Francophone Engagement

Open AIR is committed to enhancing the visibility of Francophone Africa and of the Francophone African researchers who are already conducting ground-breaking research related to our research themes. We seek to continue connecting across the continent, learning lessons from various perspectives.

  • This past year, Open AIR made significant gains in our Francophone Africa Engagement Strategy. A highlight was the Open AIR bilingual webinar in French and English, co-hosted by our Ottawa and Johannesburg hubs, on “l’Informel à l’ère de la COVID-19 en Afrique / The African Informal Economy in the Era of COVID-19″. Experts from Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Université Ouaga II, Université de Douala and the University of Johannesburg presented, with bilingual moderation by Open AIR NERG Abdelhamid Benhmade.
  • In addition, just prior to the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns, Abdelhamid Benhmade represented Open AIR at the Deuxième conférence internationale sur la Francophonie économique in Morocco. Another one of our NERGs, Esther Ngom, hosted a conference on “Innovation, Biological Resources and Traditional Kowledge in West and Central Africa” held at Université Catholique de l’Afrique Centrale (UCAC) in November 2019. As a researcher at UCAC, Ngom continues to show her leadership and we are hopeful that she will have her own research centre soon.
  • Open AIR has also been publishing more original content in French, primarily in the form of blog posts, and we have been able to recruit several leading scholars from Francophone West Africa thanks to the QES-AS Fellowships.
  • “Mission to Build Capacity in Africa has a French Twist” An article in University World News featuring the University of Ottawa and Open AIR, written after we gave a presentation, at the request of uOttawa, to a VIP delegation from Francophone West African universities.
  • Abdelhamid Benhmade Presentation to Deuxième conférence internationale sur la Francophonie économique.