To achieve our mission and vision, we shall focus on four strategic objectives within the context of Tertiary Agricultural Education in Africa:
- Review and reform curricula;
- Improve context relevance through content development and enhanced delivery;
- Improve institutional governance and leadership;
- Create an enabling policy and institutional environment through networking.
Strategic Objective 1: Review and reform curricula
The subject matter and types of courses that students require to be competitive in today’s job market need to be appropriately incorporated into curricula in ways that enhance relevance but also make programmes exciting. The emergence of the private sector as an important employer in African countries and the increasing recognition of the complex interdependence of agriculture and NRM are also critical dimensions for consideration in curriculum architecture. Partnerships among TAE institutions and with private companies provide options for improving access to new technologies and incorporation of practical agri-business ‘thinking and doing’ in curricula.
Enhanced capacity of member TAE institutes to develop or review and update curricula to produce graduates who meet business and job market requirements today and for the future
Key Output Areas
- Keeping in touch with changes in job market: This will entail engagement with prospective private sector employers to identify trends in skill requirements and numbers, and to plan curricula accordingly. Tracer studies will be used to establish employment status (e.g. employers, types of jobs and key skills required).
- Re-orienting curricula to meet the learning requirements of diverse groups: ANAFE will facilitate processes to explore alternative curricula delivery modalities to address the various requirements. An important goal here will also be to facilitate evolution of curricula that do not just focus on specific technical knowledge that can quickly become obsolete, but also cover learning processes and abilities of students to think and solve problems that are relevant to societal needs.
- ‘Business partnerships between universities and the private sector: for example by setting up business incubators on TAE campuses which can also serve as training platforms or making arrangements for student internships and job placements with agri-business firms.
- Climate change and NRM education: ANAFE will support universities to develop teaching and research programmes that expose students to climate change adaptation and mitigation options in different agro-ecological zones, with a special focus on sustainable agriculture, forestry, water management, energy, etc. ANAFE will explore models of collaboration and partnership to exchange resources and information and to improve the quality and relevance of interdisciplinary education and research in farming systems.
Strategic Objective 2: Improve context relevance through content development and enhanced delivery
Agriculture in Africa today places a lot of emphasis on adoption of modern technologies, many of which have been developed in the North. Training materials used in African TAE institutions are also predominantly those developed in and for developed country contexts. Such technologies work for large-scale and capital-intensive agriculture, but generally fail to address the specificities of smallholder agriculture. This disconnect is also reflected in education policies. New approaches to learning and knowledge that incorporate the environmental knowledge of local people are needed. The ultimate aim is to make environmental (biophysical, socio-cultural and economic) issues inseparable from the professionalism of graduates, the production practices of farmers, the commercial objectives of agri-businesses and the interests of society for a safe and secure environment.
Delivery of agriculture and NRM courses that are relevant to African contexts in ways that maximize reach, especially to youth and women, and facilitate synergies whilst maintaining diversity of course.
Key Results Areas
- Facilitating inter-TAE institution processes to discuss and identify topics/areas based on contexts defined by major national, regional, continental and global trends. These will form the basis on which TAE institutions develop materials specific to contexts of relevance to these institutions. Efforts here will also aim at building a culture of sharing information and expertise among educational and training institutions in Africa, and promoting strategic links with global partners.
- Strengthening the capacity of agricultural and NRM scientists and educators to be able to develop relevant learning resources that promote agricultural productivity while paying attention to NRM issues, based on African knowledge and experiences. Emphasis will be placed on collaborative generation of learning and knowledge products, including ‘books’ and training manuals which incorporate research results and learning from within the continent and relevant case studies from the continent and elsewhere (e.g. Asia, LAC). The development of on-line materials that are easy to access and to update will be given special attention.
- Strengthening the capacity of agricultural and NRM educators in teaching and learning methods and enhancing Agricultural Information and Knowledge Management, taking full advantage of ICT in facilitating material development, sharing and updates. ANAFE will work with specialized institutions to facilitate the development of distance learning programmes designed to accommodate differential paces of students. This ‘flexibility in education’ focus seeks specifically to enhance women’s participation in TAE.– that is, to overcome barriers to their participation ANAFE will explore collaboration with organizations that have successfully applied ICT-based learning programmes.
- Strengthening capacity for agri-business education and training, particularly targeting the engagement of women and youth to take up careers in agriculture and NRM. That is, re-orient education to focus on entrepreneurship skills that explicitly prepare graduates as entrepreneurs able to not only be high performing employees, but also to harness opportunities and transform industry challenges into businesses.
- Retooling agricultural and NRM educators in critical technical areas and pedagogy. Working in collaboration with partners such as CTA and with TAEs in Africa, ANAFE will facilitate retooling programmes for educators to develop and apply content and delivery methods of training which are responsive to changing agriculture and NRM contexts, including technologies.
Strategic Objective 3: Improve institutional governance and leadership
There is a duality to the leadership thrust in the ANAFE strategy: to ensure that, over time but as quickly as possible, the TAE institutions themselves have credible, transformative leadership that drives positive change consistent with changing times; and to facilitate inclusion of leadership content in TAE programmes so that graduates leaving these institutions become transformative people, regardless of the sector they eventually engage in.
Enhanced capacity of TAEs to generate exceptional leaders for tomorrow
Key Output Areas
- Development of a leadership and management coaching and mentoring programme for TAE institutions, working with specialized institutions and targeting early-career scientists, mid-level and senior managers, with special emphasis on improving the current leadership, developing a cohort of next-generation leaders, and increasing the proportion of women in middle and senior level positions in teaching, research and management today and in the future.
- Exchange leadership study visits among African TAE institutions as well as with research and tertiary education institutions outside Africa (both North and South).
- Facilitating introduction of leadership and management courses in TAE institutional programmes – at undergraduate and graduate levels (as part of Objective 1). This early exposure will create the necessary consciousness to start ‘leadership for change’ thinking or even ‘movement’ among the youth as a basis for the leadership transformation that Africa needs across the board.
Strategic Objective 4: Create an enabling policy and institutional environment through networking
Lack of an ‘enabling environment’, especially inadequate financing, poorly coordinated investments, and lack of effective collaboration among key stakeholders constrain transformation of TAE in Africa. Establishment and nurturing of links among education, research, extension and private sector institutions will be a core focus of the Strategy, as will be enhancing women enrolment in TAE programmes and employment in agriculture and making agriculture more attractive to the youth – both of which represent perhaps the biggest untapped human resource potential for Africa’s agriculture today.
Policy and institutional environment that facilitates productive stakeholder engagement, spurs investments in tertiary education in agriculture and NRM, and supports increased engagement of women and youth
Key Output Areas
- Policy advocacy: working with TAE stakeholders at national, sub-regional and continental levels, ANAFE will seek to address policy in two ways: facilitating TAEs to provide compelling evidence to inform policy change and to use collective stakeholder voice in advocacy processes; convening of senior TAE institutional leadership forums to discuss policies that affect TAE in Africa, share experiences and develop advocacy strategies.
- Investments in TAE: financing and investment challenges will be addressed through the following interventions: efforts to improve public sector investments in agricultural education (e.g. through policy advocacy); facilitating improved engagement of, and investment by, the private sector in TAE in Africa; and improvement of donor coordination – to more efficiently harness the collective potential of donors in addressing and implementing more robust, longer term, well-funded TAE interventions in Africa. ANAFE will work with other organizations to initiate a process for the establishment of a donor platform to facilitate sharing and coordination among governments and donors.
- Partnerships/networking brokerage: coordination with sub-regional institutions and initiatives working on TAE issues will be crucial. Proactive engagement of continental initiatives such as CAADP and FARA and other efforts in TAE will be a core component of this effort. This will build on the work currently funded through SASACID on ‘building capacity for innovation systems approach’ which seeks to link agricultural policy with research, education, industry and practice. An important role of ANAFE will also be to catalyze and facilitate enhanced collaboration among TAEs in order to benefit from complementary resources and expertise and to harness different resources and skills to multi-institutional education and training initiatives.
- Making agriculture attractive to the youth: ANAFE will help TAE institutions to initiate programmes aimed at promoting careers in agriculture among youth, starting with primary and secondary level students.
- Increasing women enrolment and employment in agriculture: ANAFE-facilitated policy advocacy activities will continue to work with partners on strategies, curricula and policy processes that put emphasis on gender issues, including encouraging and supporting successful women to be role models and leaders in agriculture
The African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE) was launched in 1993 to address policy and institutional barriers in the establishment of agroforestry education. In 2003, ANAFE’s mandate was expanded to encompass reforming education and training programmes in agriculture, including forestry, agroforestry, and natural resources to make it more responsive to development needs. The name of the organization was changed to the African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education to reflect this broader mandate.
ANAFE is an international network of agricultural education and training institutes, and registered as a non-governmental organization in Kenya, Niger and Tanzania. The Network’s members include 134 colleges and universities in 35 African countries. The rapid increase in membership over the past two decades reflects increasing interest amongst Africa’s universities and colleges to develop more integrative approaches to agriculture education and training.
With a lean secretariat based in Nairobi, ANAFE has a decentralized structure and operates on the principle of subsidiarity. Regional chapters, known as Regional Agricultural Forums for Training (RAFTs), have been established in four key agricultural zones of sub-Saharan Africa: Eastern and Central Africa (ECA-RAFT), Southern Africa (SA-RAFT), Sahel (Sahel-RAFT) and African Humid Tropics of West and Central Africa (AHT-RAFT). In addition, national chapters, known as National Agricultural Forums for Training (NAFTs) have been established in 21 countries.