About the seventh Africa Higher Education Week & RUFORUM Triennial Conference, 2021

The Seventh Africa Higher Education and RUFORUM Triennial Conference is set under the theme “Operationalising Higher Education for Innovation, Industrialisation, Inclusion and Sustainable Economic Development in Africa: A call for action” that responds to the urgent needs for the African governments, development partners, private sector and citizenry to take actions to invest in higher education. This Triennial conference is convened with the following objectives:

  1. Catalyse investment in Higher Education for human capital development in Africa
  2. Promote international linkages and partnerships for excellence in Higher Education
  3. Strengthen collaboration and mutual learning to spur innovation and industrialisation for economic transformation in Africa
  4. Promote youth employment and skills acquisition for development
  5. Strengthen University-Private sector business linkages


Participation, Venue and Date:

The First RUFORUM Triennial Conference, the 16th Annual General Meeting and 7th African Higher Education Week will be held in the Republic of Benin at Centre International de Conférences et Palais des Congres de Cotonou, Benin from 6th-10th December 2021. The five-day conference will bring together policy makers including Ministers and Technical Experts, Higher Education Leaders in Africa, development partners, private sector leaders, researchers, innovators, students, and farmer organisations, among others. Approximately 1000 delegates are expected from across the world.


Conference organization

With the recognition that the previous RUFORUM conferences have mainly been hosted in  Southern and Eastern Africa, the 2021 Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Triennial Conference will be held in the Republic of Benin, West Africa. The Triennial conference and related events will be co-hosted by the Government of Benin through the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, University of Abomey-Calavi, the University of Parakou, National University of Agriculture and RUFORUM Network. It is envisaged that His Excellency Patrice Talon, President of the Republic of Benin and the designated Chair of the African Union Commission will grace the conference.


Conference organisers

Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research-Republic of Benin

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (https://enseignementsuperieur.gouv.bj/) is one of the 24 ministries of the current government of the Republic of Benin. It plays the overarching role of leadership, guidance and quality assurance to higher education and research related entities in Benin, such as the four interdisciplinary and thematic universities in Benin, the General Directorate of Higher Education, Benin Agency for valorization of research outputs and innovations, the National Funds for Scientific Research, Technology and Innovation, among others.


University of Abomey Calavi

University of Abomey Calavi (in French: Universite d'Abomey Calavi; https://uac.bj/) was established in 1970 as "University of Dahomey", which become the National University of Benin in 1975, with a vision to promote equality and equity and produce quality human resources and research outputs adapted to the needs of development of the country and nations. Currently, the University of Abomey-Calavi has 32 training establishments and 86,694 registered students. It is a multi-disciplinary institution, which provides training leading to officially recognised higher education degrees such as certificates and diplomas, bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degree in various disciplines such as health, agricultural sciences, arts and humanities, law, economics and business. It has considerable Africa-wide and international partnership projects that contribute into the realization of its mission and vision


National University of Agriculture

National University of Agriculture (http://www.una.bj/) is a thematic university recently established by the Government of Benin to provide training in Agriculture from undergraduate to postgraduate level. It has a General Agronomy Cycle and 10 schools, notably, (i) school of science and techniques for food preservation and processing; (ii) School of plant and seeds production; (iii) school of animal husbandry systems; (iv) school of agricultural engineering; (v) school of tropical forestry; (vi) school of horticulture and management of green spaces; (vii) school of aquaculture; (viii) school of agribusiness and agricultural policy; (ix) school of rural sociology and agricultural extension; (x) doctoral school of agronomic sciences and water. The mission of the UNA is to ensure the adequacy between research, training and employment in the agricultural field and the development needs. It aims to stimulate and support the development of a strong agricultural economy and is committed to creating a new generation of scientists and technicians capable of promoting technological innovations.

University of Parakou

The University of Parakou (http://www.univ-parakou.bj/) is a multi-disciplinary university in the Republic of Benin, with the following missions: (i) produce specialized executives for the needs of the economic, social, intellectual and cultural development of the Nation; (ii) participate in the development of scientific, fundamental and applied research; (iii) provide training that meets the needs of the job market and that takes into account the constraints and context of globalization; (iv) link teaching and research to productive work; (v) promote and strengthen the adequacy of the training of students to the requirements of development and professional life; and (vi) ensure continuous scientific, technical and technological development of the nation through active cooperation between training and research establishments and companies, both at national and international levels.


Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is a network of 128 universities in 38 African countries. It was established in 2004 to (i) foster integration of African universities into the national agricultural innovation systems; (ii) provide a platform for training quality graduates to support development processes in Africa; (iii) rationalize resource use and enhance economies of scale and scope; and (iv) provide a platform for networking, resource mobilization and advocacy for agricultural higher education in Africa. RUFORUM envisions ‘vibrant, transformative universities to catalyze sustainable, inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa’. The RUFORUM Network has been making significant contribution towards Africa’s development through its transformative agenda for Agricultural Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, in line with Agenda 2063, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) and Science for Agriculture in Africa (S3A).