AFRICA: AUF launches support programme

Horizons Francophones, an experimental programme of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie or AUF, aims to build the professorial corps of West and Central Africa's universities, and help to increase their numbers of PhDs.

The principal objective of the initiative, launched this month at AUF's West Africa office in Dakar, Senegal, will be to establish a network of French-speaking higher education institutions in the region and develop scientific partnerships between them.

It will aim to raise non-doctoral lecturers to PhD level by promoting mobility within the network and providing back-up for the universities participating in exchanges, and support newly qualified PhD graduates and their integration into programmes of scientific collaboration.

The first phase of Horizons Francophones will cover the three areas of water science, health and animal products, and quality of food for human consumption, and economics and development.

AUF Rector, Michel Guerrero said the programme would accompany young doctors for three years so they could complete their theses. Beneficiaries would receive mobility grants, reported Sud Quotidien of Dakar. The call for applications opens in January and selection of candidates and teams by the AUF regional commission of experts will take place at the end of March.