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Promoting research in Africa: AUF and IRD signed a scientific cooperation agreement

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The Francophone University Agency (AUF), a world French-speaking universities association, very active in Africa and the Development Research Institute (IRD), a French public institution with scientific and technological character dealing with decisive questions for the South, are putting together in order to develop and strengthen the scientific exchanges between the North and the South.

The cooperation agreement that has linked both institutions since April 29th, 2014 plans the joint financing of research projects intended to the groups of institutions of higher education and research for the North and for the South which works concern the global changes, the biodiversity and the health in forest zones of Central Africa.

This initiative will favor the emergence of international research teams associating researchers and teachers-researchers committed in projects connected to the development challenges in the forest zones of Central Africa.

It will also allow researchers of Central Africa and institutions to which they are connected to improve their capacities of scientific research and their positioning on the international scene.

This partnership answers the concerns and the objectives shared by the IRD and the AUF regarding research for the development and strengthening of the scientific cooperation.

In its four-year programming 2014 – 2017, the AUF made a commitment to favor the development of international research teams involved in emergent problems; it intends to strengthen the university networks in order to support the innovation and the social, scientific and technological relevance of research results.

Its Central Africa and Lake District office that counts more than thirty member institutions, supports research actions in themes centered on the tropical rain forests of Central Africa.

The IRD has for vocation to promote and to realize, with its partners of the South, scientific research works that answer the international development stakes.

It has a regional Program « Global change, biodiversity and health in forest zones of Central Africa » which purpose is to anticipate the environmental answers to climate and anthropological changes in the forest zone of Central Africa. A selection committee will study the submitted projects. It will favor applications having a regional dimension, partnerships with universities or research centers of the North, as well as a real interdisciplinary approach.

« The strengthening of the research space in the South passes through the support to projects of scientific and university cooperation in domains that favor the development. This agreement with the IRD allows to mutualize efforts in order to support the research at the service of the economic, social and environmental progress« , explained Bernard CERQUIGLINI, Chief education officer of the Francophone University Agency.


The Francophone University Agency is a world association of French-speaking universities that aims at linking between universities of French language. The association has been working for more than 50 years in the domain of higher education and of research. It has vocation to support the training of professionals capable of contributing to the development of their country.

It includes 800 university institutions on the five continents and in hundred countries, among which 59 members (or observers) of the International Organization of La Francophonie.

The association has for mission to support development strategies of the member institutions, to make come out a new generation of teachers, researchers, experts and professionals, development actors, to promote the French-speaking scientific community so that it becomes an international reference and brings its contribution to the world stakes (climate change, poverty, agriculture, food safety, health, law…)

In order to carry out its actions, the AUF develops partnerships with the international organizations (UNESCO, EU, NGO, some private sector companies).


The Development Research Institute (IRD) is a French research organization, original and unique in the European research development environment. Favoring interdisciplinarity and for more than 65 years, the IRD has centered its researches on the relations between Man and his environment in Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Latin America, Asia and in tropical French overseas.

Its research, training and innovation activities have for objective to contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of the countries of the South. In Cameroon and in Central Africa, the current research programs are centered on the regional multidisciplinary program « Global changes, biodiversity and health in the forest zones of Central Africa« .

The initiative has for objectives to understand and to anticipate the environmental answers to climate and anthropological change in the forest zone of Central Africa.


Original text by: Blaise AKAME


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