ARIFA takes on Lisbon, Portugal

17th October 2022:

At the instance of the University of Lisbon authorities, the Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo was received in audience by the representative of the Rector of the University of Lisbon – Prof Cecilia Rodrigues (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation). In a short but impressive meeting at the Rector’s Office of the University of Lisbon, the Executive Director of FARA was received in audience along with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Rodrigues by Prof Ana Isabel Faria Ribeiro (Director, Tropical College), Dr. Isabel França (Director, External and International Relations Department) and Professor Jorge Malheiros (Deputy Director CTROP)

The mission was aimed at engagement with the principal officers of the university of Lisbon and to intimate them with the conceptual framework of the ARIFA (Agricultural Research and Innovation Fellowship in Africa) and to also provide them with a deeper understanding of the ARIFA philosophy and its theory of change – a pedagogic retooling of the African competencies and capacities for deploying science in the African University systems.It is noteworthy that ARIFA initiative is very well established in Brazil where about 90 members of Nigerian universities are currently undergoing different courses in agrifood system research at the MSc level.

In addition, there is the 4-tier plan that was discussed in Lisbon today – MSc, PhD, Post Doctoral fellowship, and Regional mobility for benchwork and research engagement with faculty members in Nigerian universities and the University of Lisbon. the meetings concluded on the agreed-upon next steps which include the elaboration of a memorandum of understanding and a matrix of opportunities and institutional competencies and capacities to engage with the Nigerian academia in a way that responds to the expression of interest that will be elucidated from the Nigerian academia.

It will be recalled that the TETfund has now raised available opportunities in the fellowship program from 120 to 620 fellows. The University of Lisbon in return has expressed its readiness to open its doors to Africa within the context of the ARIFA initiative during the next 3-4 months.

Other subjects of mutual interest were also discussed including joint resource mobilization, joint summit (Africa-Europe) and other areas of interest for joint initiatives within the context of the Erasmus program of the European Union.

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