President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to open the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Regional Universities Forum for capacity building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) scheduled to start from Monday, December 2, to Friday, December 6, 2019.
The forum, the first ever to be hosted in the West African Sub-region also marks the 15th anniversary celebrations of the organisation which will take place at the campus of the University of Cape Coast in the Central Region.
This year's event is on the theme: "Delivering on Africa's Universities Agenda for Higher Agriculture Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AHESTI); what will it take?"
About 400 delegates comprising ministers of agriculture and education and their respective permanent secretaries, Vice Chancellors, Principals and Deans, Partners and Heads of Institutions from member states and their universities would participate in the event.
Among the participating institutions are universities from Ghana, La Cote d'lvoire, Benin, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone and Senegal.
RUFORUM is a consortium of 105 African universities operating in 37 countries from Africa with the vision of creating "vibrant transformative universities to catalyse sustainable inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for the continent.
Launching the event at a media briefing organised in Accra yesterday, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UCC, Professor Dora Edu-Buandoh, said the forum would reflect and learn from its programme implementation, and concretise on the direction and strategies for the realisation of the RUFORUM Vision 2030 strategy.
She said this year's event which was the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in West Africa since RUFORUM's strategic geographical expansion in 2014 would offer private sector actors and young entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their innovations, products and services as well as create a platform for networking and partnership across the board.
Prof. Edu-Buandoh said Africa was at the crossroad with its effort at attaining sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development as enshrined in the agenda 2063 and the global Agenda 2063.
"Accordingly, universities in Africa have immense responsibility to translate these aspirations into products, services and competitive innovation. Higher education institutions are therefore at the centre of these processes in science, technology and innovation," she added.
She explained that Africa's Universities Agenda for Higher Agricultural Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AHESTI) provided an operational framework for delivering espoused contributions of higher education towards the continent's transformation.
Prof. Edu-Buandoh said as part of the agenda, women Vice Chancellors from African universities would be trained in leadership, management and social media handling.
In addition, she noted that the forum shall be used to recognise farmers that had made significant contribution to agricultural transformation in Ghana as part of supporting national efforts for the advancement and transformation of agriculture.
"RUFORUM shall also recognise scientists and other actors that have made significant contribution and supported the advancement of excellence in research and higher education for the development of Africa. This recognition will be undertaken under the IMPRESSA Awards," she added.