Africa still lacks the required human capacity to respond to critical development challenges. Skills are inadequate in many areas from primary to tertiary level, and vocational training. There is need to develop high-level skills, institutional capacities, critical technical skills, and resources in key investment areas. The current situation is a major constraint to the implementation of development programmes and continental frameworks hence the foreseen delayed emergence of African counties as knowledge economies. Progress has so far been made by several regional stakeholders to identify the key critical soft and hard skills that are necessary to drive the Africa Agenda 2063. With this, educational institutions being the main actors in the skills, competencies and technological development value chains, are expected to transform and realign their interventions to develop the high-level skills needed to deliver Africa Agenda 2063. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) responded by commissioning an institutional and competence analysis of its then 10 member universities to document strengths and weaknesses, status of facilities, human resources/expertise and experiences to map out the niche areas as well as institutional comparative strengths and weaknesses. Other studies also identified skills and competence gaps in students graduating from African universities. A key outcome of this process was the adoption of strong course-based doctoral training that involved engagement with other leading experts in and outside Africa in the training. In 2008, RUFORUM launched the coursework-based doctoral regional training programmes, and has since supported the establishment of seven such programmes, namely Agricultural Rural Innovations, Food Science and Nutrition, Soil and Water Management, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Agricultural Resource Economics, Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, and Dryland Resource Management. As part of building institutional capacity and recognizing excellence, some of programmes have become part of the African Higher Education Centres of Excellence. These include: African Centre of Excellence in Agro-ecology and Livelihood Systems (ACALISE) at Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda; Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation at Haramaya University in Ethiopia; African Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management at Egerton University in Kenya; Africa Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi; and Makerere Regional Center for Crop Improvement at Makerere University in Uganda. These programmes have supported training of over 420 doctoral students in Africa who are now contributing to the development of the African continent in different capacities in the agricultural sector and leadership positions. These programmes remain relevant today and are inspiring the development of other regional training programmes to fill the required skills and knowledge gaps in the continent.
Mak Listed in 19 of 60 Projects to be Funded under NORHED II
Makerere University has been listed in 19 out of 60 projects awarded funding under the NORHED II programme set to run from 2021 to 2026. Launched by Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) in 2012, NORHED is Norway’s flagship programme on higher education and research for development.
According to the announcement on the Norad website, 199 applications were submitted to the call, out of which 60 will be funded to the tune of NOK 1.1 billion. Uganda is also listed among the countries with the highest number of projects alongside Tanzania, Ethiopia and Malawi.
Makerere University is listed in a total of nineteen (19) projects applied for by Norwegian institutions namely; the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) – three (3) projects, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – four (4) projects, University of Agder (UiA) – three (3) projects, University of Bergen (UiB) – six (6) projects, University of Oslo (UiO) – two (2) projects, and The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) – one (1) project.
Makerere was listed most in Sub-programme: 3. Climate Change and Natural Resources (6 projects), followed by Sub-programme: 5. Humanities and Social Sciences (5 projects), Sub-programme: 1. Education and Teacher Training (4 projects) as well as Sub-programme 2. Health and Sub-programme: 6. Energy with two projects apiece. Below is the breakdown of the list in five of the six respective sub-programmes, excluding Sub-programme: 4. Political and Economic Governance where there was no project listed.
|Project title||Applicant organization||Project partners in Global South|
|Sub-programme: 1. Education and Teacher Training (4 projects)|
|1||CABUTE – Capacity Building for Research-Based Teacher Education||University of Bergen (UiB)||Makerere University, Kyambogo University, UNITE – The Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education|
|2||Transformative Education and Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Growth||University of Agder (UiA)||Jimma University, University of Rwanda, Makerere University|
|3||Mathematics for sustainable development.||University of Bergen (UiB)||University of Dar Es Salaam, Makerere University|
|4||Decolonizing Epistemologies: the Disciplines and the University||University of Bergen (UiB)||Makerere University|
|Sub-programme: 2. Health (2 projects)|
|5||iCARTA – Institutionalisation of Advanced Research Training in Africa||University of Bergen (UiB)||African Population and Health Research Center, University of Malawi, University of Rwanda, University of the Witswatersrand, Makerere University|
|6||Climate Change and Infectious Diseases – A One Health Approach||The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)||University of Bahr ElGhazal, Makerere University|
|Sub-programme: 3. Climate Change and Natural Resources (6 projects)|
|7||Environmental Risk Management under Increasing Extremes and Uncertainty||Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)||Haramaya University, Institute of Resource Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam, Uganda Marty’s University, Makerere University|
|8||Climate smart agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa||Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)||Wondo Genet college of Forestry and Natural Resources – Hawassa University, University of Juba, Makerere University, Gulu University, University of Zambia,|
|9||Enhanced Capacity for Aquatic Resources in East and South Africa||Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)||University of Nairobi, Mbeya University of Science and Technology, Egerton University, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Eduardo Mondlane, University of Dar Es Salaam, Makerere University, University of Zambia|
|10||Water ESSENCE Africa – creating synergy to meet the global challenges||University of Bergen (UiB)||Addis Ababa University, University of Ghana, University for Development Studies, University of Nairobi, Machakos University, University of Rwanda University of Juba, Makerere University|
|11||Co-creating knowledge for local adaptation to climate change in LDCs||Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)||International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Pokhara University, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Makerere University|
|12||Adaptive Environmental Monitoring Networks for East Africa||Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)||University of Juba, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Makerere University|
|Sub-programme: 5. Humanities and Social Sciences (5 projects)|
|13||Refugees on the Move – South Sudanese in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.||University of Bergen (UiB)||Addis Ababa University, University of Juba, University of Khartoum, Makerere University|
|14||Medical and environmental anthropology for 21st century East Africa||University of Oslo (UiO)||University of Nairobi, Maseno University, Kenya Medical Research Institute, National Institute for Medical Research – Tanzania, Makerere University, University of Dar Es Salaam|
|15||Building Resilient Communities through Inclusive Education in East Africa||University of Agder (UiA)||University of Rwanda, Institute of Social Work – Tanzania, Makerere University|
|16||Gender and digitalization across context (GENDIG)||University of Agder (UiA)||University of Dar Es Salaam, Makerere University|
|17||Partnership for Peace: Better Higher Education for Resilient Societies||University of Oslo (UiO)||African School of Economics – Benin, Universidad de los Andes, Mekelle University, Birzeit University, Makerere University|
|Sub-programme: 6. Energy (2 projects)|
|18||Capacity building for socially just and sustainable energy transitions||Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)||University of Nairobi, University of Juba, Makerere University|
|19||Energy Technology Network||Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)||Addis Ababa University, Mekelle University, University of Malawi, University of Eduardo Mondlane, University of Juba, University of Dar Es Salaam, Makerere University|
Please click here to view the full list.
UiB sweeps NORHED II funding
NORHED is Norway’s national flagship programme on higher education and research for development. NORHED II represents the second time the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) awards funding through the programme. A total of 1.1 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK) were awarded to a total of 60 projects out of 199 applications, of which NOK 250 million were awarded to 13 University of Bergen (UiB) projects. This puts UiB top among Norway’s universities along with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), which was also awarded 13 projects.
The aim of the NORHED programme is to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions in the global south to produce higher-quality graduates, more research, higher quality research, and more inclusive higher education. The programme is based on a collaborative partnership model between higher education institutions in Norway and the global south.
Makerere University in Uganda is involved in six projects, most of any partner in the global south. These include;
- Mathematics for sustainable development,
- Refugees on the Move – South Sudanese in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda,
- Capacity Building for Research-Based Teacher Education (CABUTE),
- Water ESSENCE Africa – creating synergy to meet the global challenges,
- iCARTA – Institutionalisation of Advanced Research Training in Africa, and
- Decolonizing Epistemologies: the Disciplines and the University
My Academic Journey
My name is Irene Bayiyana and I am one of the RUFORUM Alumni. I am an agricultural economist, with a master’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a PhD in Economics. Currently, I am working as a Research Officer/Agricultural Economist based at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)/ National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) – Namulonge. When I attained a bachelor’s degree, I worked as an assistant research fellow under Prof. Johnny Mugisha in the Department of agribusiness and natural resource economics at Makerere University. Through Prof. Johnny Mugisha, I got to know about the RUFORUM Grant on “Assessment of spatio-temporal bovine migratory routes and Transboundary animal disease infestation in Uganda”. Since I had the interest to advance my career, I applied for the scholarship
After my admission for the master’s degree, I wondered! what next? The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) had only offered a partial scholarship catering for only my tuition and part of research funds. RUFORUM scholarship covered my stipend, research balance and funds to attend the 2012 RUFORUM Biennial conference thus enabling me to complete my master’s degree.
I was able to realize my dream of becoming a good scientist in 2012 at the RUFORUM Biennial Conference. Through the facilitation to attend several conferences, RUFORUM gave me a chance to interact with a broad spectrum of scientists from whom I learnt and received positive criticism and feedback on what I was doing. Moreover, the encouragement and support from different scientists that I interacted with also spurred me on as an upcoming scientist.
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