The specific objective of the IA instrument is to strengthen the individual and collective capacities of stakeholders from partner institutions in their core missions of teaching, research and service to society.  Furthermore, the ambition of this instrument is to support the emergence and consolidation of geographical or thematic hubs, which allow for inter-institutional approaches, on a national, regional or international scale.

This is the first time that UNamur has coordinated such a programme in Benin since the ARES and the UAC have been cooperating for more than 27 years.  Professor Romain Houssa, who collaborates with UCLouvain and ULiège, was appointed coordinator in June 2022, after an identification mission for the new programme last April.  The programme will focus on nutrition, health and food, while involving various scientific disciplines. The formulation mission included several thematic workshops during which the Belgian and Beninese teams co-constructed the new programme. They were also received in the offices of the Rector of the UAC and the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Benin.

On return from the programme formulation mission in January, Romain Houssa will submit a report to ARES.  The aim is to identify the scope of action by deepening the understanding of the issue, creating the network and preparing the ground for North-South and South-South exchanges of researchers and teachers.  A 5-year project is due to start next April.  It will be concretised by calls for mobility and research projects and technical capacity building activities, financed by ARES to the tune of more than 1 million euros.  A great reward for a long-standing institutional investment.

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The Vodoun doctoral school in economics

During his stay, Romain Houssa also coordinated the 'Vodoun Economics Doctoral School', an annual scientific meeting that is part of the institutional collaboration between UNamur and the UAC.  A delegation from the Department of Economics of UNamur (Jean-Marie Baland, Catherine Guirkinger, Romain Houssa, Christian Kiedaisch, and Perrin Lefebvre) was present to exchange with their counterparts from the Doctoral School of Economics and Management of the UAC on various themes in the fields of development economics, institutional environment, economic growth, food, and international trade.

An exceptional opportunity to discuss research work for the benefit of Benin's doctoral and post-doctoral students.

It is also planned that after the Benin stage, priority researchers from the UAC will be accompanied to do research stays at UNAMUR. This mobility will be financed with the support of the European Commission (ERASMUS +) and the Academy of Research and Higher Education (ARES).

Contact: Romain Houssa