The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the Brazilian Association for International Education (FAUBAI) collaboration is an innovative partnership to strengthen the capacity of Africa’s agricultural research and development through internationalizing Brazilian education.
The partnership is operationalized through the Agricultural Research and Innovation Fellowship for Africa (ARIFA), a flagship program of this collaboration that seeks to leverage on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) to train and equip 5,000 agriculture research and innovation practitioners in Africa.
The 35th meeting of FAUBAI, held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil from the 15th to the 19th of April 2023, allowed the two institutions to renew their commitment to the ARIFA program. During the meeting, FARA’s Executive Director (ED), Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, expressed gratitude to the government and people of Brazil for their continuous support of the program through FAUBAI and the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV). He highlighted that the ARIFA program has already supported over 120 fellows from Nigeria who are currently studying at 15 universities in Brazil.
Tagged “building knowledge with all voices”, the FAUBAI 2023 meeting offered a space for ideas and knowledge sharing on the ARIFA model among partners from the Global South.
The ARIFA program seeks to produce a new fit-for-purpose workforce to re-engineer the African agri-food sector and provide the change factor for rapid agricultural transformation in Africa. The program is designed to equip fellows with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to drive agricultural Innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa, one person at a time, one nation at a time.
Launched in 2019, the ARIFA program has trained close to 100 Nigerians in several universities in Brazil. In March this year, FARA inducted the first set of ARIFA fellows who have returned to Nigeria. Reporting on the progress of the program’s second phase, Dr Vladimir Iorio, the Director of International Relations at the UFV, confirmed that FAUBAI has selected 398 applicants from Nigeria in the second cycle of the program. The newly elected candidates are expected to commence academic activities in August 2023. This is a significant milestone in implementing the ARIFA program, demonstrating the increasing interest and demand among African youths.
It is hoped that other countries and regions will emulate this partnership to address the global food security challenges and poverty alleviation.
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