The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 147 African universities operating within 38 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM supports universities to address the important and largely unfulfilled role that universities play in contributing to the well‐being of small‐scale farmers and the economic development of countries throughout the sub-Saharan Africa region. The consortium has several unique features for building Africa’s innovation capacity and for engaging universities in the development process and practice.