About TAGDev

About TAGDev

Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev) aims to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. This is a partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), Egerton University, Kenya and Gulu University, Uganda to train competent and highly skilled African youth and develop the capacity of African universities to contribute national development.

The MasterCard Foundation in partnership with Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), Egerton University, Kenya and Gulu University, Uganda are implementing a project to train competent and highly skilled African youth and develop the capacity of African universities to effectively train and nurture graduates with relevant skills match. This project “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev)” aims to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation.

The project is founded on four interfacing objectives namely;

  1. Piloting a new model of agricultural education at early adopter universities that connects tertiary agricultural education to rural communities, with an emphasis on smallholder farmers;
  2. Strengthen agribusiness/entrepreneurship at two universities and selected Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions;
  3. Scale the new model for agricultural education to other agricultural universities and TVET institutions and
  4. Increase collaboration and mutual learning among institutions and agencies implementing and influencing innovative Tertiary Agricultural Education for rural transformation in Africa.

The Program will support 110 undergraduate and 110 postgraduate students in the two selected early adopter universities (Egerton University and Gulu University). It will support focused delivery of transformative activities to ensure production of entrepreneurial graduates with leadership skills and potential to create impact in the rural communities. The Program will further provide opportunities for transformative research and outreach using the extended RUFORUM Community Action Research Program (CARP+) to enhance university led community impact. The CARP+ will also support strengthening of TVET institutions through greater collaboration and joint action between universities and TVET institutions. The Program will be scaled out through a series of Competitive Challenge Programs to the wider higher agricultural education sector in Africa.

At least 70% of the 110 undergraduate students will be national and the rest international students. At master’s level, half the students will be recruited internationally. RUFORUM is committed to gender equity and a 50% female recruitment for Masters’ students is mainstreamed. At undergraduate level, 60% of students recruited will be female. The Program will ensure the recruitment of talented, motivated students from rural communities as well as from conflict afflicted areas and countries with a passion for agriculture and entrepreneurship. Strong emphasis will be placed on this during the identification and selection process. After recruitment, all students will undergo an in-depth orientation programme and also receive mentorship and linkage and networking with stakeholders, student communities and prospective employers and industry players. The Programme will further enhance personal development of these students with a suite of innovative skills enhancement programmes including mentorship, support, internships, entrepreneurial projects, and linkages to agricultural value chains and finance through placement in the CARP+ programs.

The TAGDev Programme will facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of tertiary agriculture education through publication of reference materials including books, and peer reviewed articles. It will also engage policy makers at national and pan-African levels to influence higher agricultural education policies and guide agriculture training processes at university and TVET levels. The Programme builds on the strengths of RUFORUM’s approach and that of the selected two host universities, enhancing sustainability of the Programme beyond the eight year period of this initiative.

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The launch of TAGDev Project

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