Improving the Integration of Young African Researchers into Research and Innovation Systems
The economic crises experienced by African countries since the end of the 1970s, as well as the ensuing structural adjustment programs, have relegated scientific research and technological innovation to the bottom of the list of national and continental priorities. The freeze on recruitment in many research institutions and universities has resulted in an aging cohort of teaching and research personnel. Many young researchers work in the precarious situation of teaching assistants or temporary replacements, without the necessary scientific sponsorship to allow them to evolve in their careers. Against their will, many abandon the domain of research and innovation. If nothing is done during the next 10 years, these public institutions will find themselves in a difficult situation when current staff retire. This project will support an in-depth study in three countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Sénégal) in order to explore opportunities available to young researchers in private institutions and research centres, intellectual property services, norms and standards services, nongovernmental organizations and thinktanks. Contracts with associations and entrepreneurs will allow them to define their needs and propose ways of inserting young researchers into the business world. The idea is to turn young researchers into productive citizens, useful to their society, internationally competitive and aware of their contribution to the development of the continent.