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ECOWAS Research and Innovation Support Program (PARI) 2020 Jury Session takes place in Niamey, Niger, April 06-08, 2021

5760e7f0 3d66 4184 a836 c74847eea828At the invitation of the Department of Education, Science and Culture of ECOWAS, the Director General of the West Africa Institute (WAI), Prof. Djénéba Traoré, took part in the 2020 session of the Jury of the Research and Innovation Support Program (PARI),held in Niamey, Republic of Niger, from April 06 to 08, 2021.

The opening ceremony was marked by speeches by ECOWAS Commissioner Mamadou Traoré, in charge of Industry and the Private Sector, appointed to taking over during the interim phase the duties of late Commissioner in charge of Education, Science and Culture, secondly, Prof. Moussa Ag Arya, Director of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Niger and thirdly, Prof. Abdoulaye Issaka Maga, Director of the Education, Science and Culture Department. Commissioner Mamadou Traoré, who chaired the session, observed a minute of silence to honor the memory of Prof. Leopolodo Amado and that of the Secretary General of the President of the ECOWAS Commission.

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The Jury’s session began with the election of the Bureau.

According to ECOWAS terms of reference (ToR), the President of the Bureau is the national of the country holding the rotating presidency of ECOWAS. The two other members are a national coming froman English-speaking state and another one from a French-speaking State. These were Nigeria, Ghana and Niger.

After the adoption of the agenda and the working program, the PARI was presented by Dr. Roland Kouakou, Head of the Science and Technology Division of the Education, Science and Culture Department.

The ECOWAS Research and Innovation Support Program (PARI) is a competitive program that aims to select the best projects submitted by researchers through calls for applications. It is included in the ECOWAS Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Action Plan (ECOPOST).

Strategic Axis 3, Activities 3.2.1 to 3.2.3) and is in close alignment with the Community Strategic Framework. (CSF) 2016-2020 of the ECOWAS, the African Union Strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation (STISA), the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs-30). 

This program is implemented to respond to the many challenges of the research sector (obsolescence and degradation of equipment and infrastructure, low production of researchers, development of regional research programs, etc.).

The PARI pursues the following specific objectives:
i- Financing research on a competitive basis of call for applications
of research projects contributing to the fight against poverty and
having an impact on the development of the region;
ii- Promote the mobility of researchers through the development of regional projects;
iii- Support research laboratories to strengthen their capacities
(equipment and connectivity) and access to scientific
information;
iv- Build the capacity of young researchers to ensure the next
generation of scientists of the research institutes within the
region.

The scientific fields of IRAP are as follows:

- Life and Earth Sciences.

- Fundamental Sciences, Technology and Innovation.

The PARI program provides a grant of two hundred thousand dollars ($
200,000) per field of research.

Discussions around the eligibility criteria of projects focused on the requirement of admissibility. Thus, four (04) files which arrived five days after the deadline were rejected. The evaluation criteria took into account the quality of the proposals, as well as the involvement in the project of researchers from the three language areas of ECOWAS, namely, English, French and Portuguese.

A working methodology was adopted to ensure the smooth running of the session.

The Jury’s session lasted three (3) days during which the members examined the files thoroughly validated with the selected criteria.

The Jury deliberated, a final report was drafted, reviewed and unanimously adopted. The session closed with motions of congratulations and thanks.

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