Young Scientists

What are the visions for science in Africa ?16 - Amadou Tidiane Ndiaye: set up a coherent research policy

All social stakeholders must be involved in defining the research axes, not only academics.

"The fourth aspect is funding, which is indeed a big challenge.

There is no budget dedicated to research. But there are two things.

The first is the funding of individual research, the support of teacher-researchers' and researchers' individual research project.

It is not enough structured, so there is a feeling that there is no funding for research. In reality, it is a diffuse funding.

It is extremely diffuse because each category of researcher, each category of teacher, has a completely autonomous budget that is not centred around a main research aim.

And the current effort of the national research policy is to set up a vision that makes it possible to channel all these resources towards a specific aim.

The fifth aspect is grants policy and we won't talk about it.

The sixth aspect is the establishment of a national research policy. With all the stakeholders. We have taken some inspiration from Korea: they have a ministry in charge of all education and training, from pre-school to higher education. With a coherence.

If we want to train scientists, we must start at the preschool level. We must not wait that they begin university to discover that we only have literary-minded students. And that the training provided does not meet the needs of the economy.

So we must set up a coherent training policy, a coherent research policy in order to address development needs.

And the last point is the governance. The institutional framework for research and training is hard to change. There is a claim by scientists and academics that they are the centre of the world. In fact, they are only part of the world and they need others.

As a result, in the governance structures, be it boards of directors or academic councils, companies have been brought in so that they can express their wishes in the context of curriculum development. It was a great struggle, which brought us a long strike, but everyone now admits that the university is the university of the country and not the university of academics, and that it is not the research of academics. It is the research of the whole population.

Universities, researchers, must justify the enormous resources at their disposal to provide services to society. Otherwise, they have no right to claim so many powers and responsibilities."

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