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For the creation of a network of science advisors in Francophone Africa

Québec’s Chief Scientist, Rémi Quirion, will hold a workshop in Dakar, Senegal from March 5 to 7 with some forty young Francophone African researchers to build their capacity to provide science advice to governments. Organized in collaboration with the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) of which Rémi Quirion is a founding member, this workshop will contribute to supporting the emergence of a network of science advisors in Africa.

Participants will look at case studies produced to reflect the particular challenges faced in Africa and discuss promising models and practices for working at the interface between science and policy. “Conditions are extremely different in Africa: access to scientific evidence can be difficult, the research system is structured differently and the political uses are not at all the same. A different approach is therefore also needed for the provision of scientific advice,” observed Rémi Quirion. “Through this workshop and the activities that will follow, we hope that Francophone African countries will define their own practices to ensure that policymaking is informed by sound scientific evidence.”

During this event, workshop participants will form the basis for a network of science advisors across Francophone Africa in association with the INGSA-Africa chapter, a network established during the first workshop held in February 2016 in Hermanus, South Africa. “While the African Continent has an abundance of natural resources and the youngest population on the planet, its capacity to produce and use scientific knowledge will be a key factor in its development,” concluded Rémi Quirion.

About the workshop

This workshop is organized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) and the Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal (ANSTS) as part of the activities of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the New Zealand Aid Programme from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The organizers also received support from UNESCO, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the Québec Government Office in Dakar and the Canadian Embassy in Senegal.

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  • Case studies are available for the media on request.

Contact :
Julie Dirwimmer
Special Projects Officer
Office of the Chief Scientist of Québec
514 873-2114, ext. 1284
Cell: 514 621-3648