International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) President Prof. Mike Wingfield opened the International Forestry Students' Association (IFSA) pre-side event workshop on forestry education in Africa at the XIV World Forestry Congress 2015 in Durban. 

More than 60 students from across the world including numerous African delegates from the Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa met in Durban to discuss the current state of forestry education in Africa. 

IUFRO sponsored 10 African forestry students’ attendance at the WFC 2015 as part of Prof. Wingfield’s vision to encourage and promote forestry research in Africa, especially amongst students. 

In his opening address Prof. Wingfield encouraged the students to join IUFRO and take advantage of the networking and professional opportunities of membership of the world’s largest global network for forest science cooperation. It unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 member organisations in over 110 countries. He explained how, as a young researcher, he joined IUFRO and the tremendous impact this had on his professional development and how membership will allow them to take forestry science to greater heights by leveraging this network’s expertise and reach.

He also encouraged them to use their time well to communicate their experiences from this workshop and, later, their professional work worldwide through writing editorials and thereby increase awareness about forestry.