The Sixth African Higher Education Week was started with many side events until the Biennial Conference was officially commenced on 22nd Oct. 2018.
The two weeks event is expected to be influential seeing that it has grown its participants from 380 from 25 countries to 900 expected from 37 countries this year. The membership of universities has also increased to 105 in number.
HU Booth was visited by the University’s Former President Prof. Belay Kassa among others
Given the lack of communication and information of activities in universities despite their massive generation of knowledge through research, innovations and skilled manpower production, RUFORUM saw it fit to organize a training session whereby Public Relations Officers and Communication Officers (PROs and COs) of member universities have the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge of PR, the role it has with social media interaction to showcase the works and activities of African Universities. The training focused on PR and its strategies, effective media relations, crisis communication plan with practical and on camera media training.
Besides producing skilled manpower, African universities have obstacles to overcome on issues of image crises and dealing with scandals. On such occasions, it is best to have well-trained crisis management teams so that situations do not escalate and be blown out of proportion. This, majority of the time, is not the reality in many institutions.
The training is instrumental to bridge the gap between ‘what universities do and the demand of the communities they serve to lack of communication of existing activities within the institutions’, and package institutions so that the hard work and research pays off.
Haramaya University, one of the universities in Ethiopia in the RUFORUM Network, was the first to join the Network back in 2009. The Network avails the opportunity for African universities to share their best experiences as well as challenges and possible solutions. The event also opens doors for varies stakeholders in the sector of agriculture, technology dissemination and development to collaborate, partner with and share knowledge.
There had always been side events and the 2018 Conference is no different. From leadership trainings for post doc students to meetings of varying kind with concerned stakeholders to PROs COs training, which was a first of its kind to RUFORUM.
The Conference, started on Monday, 22nd of Oct. 2018 and exhibition booths are setup so universities can showcase what they have done so far. Another side event expected is the awarding of the top 23 Young African Entrepreneurs. These youngsters have had innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirits “taking advantage of the vast growth prospects within their countries and the continent at large” said Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Board Chair of RUFORUM.