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ATHENA European University at Ruforum Annual General Meeting, in Harare


Nuno Escudeiro, from P.PORTO will be representing ATHENA at the Ruforum Annual General Meeting

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe in partnership with RUFORUM member universities in Zimbabwe namely; University of Zimbabwe, Africa University, Bindura University of Science Education, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University, Lupane State University, Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, and Midlands State University will host the 18th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting in Zimbabwe from 12th to 16th December 2022.

Also referred to as the 18th Annual General Meeting, it is being held under the theme, “Strengthening Africa’s Agri-food Systems in the Post COVID-19 Era – Opportunities and Challenges” with several events lined up throughout the week, which has nearly 1200 participants coming from 41 countries and 161 universities.

The ATHENA European University will discuss a comprehensive overview of the initiatives held by the Alliance members in Business/University cooperation, covering the four dimensions of universities: education, research, innovation and service to society. This discussion among a group of invited representatives of the private sector, academia and governmental bodies aims to identify common areas of interest, and agree on an action plan for cooperation to promote Business/University synergies.

Ruforum brings together policymakers including Ministers and Technical Experts, Higher Education Leaders in Africa, development partners, private sector leaders, researchers, innovators, students, and farmer organizations among others. Some delegates will participate virtually through an online platform (details in the overall programme), and will be chaired by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.


The ATHENA European University – Advanced Technology Higher Education Network Alliance – is a consortium, led by the Polytechnic of Porto, of mid-size higher education institutions in nine European countries. Besides the Polytechnic of Porto, the alliance comprises the University of Orléans (France), the Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece), the University of Siegen (Germany), the University of Maribor (Slovenia), the University Niccolò Cusano (Italy), Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Lithuania), the University of Vigo (Spain) and Marie Curie Sklodowska University (Poland). The sharing of resources, tools and infrastructures is one of the added values that this alliance brings to the nine HEI, which together are home to more than 150 thousand students and ten thousand employees.

ATHENA draws on the combined strengths of each members aiming to deliver inclusive, innovative, high-quality international education permanently aligned with global market needs.