Liberia: Dr. Ophelia Weeks to Host 17 Universities’ Heads in Monrovia
Monrovia – The University of Liberia has disclosed that its President, Dr. Ophelia Weeks, will play host to her colleagues, other universities’ heads, who are coming from 12 countries on the continent.
These 17 presidents/vice-chancellors, principals and deans from highly ranked African universities that are offering academic programs in agriculture, engineering, science and technology, are coming to attend their 18th Executive Board Meetings under the banner Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).
The Meetings are expected to be held from April 24th to 26th in Monrovia.
According to a UL release, the ROFURUM Executive Board Meetings will bring together delegates from Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.
Speaking to journalists at her office on Capitol Hill, Dr. Weeks further disclosed that the RUFORUM Executive Board Meetings will be combined with a National Symposium on Higher Education in Liberia under the theme: “Improving Higher Education in Liberia”.
“The Symposium will be jointly hosted by the University of Liberia, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, the National Commission on Higher Education and the RUFORUM Secretariat,” Dr. Moses M. Zinnah, Dean, College of Agriculture and Forestry.
Speaking further, Dr. Weeks stated that UL became a member in 2017 of RUFORUM, which was established in 2004 by 10 universities in East and South Africa.
“This organization has now grown to 100 and UL began a part in October 2017. We are honored to be hosting the meetings. I was honored to have been elected as the Deputy Board Chair,” she stated.
She also used the occasion to speak about opportunities the organization provides for its members. Dr. Weeks disclosed that eight UL faculty members are presently doing their PhD as a result of UL’s affiliation with RUFORUM.
“Governments can’t do what needs to be done alone so partners need to help government meet the needs of its citizens,” she added.
As Deputy Board Chair, she said her primary agenda will be to work with her head, who is based in Uganda for the next 3 years.
Also Dr. Zinnah, who also spoke, indicated that for any nation to drive anything in development that needs to have capable, skilled people to drive those policy agendas.
The Agriculture College Dean praised Dr. Weeks for what he termed as being “proactive.”
Dr. Zinnah, who has worked with many universities on the continent, promised to work with Dr. Weeks to make the UL one of the top 20 universities in Africa.
RUFORUM’s vision is to achieve “vibrant transformative universities to catalyze sustainable inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa”. As part of its drive on transformation of higher education and mobilizing the role of private sector in higher education in particular to facilitate entrepreneurship development and increasing the delivery of hands on exercise and the need to respond to disadvantaged and post-conflict states higher education needs, RUFORUM is undertaking a mission to Liberia. Liberia is one of the post-conflict countries in Africa, that years of civil unrest crippled its higher education sector. The country is in dire need of rebuilding its higher education sector and the broader education value chain. Understanding the depth of these needs as well as mobilizing key actors including the Government of Liberia and its private sector is an important undertaking that RUFORUM is committed to participate in.