Title of the projectCenter of Excellence for Training and Research in Science and Water Technologies, Energy and Environment in West and Central Africa

Main Financial Partner : World Bank

Coordinator: Prof. Harouna KARAMBIRI, Email :

Duration: 4 years (October 2014 – June 2018)

Global Budget: 8 millions USD

Starting date: October 13, 2014

Place of implementation: Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ghana

Projet de Centre d’Excellence Africain – Plan de gestion environnementale et sociale

Background and key issues

  • The access to potable water and sanitation remains a development challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa in spite of the great endeavor made to face water access problems (from 49% in 1990 to 63% in 2011); as for sanitation, a greater effort as yet to be done (under 30% in 2011) to reach the MDOs (UNO, 2013). So, as post-DMOs and Sustainable Development Objectives (SDOs) are about to start, it is of paramount importance to maintain access to water and sanitation in national, regional and international priorities.  
  • Water is still the limiting factor of sub-Saharan agriculture which is mainly pluvial and the object of climate changes (variability and climatic changes). Since the decades 1970, the impacts of these climate changes are devastating for water and food security for the populations. It is crucial to work on increasing the hydric potential and keep enough quality water in stores.
  • On the scientific and technologic levels, the challenges are to produce knowledge, innovations in technologic methods and to broadcast reliable information necessary for a rational management of water and a sustainable agriculture in a context of great climate change. These challenges require important modern technical means (investigation and data and information analysis, equipped scientific laboratories), and skilled scientific teams. Broadcasting technologies and tools among recipients of the private and public sectors and urban and rural societies is also part of the challenge. That is why having integrated and participative research approaches is needed to face the complex issues of climatic risks for water and agriculture.     
  • The lack of well-trained human resources in the area of water and agriculture capable of developing and conducting policies and development programs and of stimulating startups and employment is one of the most important factors limiting the ability of the countries to absorb the bilateral funding they are granted with. In addition, the technical staffs of ministries in charge of water and agriculture are retiring without being replaced. Being aware of this situation, Burkina Faso, for instance, has strengthening the development of human resources in water public administration in its Integrated Water Resource Management Action Plan (IWRMAP).

Objectives of the projects

The objective of this project is to consolidate the regional response capacity of the Centre of Excellence to the need of high level training and research in Africa’s key socioeconomic development sectors which are water and agriculture. The Centre of Excellence aims at significantly increasing its contribution to the improvement of food and water security broadly in the African continent and particularly in the west and central divisions of the continent by training of skilled and innovative engineers, building capacities of professionals of the sector and an applied research-development.  

More specifically, the project aims at:

  • Conducting partnership-based research-development programs on mobilization, water sanitation and management for domestic, industrial and farming 
  • Reinforce and sustain training and innovation tools in the domain of water and agriculture (reviewing curricula, reinforcing faculty and equipment and upgrading laboratories and training and research platforms, etc.)
  • Develop partnerships with enterprises and other training and research institutions, with an accent on English-speaking countries, to create academic, scientific and professional forums and thus broaden the scope of the Center of Excellence and its response capacity to West and Central economic needs. This requires the strengthening of students, teacher-researchers and staff mobility and the development of innovative conjoint research-training projects. 
  • Reinforce institutional and management capacities of the Centre of Excellence for an effective and efficient management of the project and of other mobilized resources (recruitment and training of the staff in charge of finances and procurements, updating administrative and financial management tools, lobbying, etc.)

Results of the project

The project will permit eventually:

  • To reinforce research studies on crucial water and agriculture issues in order to find solutions and innovative technologies to gather, manage and sanitize water for domestic, industrial and farming needs. These studies will be the objects of technologic developments and scientific publications broadcasted regionally and internationally (more than 100 scientific articles published in internationally renowned reviews at the end of the project).   The topics will cover the joint management of surface and ground water and the application of ITCs in agriculture for a better management of water in a context of great climate change.
  • To increase the number of African students recipients of high level trainings of Master and doctorate degrees in the domains of water management, environment and agriculture. Students from West and Central African countries other than Burkina Faso will constitute more than 60% of the effectives. Particular effort will be done to attract English-speaking students coming from Ghana, Liberia, Cameroun, Nigeria and other partner universities.
  • To reinforce the quality of scientific and technologic trainings in the domains of water, environment and hydro-agricultural developments given by the Centre of Excellence and its partners to better respond to the continent’s socioeconomic needs. 
  • To ease the access of water, environment and agriculture professionals to a quality higher education through professional online trainings. If certifying trainings are offered at an affordable rate (less than 100 euros/module), the professional online training will be able to reach more than 300 people, particularly in Africa.
  • To match the training offer with the real economic needs in the sectors of water, environment and agriculture. These trainings are conceived and implemented with businesses from the private sector (contractor professionals, mandatory internships, etc.) in order to ensure the insertion of the graduates in the labor market. Currently, 95% of the graduates from the Center of Excellence find a job within six months after graduation.
  • To ensure the financial sustainability of the Centre of Excellence and its partners through the creation of added value on the proposed services and by making external incomes. This will durably reinforce its self-funding to cover not only its regular functioning charges, but also the need of asset renewals and investing in the improvement of the training and research conditions.


Prof. Harouna KARAMBIRI
M. Abdourazackou SANOUSSI

Secretary of the project


Financial, Procurement and Reporting Managers

Mme Azenia LAURENT

Activity Managers

Prof. Hamma YACOUBA : Laboratoire Hydrologie et Ressources en Eaux (LEAH) 
Dr. Yacouba KONATE : Laboratoire Eaux, Dépollution, Ecosystème et Santé (LEDES)
Dr. Adamah MESSAN :  Laboratoire Eco-Matériaux de Construction (LEMC)
M. Djim DUMBE DAMBA : Formations et Innovation Pédagogique (DFIP)
M. Amadou BOUREIMA : Infrastructures et Maintenance (DIM)






Name of the institution

University of Ouagadougou

University of Liberia

University of Development Studies (UDS)


Ouagadougou/ Burkina Faso

Monrovia/ Liberia

Tamale/ Ghana

Type of institution

Training and research public institution

Training and research public institution

Training and research public institution

Involved Departement/Faculty

Life and Earth Sciences

College of Science and Technology (CoST)

Departement of Agricultural engineering