AAUN Africa Forum 2017: Summary Report

Photo: Dr Aldo Stroebel, NRF, SA; Prof Cheryl de la Rey, VC and co-chair, University of Pretoria, SA; Prof John Hearn, co-chair, University of Sydney, Australia; Christian Acemah, Ugandan National Academy of Sciences, Uganda; Prof Frans Swanepoel, University of Pretoria, SA and Dr Thandi Mgwebi, DVC, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

On 3 December 2017, AAUN brought together 55 Australian and African expert participants from academia, government, diplomats, business and agencies to assess education and research partnerships for development, engagement of stakeholders, and building sustainable research and exchange programmes. The forum was held alongside the 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security taking place 4-6 December.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Africa Agenda 2063 and STISA 2024 provided a policy framework with mutual benefit to Africa and the world including Australia: shaping research, education and economic development. They should also provide resources to implement partnerships and programs.

AAUN fora and workshops are a key instrument for establishing and building these partnerships and programs.

Following the opening keynote address by Professor Voster Muchenje, University of Fort Hare, ten AAUN grant-holders (PRDF awardees) shared project progress. These presentations were followed by two panel discussions: the first focused on youth employment and the second on cooperation between university networks.

Forum summary

Please view the forum summary report for session & presentation summaries and outcomes.

PowerPoint Presentations

Note – please refer to the summary report for a summary on each presentation, listed per session.

Opening keynote

The Complex Nature of Food and Nutrition Security
Presented by Professor Voster Muchenje, SARChI Chairholder in Meat Science and Research Professor in Food Security at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa; founder member of the Academy of Young Scientists of South Africa)

AAUN-funded Research Projects

Principal investigators of the 2017 AAUN research projects funded by the AAUN Partnership & Research Development Fund presented their projects in Session II.

Moderator: Professor Wallace Cowling, Associate Director, the UWA Institute of Agriculture, University of Western Australia; PI of ‘New plant breeding methods for sustainable use of genetic resources and security of food production’ (PRDF 2017) 


Food composition data for animal-source foods in sub-Saharan Africa
Professor Hettie Schonfeldt, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Mobile-based information system for nutrition-driven agriculture 
Professor Willis Oluoch Kosura, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Future legumes – linking climate change and nutritional needs to agriculture 
Professor Janet Bornman, Curtin University, Australia

Minimising waste through value addition and preservation of fresh produce in Nigeria and Kenya 
Professor Florence Olubayo, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Food security and antibiotic resistance in the chicken-processing industry in Australia and Africa 
Professor Elna Buys, University of Pretoria, South Africa

An analysis of the value chain for indigenous edible insects and their potential role in mother and child nutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa: focus on Mopani 
Professor Phillip Nkunika and Dr Nyambe Lisulo Mkandawire, University of Zambia, Zambia

Prof. Cowling closed the session by sharing information on the AAUN workshop on new plant breeding methods for sustainable use of genetic resources and security of food production, held at the University of Mauritius, 29-31 January 2018 (report available on this website soon). 

Panel Discussion: Making Young African Graduates Job-Ready – Entrepreneurship and Capacity Building

Moderator: Prof. Christian Acemah (Executive Director, ‎Uganda National Academy of Sciences, Uganda)

Statistics on the African youth bulge, migration trends, and the ageing population in the global north 
Dr Thandi Mgwebi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

Cooperation between University Networks on the Continent and Beyond
Prof. Prem Ramburuth (School of Management, University of New South Wales Business School, Australia

The role of science councils, with specific reference to the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa
Dr Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships; Strategy, Planning and Partnerships, National Research Foundation, South Africa

Questions? Please contact Ms Desiree Homann at the AAUN offices in Pretoria.

Thank you to all who contributed to its success.