IRD in Western and Central Africa
The IRD has been present in Western and Central Africa (WCA) for over 60 years, where it collaborates with 21 countries, which united, include a total of 400 million inhabitants (that is to say 40% of the total population of the African continent).
More than 100 agents are expatriated there to conduct, in collaboration with over 200 permanent local workers, research, training and innovative activities.
The main scientific topics are on extensive developmental issues:
- The impact of climate change and of natural hazards (adaptation of plants to the climate change);
- Geosciences (costal erosion, degradation and depletion of soils, pollution, etc.);
- Ecosystems and management of natural resources (mineral resources, surface and subterranean water resources - and their utilization, fisheries, agricultural production - food security, biodiversity);
- Fight against poverty, international migrations, socio-cultural and religious dynamics
- Health (malaria, aids, trypanosomiasis, emerging infectious diseases).
Many recently established AIRD teams (“jeunes equipes AIRD” or JEAI), joint international laboratories and joint international units particularly in mathematics (in Senegal and Cameron) and on HIV/AIDS (in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cameron), organise the research conducted alongside local regions.
As of 2011, two regional pilot programs (PPR) provide guidance for the entire research activities, and favour interdisciplinary activities and highlight the distinctive characteristics of the regional ecosystems:
- The PPRFTH “Tropical rainforest – biodiversity, global changes and health in the tropical rainforests of Central Africa"
- The PPR-SREC "Rural communities, environment and climate in Western Africa”.
The rapidly developing training and the emerge of innovative projects, support the dynamic objectives of the French and African teams, in order to organise the research area. Five international masters and an international program for doctors, already exist, involving French universities. Technological innovation is encouraged by two forums (FRIST in Burkina Faso and PROMOTE in Cameron) and by the launch of a business incubator (INNODEV in Senegal).