, networking, and systems development as well as artificial intelligence applications in education.
The other appointees are:
Jolyn Runyararo Rukarwa (from Zimbabwe) – Manager, Research and Innovations
Dr. Runyararo is a plant biotechnologist.
She holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology from Makerere University, Uganda. Runyararo has extensive experience in research in plant breeding and Biotechnology.
She will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the RUFORUM Vision 2030 Flagship programme Cultivating Research and Teaching Excellence (CREATE), that will involve, amongst others, facilitating academic mobility, research collaboration, and staff development in RUFORUM member universities.
Sylvanus Mensah (from Benin) – Technical Specialist, Undergraduate, and TVETs
Dr. Sylvanus Mensah (Eng.) holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Forestry from the Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He has been appointed to serve as the Technical Specialist in charge of Undergraduate and Technical and Vocational Education Training.
He will be responsible for strengthening TVET institutions engagement with universities and enhancing technical and vocational training for mid-career level professionals.
Hatim Mohammed Elamin (from Sudan) – Technical Specialist, Youth Development and Community Engagement
Dr. Elamin holds a Ph.D. in Application of Remote Sensing and GIS Technology from the University of Kordofan.
Dr. Elamin has been appointed as the Technical Specialist, Youth Services and Community Engagement is responsible for RUFORUM core mandate of strengthening university and community connectedness and enhancing youth innovation and entrepreneurship.
He brings expertise value chains development with experience, especially Gum Arabic and dryland agriculture.
Meri Siaka (from Ghana)- Internal Auditor
Meri Siaka is a certified chartered accountant with over eight years working experience and a member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA, UK).
Meri has been appointed as the Internal Auditor at RUFORUM, where her responsibilities entail ensuring that RUFORUM’s risk management, governance, and internal control processes are functioning effectively.
Meri brings experience from the private sector in financial management and assurance.
Reginald Doodu Donkor (from Ghana) – System Accountant
Reginald Doodu Donkor is a chartered accountant and tax practitioner.
He is a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Chartered Institute of Taxation, and Institute of Internal Auditors, in Ghana.
Reginald has been appointed as a Systems Accountant. He brings expertise in data analytics, digitalization, and financial systems integration.
The Secretariat is also recruiting for other staff positions of; Manager, Program Results Measurement & Learning (PRML); Technical Specialist, Staff Development & Academic Mobility and Technical Specialist, Graduate Training. Announcements of appointments to these other positions will be made in due course.