SAFE, SAA to Merge to Improve Effectiveness in Supporting African Universities

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Addis Ababa  May  30/2019 The Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE), which partnered with nine Ethiopian universities, is going to merge with the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA).

The partnership between SAFE that deals with university and college programs and SAA working on field level model operations is aimed at achieving the SAA 2019-2023 strategic plan.

Launched in 1993 in Ghana, SAFE, partnered with 26 institutions in 11 African countries, where 5,776 students graduated from the programs.

In Ethiopia, SAFE is working in partnership with the universities of Jimma, Haromaya, Hawassa, Bahir Dar, Mekelle, Wello, Arba Minch, Samera, and Jigjiga.

The five-year strategy puts emphasis on the SAA’s operational effectiveness by enhancing the synergy of its field operation and its support to universities and agricultural colleges, partnering with ministries of agriculture.

Since 1993, Sasakawa Global 2000 Ethiopia sought to introduce new approaches to agriculture extension work aimed at increasing farm-level productivity to achieve food security of small scale farmers.

Sasakawa Africa Association Executive Director, Fumiko Iseki told ENA that they are merging the two sister organizations into one to achieve the strategic plan.

“Now we have a new strategic plan; we merge the two sister organizations (SAA and SAFE) to bring the field operations know how into the universities curricula,” she pointed out.

The Executive Director added that some 12 African countries will be reached next year through the curricula in their universities and colleges as part of the strategy.

SAA Board Chair Prof. Ruth Oniang’o on her part said “we had one as program on the ground in 4 countries and university based [partnership] in over nine countries. So we want them now to come and work together.”

The Board Chair said Ethiopia “is our key and largest engine driver with nine universities.”  

SAFE is said to bring African agricultural universities and colleges more into agricultural and rural development process through the creation of new innovative continuing education programs and strengthens the capacity of agricultural education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.