Association of African Universities (AAU) and IUFoST sign MoU

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This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishes a collaborative relationship between the Association of African Universities (AAU), and The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) for the purpose of organizing training and education for capacity building in Africa, especially in the areas of Food Science and Technology and Agro-food production and processing.

The Association of African Universities (AAU), an international non-governmental not-for-profit organization with an initial membership of 34 institutions in 1967 has grown to a current membership of more than 400 institutions in 46 African countries. It operates in three official languages, namely English, French, and Arabic.

As the representative voice of higher education in Africa, AAU aims to raise the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development by, inter alia, providing support to their core functions and facilitating critical reflection on, and consensus-building around, issues affecting higher education and the development of Africa.

The AAU 2020-2025 Strategic Plan recognizes that higher education is central to social and economic development of all societies, and underpins all development targets from poverty reduction to employability, health to environmental sustainability and food security.  Meeting the targets of the UN sanctioned SDGs, or African Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25), and Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024), will depend upon producing competent and skilled graduates with requisite skills to create jobs, take up employment, drive innovation and advance progress, and prosperity through knowledge production (research) and knowledge dissemination (teaching and learning).

AAU and IUFoST are developing a work plan for each of the first five years of the MoU addressing future food security challenges and the SDGs through actions to address and thus reduce food losses and waste; mitigating environmental effects through encouragement for innovative and new technologies; expanding knowledge of traditional foods and processes and their health aspects; educating the consumer on food choices and new alternatives; expanding knowledge of how food reacts with the body to reduce over nutrition; improve capacity building and education and training at all levels, especially in combating undernutrition, and safe food for  all. These help AAU and IUFoST in collaboration through capacity building and education to address food system issues at the global and regional levels that meet the local needs as well. This would contribute to filling the void in the supply side gaps and influencing demand changes and including nutrition into food security, reduction of the gaps from farm to consumer and  increasing the efficiency of post-farm operations and influencing demand.

The MoU will be signed formally at the 21st World Congress of Food Science and Technology in Singapore.