The French diplomatic network has taken decisive action to boost the number of projects in this field, supporting two-way mobility, higher education and research partnerships, teacher training and the development of digital libraries.
Education will be the absolute priority for the new partnership that I am proposing.
President Emmanuel Macron,
Ouagadougou speech, 27 November 2017
Last November, a new digital knowledge and training library was launched at the University Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo, thanks to a partnership with the University Agency for Francophonie (AUF). Fully-equipped co-working spaces with Internet connections have been set up to enhance the operational capacities of the university incubator. Diploma programmes in digital professions, supported by French businesses such as Simplon, Orange and Open Classroom, will be offered to students. In the long term, at least 10,000 students will benefit from these programmes.
Since November 2018, this platform has offered 56 training programmes run by universities in Côte d’Ivoire and France (including the CNAM vocational school and Polytechnique engineering school). Students can enrol in joint programmes and work towards dual diplomas remotely. The platform will expand the range of training programmes offered by Ivoirian higher education institutes, and give students the opportunity to obtain diplomas in fields likely to spur economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire. French students can also enrol in joint training programmes, by completing some of their studies in France and the rest in Côte d’Ivoire. The hub is open to students throughout Africa.
In addition, Côte d’Ivoire’s first coding school, La Fabrique Inclusive du Numérique, will open on 6 December 2018 in Abidjan, on the premises of the University Agency for Francophonie (AUF). It will offer training in web and mobile development. This project, run in partnership with the French social business Simplon.co and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, aims to improve the employability of young people and especially women – who represented 41% of the first group of students.
A Franco-Senegalese campus will open in the city of Diamniadio, 30km from Dakar, in September 2019. This unique campus will be a hub for 17 training programmes offered jointly by French and Senegalese institutions. They will cover topics ranging from agronomy to the digital field. Several prestigious French schools are involved in the initiative, including the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM), the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), as well as Senegalese universities and schools.
This Franco-Portuguese bilingual education, offered by the Eiffel network and labelled by the Angolan authorities, is the result of a public-private partnership between the Angolan Ministry of Education, Total E&P Angola and the French Secular Mission (MLF). Since February 2018, bilingual education has been offered in all schools in the Bengo, Malanje, Cuanza Norte and Cunene provinces.
ACTIF, a project supporting local authorities and youth focusing on integration and training initiatives, was launched in March 2018 with support from the French Development Agency (AFD). Thanks to this initiative, new short training courses and professional integration programmes have been implemented in the Mopti region. The project will help improve training for teachers, benefitting around 3,000 people aged between 14 and 40, at least 40% of whom will be women.
Following cooperation between France and South Africa in space engineering, a new nanosatellite was developed in April 2018 by the French South African Institute of Technology. This institute offers training provided jointly by French and South African universities.
ZACUBE-2 was launched into orbit in July 2018. Its goals include automatically monitoring boats along the South African coastline and detecting forest fires.
The Tica regionally oriented national school, which is central to defence cooperation efforts between France and Equatorial Guinea, will open at the end of 2018. It reflects the two countries’ desire to set up a naval force capable of coordinating activities and fighting illegal trafficking and piracy. Focusing on maritime safety, this school is a unique training centre with no equivalent among the 17 existing schools in Africa established through cooperative efforts. It has modern educational tools, including a new-generation navigation simulator.
France’s project for the education of girls in Niger, which is supported by the French embassy and the French Development Agency (AFD) and run by the Nigerien NGO Femmes, Actions et Développement (FAD), helped increase the number of girls receiving education in the Dosso and Niamey regions in 2018. As part of the project, 17 awareness-raising caravans have travelled these regions, 70 people have received training on organization and communication techniques around the issue of girls’ education, 24 radio debates have taken place and 500 girls attending school have received educational supplies.
In 2018, the universities of Grenoble and Lyon signed partnership agreements with the University of Jos. Under these agreements, five assistants from Jos will study towards Master’s degrees in Grenoble, joint research on climate change will be launched in Grenoble, and a researcher will travel to France.
In 2018, a Campus France area opened in Uganda to promote French higher education and welcome, inform and provide guidance to students. The area is based at the Alliance Française in Kampala and Makerere University, and aims to promote the mobility of African students in France.
Nine universities in Sudan are currently cooperating with ten universities, four schools and six institutes in France.
They work together in a wide range of fields, including medicine, IT, archaeology and linguistics.
Another feature of university cooperation between France and Sudan is the shared-cost mobility programme, which seeks to help support the next generation of top academics in Sudan. In addition to this initiative, the French Embassy in Khartoum has implemented the Hubert Curien partnership (also known as “Napata”), which is designed to allow Sudanese researchers who have trained in France to maintain connections with the country through research projects, ensuring their work remains in line with international academic standards. In 2018, 10 projects were launched as part of this partnership.