ANAFE’s programme on Strengthening Africa’s Strategic Agricultural Capacity for Impact on Development (SASACID) continue to register significant gains in transforming agricultural, agroforestry and natural resources education in Africa.
Pilot Institutions (PIs) implementing the programme are unanimous that the programme has impacted positively on the way they deliver their education programmes. Current data lend credence to this assertion as all institutions have disbursed research grants to deserving students pursuing courses in agriculture, agroforestry and natural resources while 11 out of 16 institutions have either completed or finalizing institutional self-assesments.
So far, 127 students from different PIs have benefited from research grants to undertake research at different degree levels. Out of this, 9 were supported at diploma level while 43 and 75 students have been supported to undertake research at Bachelors and Masters levels respectively.
The institutions have also – in different degrees – documented best practices on institutional management, sensitised partners, profiled and signed MoUs with agribusiness companies for
internships, carried out tracer studies and set up university private sector platforms to support education programmes. However, documenting of best practices is lagging behind with 46% of the institutions not having achieved this output.
The institutions have also made significant strides in working with the private sector mainly through student internships with 49 students having benefited; they were posted to various private sector firms to gain practical skills related to their areas of study.
In a bid to strengthen teaching of agriculture, agroforestry and natural resources, the SASACID program also includes pedagogy training for lecturers and tutors with a view to integrating effective teaching methodologies within the context of emerging techno-social and economic dynamics, both at the global and local levels. In this light, two workshops were held in Nairobi and tutors from Anglophone institutions comprised 26 lecturers and tutors from 12 institutions of higher learning in 10 African countries. The second workshop held in Abidjan attracted 31 lecturers from 8 Francophone countries.
The SASACID programme has supported development of two curricula on agribusiness and risk management; the former serves as a guide for universities wishing to establish the Master of Science in Agricultural Risk Management degree programme while the latter is a guide for colleges and universities wishing to establish a certificate/diploma or degree programs in agribusiness.
Notably, outcomes from the programme has repositioned and given ANAFE a new impetus to
contribute even more effectively in the transformation of tertiary agricultural education in Africa: acting as a continental forestry and natural resources management knowledge hub; catalyzing agribusiness development and value addition to African agricultural products that takes into consideration global food safety standards in a quest to make African agriculture and natural resources management more competitive; and supporting the tertiary agricultural institutions to develop and implement demand driven curriculum that responds adequately to the immense specialized skill needs of the agricultural industry in Africa.
And now the focus shifts on upscaling positive gains made in the course of implementing the programme