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CEST Time Zone

9:00 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.

Registration and Welcome Coffee

9:25 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Opening by the Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium


Didier VIVIERS, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Opening: Strengthening scientific cooperation between Africa and Europe, a major strategic challenge for meeting the common challenges of the 21st century

The African and European continents share a long-standing academic and scientific cooperation. However, this cooperation remains modest compared to the cooperation that exists between other continents. The African Union and the European Union are therefore committed to joining forces to put in place a sustainable research strategy to address current and future technological, societal and environmental challenges. During the opening of this event, the speakers will successively present the relations in the field of higher education and research uniting the two continents and the strategies and priority axes for the implementation of a new form of cooperation, equitable and sustainable.


  • Valérie VERDIER, CEO of IRD
  • Antoine PETIT, CEO of CNRS
  • Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
  • Mohammed BELHOCINE (video speech), African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Round table 1: What tools do we need for equitable and sustainable cooperation?

Various mechanisms exist to establish new cooperations or to strengthen existing ones through the funding of mobility or research instruments. These programmes are either implemented by the universities and research organisations of various countries, or are the result of programmes at the EU/AU level. Knowing about these numerous cooperation tools and making them accessible is therefore a key issue for enhancing cooperation between the two continents. The speakers will discuss existing cooperation programmes and will present a number of ways of improving them in order to render them more efficient and enable concrete joint work in the context of collaborative projects.


  • Abdoulaye DABO, Former Director General of CNRST Mali
  • Fadila BOUGHANEMI, Deputy Head of the Asia, Africa, MENA and External Relations Unit at the European Commission
  • Fulufhelo NELWAMONDO, CEO of National Research Foundation of South Africa
  • Kathrin Maria SCHERR, Managing Director of the Max Planck Foundation and Head of Subsharan Africa Operations

Round table moderated by Maryline FIASCHI, CEO of ScienceBusiness

11:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

Coffee Break

11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Round table 2: Mobility, a fundamental issue for scientific excellence

Whether it concerns undergraduates, doctoral students or researchers, mobility is a central key for training people, exchanging ideas and implementing joint research projects. Although digital tools have shown that they can support and partially compensate one-to-one relations, as seen with the global health crisis, the importance of mobility for training and research remains unequalled. However, budgetary or administrative obstacles can slow down or complicate mobility projects and prevent them from being carried out under optimal conditions, or may even lead to their cancellation. At a time when the questions of the “brain drain” and the reduction of long-distance travel to limit impact on the climate is being raised, speakers will bring new ideas on the issues of scientific and student mobility.


  • Béatrice KHAIAT, Deputy Director General of Campus France
  • Patrick LEVY, Member of the Board of European University Association
  • Bakri OSMAN SAEED, President of the Association of African Universities (AAU)
  • Roger TSAFACK NANFOSSO, Rector of the University of Dschang
  • Manuel TUNON DE LARA, President of France Université

Round table moderated by Maryline FIASCHI, CEO of ScienceBusiness


12:20 p.m. – 12:40 p.m.

Inspiring talk: Rethinking the relationship between Africa and Europe, for an equitable and sustainable research partnership

Professor Achille Mbembe will review the history of relations between Africa and Europe, particularly in the field of higher education and research. He will attempt to provide keys to understanding the cultural, historical and geopolitical context and will suggest some ways of improving the relationship in order to move towards a trusting and solid Euro-African partnership.

Achille MBEMBE, teacher, historian and political scientist, University of the Witwatersrand

12:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Lunch Break

2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Inspiring talk: The development of scientific research and culture in Africa

A molecular biologist by training, Francine Ntoumi will present the main issues relating to the development of research in Africa as well as the dissemination of scientific culture in society, an essential component in the fight against fake information and for the attractiveness of scientific careers to young people.

Francine NTOUMI, Professor at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and President of the Congolese Foundation for Medical Research in Republic of the Congo

2:20 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Round Table 3: Building sustainable partnership networks

Beyond the issue of researcher mobility, the question of establishing long-term scientific networks is also at the heart of good cooperation. This of course requires funding, that may be substantial or more modest depending on the project. Thematic centres of excellence or large research infrastructures thus represent major opportunities for the development of sustainable networks. These networks can also be open to institutional or industrial partners. The speakers will discuss the development of sustainable research networks, particularly on the African continent.


  • Emmanuel ADU-DANSO, Consultant at the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA)
  • Rigas ARVANITIS, Research Director at IRD and Director of CEPED
  • Ezra CLARK, Chief of Section for Science Technology and Innovation Policy and currently Director a.i. of the Division of Science Policy and Basic Science
  • Lydie HAKIZIMANA, CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Global Network
  • Véronique YOBOUE, Vice-President in charge of cooperation at Félix-Houphouët-Boigny University

Round table moderated by Maryline FIASCHI, CEO of ScienceBusiness

3:20 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.

Coffee Break

3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Inspiring talk: Focus on an International Research Laboratory in West Africa: the “Environment, Health and Societies” Laboratory.

As the only current International Research Unit of the CNRS in West Africa, this laboratory focuses on social issues linked to the environment, health and society at large and has chosen to promote an interdisciplinary approach. It runs in partnership with two universities (Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar and Gaston Berger Saint Louis), the National Centre for Research and Technology (CNRST) in Burkina Faso, and the University of Technical and Technological Sciences of Bamako (Mali). Professor Lamine Gueye will review the elements that led to this success story and its future developments.

Lamine GUEYE, Director of the international research laboratory “Environment, Health, Societies”

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Fireside chat: The place of women in research in Africa and Europe

Despite a slight increase in recent years, women generally remain under-represented in research in Africa and in Europe. The speakers will discuss the main reasons for this phenomenon, identify obstacles that may be specific to the African continent, and will endeavour to provide ideas and solutions in order to make scientific careers more attractive to women on both continents.


  • Adolé Isabelle GLITHO-AKUESON, Chair of the UNESCO Committee on Women, Science and Sustainable Water Management in West and Central Africa and member of the African Academy of Sciences
  • Aïda HAMDI, General Delegate of the UNESCO Chair for Women in Science at Paris-Dauphine

Round table moderated by Maryline FIASCHI, CEO of ScienceBusiness

4:30 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

Inspiring talk: Thinking about the future of the African continent through the valorisation of research

Professor Mame Penda Ba will review the issues relating to the sustainable transformation of the global ecosystem of knowledge production and innovation on the African continent, taking into account the 21st century global challenges.

Mame-Penda BA, teacher-researcher at the Gaston Berger University in Senegal and editor-in-chief of the new scientific journal “Global Africa”


4:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Closing plenary
Review of the day’s sessions and future prospects for a new Euro-African scientific partnership.


  • Valérie VERDIER, CEO of IRD
  • Antoine PETIT, CEO of CNRS

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.