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Strengthening the Franco-Ivorian partnership in global health

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The University of Bordeaux continues its commitment to scientific research for the benefit of populations in Africa, by participating in the launch of an international platform in health and the deployment of its Major Research Programme, IPORA.

Photo : © Fotolia.com - Zsolt-Repasy
© Fotolia.com - Zsolt-Repasy

A delegation from the University of Bordeaux, led by Dean Lewis, was in Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th January within the "Côte d'Ivoire and France continue their commitment to scientific research in service of the population" general framework. The mission was an opportunity for the President of the University of Bordeaux to sign an agreement aimed at setting up a new International Research Platform in Global Health (PRISME), as well as a consortium agreement for IPORA - Interdisciplinary Policy Oriented Research in Africa, one of the university's major research programmes.


Strengthening the Franco-Ivorian partnership through the launch of an International Research Platform in Global Health (PRISME)


On Tuesday 24th January 2023, the ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases, the University of Bordeaux and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) joined forces with the Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage (MSHP -in French), the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MESRS - in French), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF - in French) in Côte d’Ivoire, the PAC-CI association (in French) and the French Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire (in French) to sign an agreement for the launch of a new International Research Platform in Global Health (PRISME). This international and inter-institutional initiative will contribute to the definition of preparation and response strategies adapted to emerging and re-emerging epidemics.

During the scientific days of the PAC-CI Ivorian research programme held in Abidjan on January 23rd and 24th (in French), several French and Ivorian institutions met to strengthen their partnership in scientific research. This new stage of cooperation follows on from a relationship that began in the 1990s between Côte d’Ivoire, France and their researchers.

Signed in 1996 between the government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (represented by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Economy and Finance) and the French government (represented by the ANRS and the French Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire), a memorandum of understanding marks the creation of the PAC-CI programme enabling the two countries to conduct HIV research together. The PAC-CI programme aims to train personnel in medical research and to implement research on infectious diseases in order to produce useful results for the affected populations.

This Franco-Ivorian collaboration has continued to grow ever since. In 2010, the PAC-CI framework agreement was renewed by the four founding members of the programme and by three new partners: the University of Bordeaux, Inserm and the MESRS.

A Franco-Ivorian project management platform, coordinated by the PAC-CI association and the GHiGS team of the Bordeaux Population Health Research Centre (University of Bordeaux and Inserm unit), was also created the same year in order to optimise the management of studies conducted in Africa by the PAC-CI programme, and also on other continents.

The ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases, Inserm, the University of Bordeaux and the IRD, with the support of the French Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire, wish to continue their partnership with the MSHP, the MESRS, the MEF and the PAC-CI association in order to place them at the heart of global health issues. It is within this dynamic and in the continuity of the partnership experience with Guinea (in French) that the launch of a new International Research Platform in Global Health (PRISME) in Côte d'Ivoire is now taking place.

More specifically, the platform will:

  • provide a framework for consultation and a shared research space that encourages the pooling of the signatory parties' knowledge and expertise;
  • identify research priorities and disseminate the results;
  • train scientific and technical staff at national, regional or continental level.

Signing of the IPORA consortium agreement – Interdisciplinary Policy-Oriented research on Africa


The PAC-CI scientific days also included the signature of the "Interdisciplinary Policy-Oriented Research on Africa" (IPORA) consortium agreement.
IPORA is one of the University of Bordeaux's Major Research Programmes.

The IPORA project brings together four universities: the University of Bordeaux (France), the University Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopa) and the International University of Rabat (Morocco), with the support of Sciences Po Bordeaux, Inserm, IRD and Bordeaux Montaigne University.

I​​​​​​PORA aims to conduct interdisciplinary research to help public decision-makers deal with the major changes that the African continent is going through, such as the demographic growth of cities, climate change, etc. The French, Moroccan, Ethiopian and Ivorian research teams participating in IPORA work in the fields of public health, economics, political science, socio-anthropology, law, environmental physics and food systems.

For example, two theses will be starting shortly, on respiratory health in African children exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution in urban areas and on food diversity factors and health consequences in Ethiopia.

Photo caption: from left to right, Abdelaziz Benjouad, Vice-President of the International University of Rabat (Morocco), Ballo Zié, President of the University Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), Dean Lewis, President of the University of Bordeaux (France), Tassew Woldehanna, President of the Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Valérie Verdier, President and Chief Executive Officer of the IRD and Dominique Darbon, Director of Sciences Po Bordeaux.