UQ welcomes Africa’s emerging leaders in agriculture

source: University of Queensland Australia

Sixty emerging leaders from African agricultural industries are in Queensland for an intensive development program to help them tackle challenges of sustainable economic development in their own countries.

The University of Queensland has welcomed participants of the Australia Awards Program, who will spend six weeks completing short courses on agribusiness, irrigation and water resource management.

UQ Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education (UQ-ICTE) Deputy Director Dallas Dowsett said participants would access new knowledge, skills, networks, experiences and mentors.

“We hope to empower them to make positive impacts to the agriculture sector in their own communities,” she said.

“The courses will draw on UQ expertise from the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the Business School.”

UQ International Development Manager for Africa and South and West Asia Mr John Brighenti said the participants were motivated, capable individuals who were enthusiastic to learn from their experience.

“UQ is delighted to be working with Australia Awards again to deliver high quality and interesting courses in the field of agriculture,” he said.

Agribusiness course participants will spend five weeks in Brisbane and one week in regional Queensland learning about, observing and conducting value chain analyses for a variety of commodities.

They will participate in live case studies of Australian agri-food value chains and engage with private sector agribusiness professionals.

The Irrigation and Water Resources Management (IWRM) course will introduce participants to theoretical and practical aspects of the field.

IWRM participants will spend three weeks in Brisbane, one week on the Darling Downs and one week in Central Queensland visiting farms, agricultural businesses and research facilities to learn about Australia’s world-leading water resource management.

“Both courses will also see participants build skills in leadership, communication and project management to prepare them to become leaders in their own organisations, a key objective of the program,” said Mr Brighenti.

The Australia Awards are funded by the Australian Government and managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

They offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia, and for high-achieving Australians to do the same overseas.

Further information on Australia Awards is available at: http://dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/australia-awards/Pages/australia-awards.aspx