The Directorate-General of CSRS received by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research

On the 26th of February 2018, Prof. Bakayoko-Ly Ramata granted an audience to Prof. Bassirou Bonfoh, Director General of the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS) and his delegation, composed of Prof. Inza Koné, the Director of Research and Development of CSRS, Prof. Jürg Utzinger, Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute(Swiss TPH), vice president of the Board of Directors of the CSRS and Prof. Antoine Flahault, Director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva. Two points were discussed: the official presentation of Prof. Inza Koné as the newly appointed Director General of the CSRS from 1st July 2018, and the preparation of the mission to strengthen bilateral scientific cooperation between Côte d'Ivoire and Switzerland, scheduled for 23rd–25th March 2018, in Côte d’Ivoire. Regarding the first point, Prof. Bonfoh was pleased to fulfill the duty of officially presenting his successor, who was selected following a rigorous process conducted in close collaboration with the MESRS, overseen by the CSRS in Côte d'Ivoire and the Swiss TPH, which provides guardianship through the delegation in Switzerland. The Minister welcomed this news and congratulated Prof. Koné for his selection after an open and transparent process. She expressed her pride at seeing an Ivorian head of the CSRS, for the first time since the establishment of the institution in 1951. She/He added that the jury made a good choice by selecting Prof. Koné who, in addition to being a brilliant scientist and laureate of several international prizes, possesses fundamental personal values, including humility. For the Minister, Prof. Koné joins into the ranks of strong personalities that contribute to the radiance of the CSRS, just as his predecessor, Prof. Bonfoh, and assured Prof. Koné the support of the MESRS during his mandate. Prof. Koné responded that he was honored by the choice made and thanked the Minister for his kindness and support for increasing the influence of the CSRS. The newly appointed Director thanked Prof. Bonfoh, the partners of the CSRS and his previous scientific mentors at the Universities, and noted that he had a good grasp of the extent of the challenge, but that he remains confident in view of the support promised by the Prof. Bakayoko-Ly Ramata and several partners and collaborators. Turning to the second point, Prof. Utzinger emphasized that it was a mission to strengthen cooperation between Côte d'Ivoire and the Swiss Confederation in economic matters and in the fields of education, scientific research, innovation and vocational training. This mission will be led by the Federal Councilor, Mr. Johan Schneider-Amman, Minister of Economy, Agriculture, Tourism, Research, Higher Education and Vocational Training. The Swiss delegation of approximately 40 members will include two Ministers and for Parliamentarians, Swiss experts in the field of scientific research and vocational training and economic operators. The scientific committee will be led by the Head of International Relations of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. It will bring together senior representatives from Swiss training and research institutes such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Agroscope, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss TPH. The objective is to achieve the reinforcement of the instruments of cooperation on four dossiers under discussion, namely (i) the reinforcement of the sub-regional opening of the CSRS notably through increased reach into the ECOWAS Center of Excellence; (ii) the transformation of PASRES into a National Fund for Science, Technology and Innovation; (iii) the formalization of the partnership between EPFL and INP-HB in several areas including the MOOCs; and (iv) the establishment of a partnership between the Swiss Federal Institute of Vocational Training and the State Secretariat for Technical Education and Vocational Training. Each of these points raised during the hearing was the subject of exchanges following which the Minister established a Communication in Council of Ministers (CCM). The hearing took place in the presence of Prof. Assane Thiam, Cabinet Director of the MESRS.

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