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Synthesis Report: RUFORUM 16th AGM – High Level Dialogue on Online Teaching and Learning

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The COVID-19 Pandemic has clearly demonstrated Africa’s vulnerability to global pandemics and other natural emergencies such as floods and desert locusts, which struck the Eastern part of Africa in recent years. While it remains true that the Africa’s education sector has been severely affected by COVID-19, the state of higher education on the Continent has long been a cause for concern even before the Pandemic. The Pandemic is exacerbating the already existing vulnerabilities in the education sector thus creating an urgent need to build a reformed education system on the Continent. This reformation entails a change in the perspectives and practices of the policy makers and educators, and requires much thought concerning the why, who, what and how of education. Digitization can help rebuild the disrupted education system, ensure that teaching and learning continues in the new normal, and possibly provide the much needed resilience. Indeed, a number of efforts have been made towards the transformation of higher education in Africa through integration of digital technologies. The COVID-19 Pandemic has accelerated a shift by universities to digitalization. Digital technologies for online teaching and learning are a way to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and to provide the resilience needed for Universities to forge ahead. It should be recognised that digitization must cover all aspects of the university business and should not only be limited to teaching and learning.

It has been argued that for digital technologies to cause a significant transformation in higher education, approaches to their implementation must be given sufficient attention involving a level of change in practice. It is against this background that RUFORUM held an online dialogue to discuss the advances and opportunities of integration of digital technologies, especially for teaching and learning. The dialogue focused on exploring successes and challenges Universities continue to experience in the implementation of online teaching and learning.

Side Event Objectives:

The online dialogue on Realignment towards Online Teaching and Learning in Universities focused on the following:

  1. Establish what digital technologies are currently influencing universities in Africa;
  2. Discuss the ways in which digital technologies can be integrated into university system in Africa;
  3. Outline the opportunities and challenges in implementing online teaching and learning particularly in universities in Africa;
  4. Explore the skills and competences required for leadership, staff and students to enable universities and other sectors integrate the use of digital technologies; and,
  5. Examine the policies and other reforms needed to facilitate effective online teaching and learning in African universities.

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Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education

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Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu (L) receives a plaque and citation from RUFORUM Board Member and Vice Chancellor Ndejje University-Professor Eriabu Lugujjo (Right) on 6th May 2021 at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Plot 155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus,

When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.

But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.

He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.

He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.

So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.

Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022. Photo credit: AfDB

The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.

About the JADS program

The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline.  The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.

The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Application Procedures

  1. Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
  2. Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
  3. University evaluates and selects applicants.
  4. University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
  5. AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
  6. AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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