Dr. Ntam Baharanyi of Tuskegee University’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences has been awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Uganda and work with the University of Saint Joseph at Mbarara on curriculum development and collaborative research initiatives.
The University of Saint Joseph at Mbarara, a new Catholic university, began its operations in August 2018 in a country where agriculture is the economic backbone and still employs about 75 percent of the population. Baharanyi, a professor of agricultural and resource economics, and assistant extension administrator with Tuskegee’s Cooperative Extension Program, will work with school’s faculty to develop a unique undergraduate program in agriculture extension services and management.
“I’m optimistic about my work to help the University of Saint Joseph at Mbarara develop the curriculum for its new bachelor’s degree in agriculture and extension management,” Baharanyi said. “It will be exciting to help the university’s faculty and students contribute to bettering local agricultural extension initiatives, as well as help the school impart specific skills and knowledge in this field to its students.”
Baharanyi’s work will span January through March 2019. It will include drafting a curriculum with the university’s faculty members, benchmarking the new curriculum against other institutions, and incorporating educational best practices used by Tuskegee and other U.S. universities. At the end of the fellowship, the university expects to have a final curriculum that will be forwarded to its national regulatory body for accreditation and eventual implementation.
With this project, Tuskegee becomes part of a broader initiative that will pair 51 African Diaspora scholars with one of 43 higher education institutions and collaborators in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to collaborate on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities in the coming months. The visiting fellows will work with their hosts on a wide range of projects, which will include controlling malaria, strengthening peace and conflict studies, developing a new master’s degree in emergency medicine, training and mentoring graduate students in criminal justice, archiving African indigenous knowledge, creating low-cost water treatment technologies, building capacity in microbiology and pathogen genomics, and developing a forensic accounting curriculum.
Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits of between 21 and 90 days — including transportation, a daily stipend and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.
Since joining the Tuskegee faculty in 1985, Baharanyi, a native of the Idjwi Island in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has specialized in managing and administering land-grant and international development projects; developing and evaluating the impact of extension and outreach programs; leading agriculture education and training initiatives; and facilitating research-based economic development in historically disadvantaged communities in the Black Belt communities and in sub-Saharan Africa. His academic training includes a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the National University of Zaire, and master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky. Using his skills, education and teaching experience to benefit his native continent is what motivated him to apply to the fellowship program.
“I have always wanted to go back home and contribute in whatever way I could,” he explained. “Because of my professional skills, background, and personal knowledge of the area, I know I will be able to bring about better processes to the region, as well as secure greater buy-in from those residing in the region.”
And, while this will be his first Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, the experience will not be his first foray supporting international education and research work. Previously, he served as part of a team providing leadership and technical experience in Senegal through an Education and Research in Agriculture project that was part of a consortium led by USAID/Virginia Tech. Baharanyi also served as on the diagnostic faculty and as coordinator of the Tuskegee University team working with USAID/InnovATE (Innovations in Agriculture Training and Education) in Senegal, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Armenia, and others.
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its sixth year, is designed to increase Africa’s brain circulation, build capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. It is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education, in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the Advisory Council. A total of 385 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013.
For more information, visit www.iie.org/Programs/Carnegie-African-Diaspora-Fellowship-Program.
© 2018, Tuskegee University