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How does scientific and academic knowledge circulate today in the Sahel countries?

The SAFIRE (SAhel, FINancement de la Recherche) research project, funded by the French Development Agency (AFD), was implemented between 2019 and 2022 by the Population and Development Center (CEPED) of the University of Paris and the Institute of Research and Development (IRD) in collaboration with FRIDHA. Its objective: to better understand the capacities of research institutions and the individual trajectories of researchers in the six Sahel countries: Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

In recent years, we have witnessed a consolidation of research in African universities and a transformation of research systems in the Sahel region after a long period of deinstitutionalization. This trend is certainly linked to international financing, the recent growth of which was massive. With more than 180 interviews conducted as best we could despite conflict situations and the health crisis, we wanted to better understand the interactions between individual and collective resources, the types of actors, their strategies, the establishment of networks and the consolidation of institutions carrying out scientific research, particularly in their international dimension. The project focused on three areas of scientific expertise: social sciences, agriculture and environment, health sciences. 

Ultimately, this project should make it possible to identify active research structures and research potential in the region in order to rethink the regional and local specificities to be promoted.


Project coordinator: Rigas Arvanitis

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