The EJS Center Executive Director, Dr. Opehlia Inez Weeks, recently joined academics, researchers, higher education experts, and workers’ representatives for the Triennial Conference in Benin.
The conference, organized by The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), coincided with the 7th Africa Higher Education Week. Universities and stakeholders addressed the role of higher education in inclusive and sustainable development processes and practices. Discussions centered on ways to harness the RUFORUM Network’s power to help boost investments in science, technology, and innovation, and promote international and private business partnerships.
Dr. Weeks took part in the International Advisory Panel (IAP) meeting to update on the progress made by RUFORUM in the past year in providing leadership, coordination, and networking support to 129 agricultural universities across Africa. She and other IAP members drew on their experience in developing strategies that allow RUFORUM to increase cooperation with international development partners, and mobilize support for tertiary agricultural education and research.
During the closing panel, Dr. Weeks reflected on the lessons learned from the week-long conference. She discussed with academics, researchers, and farmers’ representatives, concrete steps to successfully implement the actions agreed upon during the conference. She also proposed ideas on how higher education leaders can enable universities to play a meaningful role in creating sustainable livelihoods on the African continent.
Universities from across the continent took part in the RUFORUM Triennial Conference discussions around boosting inclusive and sustainable development in Africa through increased investments in higher education.