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Prof Ekwamu Aks Universities To Unite On Agric Research

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Prossy Nandudu & Agencies

Prof Adipala Ekwamu founder of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Development in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has called for partnerships between Universities through research to find solutions to challenges brought about by climate change.

Ekwamu explained that there are limited resources that cannot support individual research, adding that partnerships are the way to go. 

“The African university must therefore continue to harness this approach as neutral conveners and hosts of a wealth of talent in their faculties and student bodies to find solutions to these development challenges,” said Ekwamu.

Ekwamu made the call on Tuesday after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of the Free State (UFS) during its April 2023 graduation ceremonies.

“They must inspire and cultivate graduates who are creative, able to adapt.  They must be well embedded into the societies they serve – drawing on them to focus their research and curricula agenda; working with them to create and adapt innovations; and link these to supporting appropriate policy development,” he said.

He challenged graduates to develop solutions or idea that will change Africa so that it becomes the powerhouse.

He continued to say that Africa’s lower-middle-income countries, led by Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Kenya, are leading in net agricultural trade surplus of more than $5 billion per year.

“By developing agriculture in an inclusive manner, the continent can leverage that growth to create jobs, given that nearly 70% of all jobs created in agricultural value chains on and off the farm will be associated with agriculture,” he added.

Dedicating his honorary degree to academics and university leaders across the continent, Prof Ekwamu said he was humbled by the recognition “for a role that we have done collectively and continue to do for Africa. I therefore accept this honor that you have bestowed upon me as a recognition of all the academics in Africa who are working so tirelessly to see our universities lead us towards the Africa we want”.

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