CoELIB Centre continues to build on existing capacity and training in Africa through its latest partnership venture with MDF Training and Consultancy and the University of Juba in the “Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) - New Horizons for Food Security & Agri-Education South Sudan” project. The Tailor-Made Training (TMT+) program that is projected to run from July 2020 – December 2021 aims at enhancing the capacity of higher education, training, and research and strengthening Africa’s regional capacity for sustainable agriculture, agribusiness, and research.

Food insecurity in the Horn of Africa

Achieving food security has been a massive challenge in South Sudan. Farming, fishing, and livestock remain at subsistence production levels. Field sizes and crop yields are low due to high costs of farm inputs, poor quality seeds, tools, and agronomic practices and limited technologies and innovations. Small scale farmers are not fully integrated across value chains and private sector linkages are weak. These low levels of production combined by ongoing hostilities, and most recently, locust invasions, coupled by frequent droughts and rampant crop, livestock, and human, diseases, poor infrastructure, weak policies, and limited market access continuously cause food insecurity.  Another problem aggravating poor farming practices is the limited supply of skilled agriculture graduates who are committed and motivated to work in the agricultural sector. Youth unemployment, particularly among university graduates, is high. There are many reasons for this, - including those linked to conflict and insecurity -, but a key reason is the inefficient use of human resource capacities engaged in agriculture.

CoELIB Centre and its partners seek to train 93 assistant teachers (18 females and 75 males) and Taskforce Groups of 6 to 8 teachers each in fields of research, short course development, gender & entrepreneurship, business-connect, etc. from the College of Natural Resource and Environment Studies (Faculty of Agriculture) - University of Juba to help tackle the aforementioned causative agents of food insecurity in the Horn of Africa.

Prospects of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) Project

CoELIB Centre’s longstanding experience and success in capacity-building shall be used in the project to help attain the following deliverables within the scheduled 2020-2021 period:

  • A research lab to conduct labour market research and other agro/food-related data collection,
  • A Food Security event inviting private sector agro-companies and NGOs to the University of Juba,
  • Excellence Exposure visits for University of Juba lecturers and trainers to Egerton University,
  • Piloting of new short courses and teacher training,
  • A Food Security Challenge that will invite students to submit innovative researches or enterprise mini-projects,
  • Training and coaching of curriculum review & design of complementary short courses and modern learning, and
  • Student internships at Egerton University.

The Joint Taskforce

Partners of this programme are:

  • MDF Training and Consultancy (MDF) with its regional office for Eastern & Southern Africa (ESA): Provider of management training, advisory, education, and capacity building services.
  • Egerton University - Kenya: The Centre of Excellence for Livestock Innovation and Business (CoELIB).
  • University of Juba - South Sudan - College of Natural Resource and Environment Studies–Faculty of Agriculture: Recipient organization.

The Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) (formally NICHE) is funded by NUFFIC (www.nuffic.nl) - a Dutch non-profit for internationalization of education - founded in mid-2017 with an aim of providing tens of thousands with the possibility of changing their futures through education and training by 2022.