The annual meeting of the International Network of Senghor Chairs of La Francophonie ends with a renewed commitment to science in French

International and Francophonie
of the International Network of Senghor Chairs of La Francophonie
After more than two years of restrictions, of the Réseau des Chaires Senghor de la Francophonie (RICSF) brought together the French-speaking scientific community from October 11 to 13 for the scientific conference and the 2022 annual general meeting.

This meeting was an opportunity to address the issues of the reinforcement and realization of an entirely French-speaking scientific policy.  This 2022 edition was an in-person event, held on both sides of the Ottawa River, at the University of Ottawa and the Université du Québec en Outaouais in the presence of the presidents of the two institutions, as well as some ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic community, including the new ambassador of France, who welcome personally the Chairholders and speakers at the Embassy on the evening of October 11.

This scientific event brought together Senghor Chairholders along with researchers from our University and from several universities and organizations of the Canadian Francophonie. This year, the theme of the Scientific Conference was “The dissemination of knowledge in French and the place of Francophone research in the scientific area.” In Canada, as in the rest of the world, doing science in French and putting science in French language are at the core of our policies and our initiatives face daily challenges both in Francophone and bilingual universities.  Discussing these common issues helped scientists from the Canadian and international Francophonie to identify some key directions for the years to come.  

Professor Sanni Yaya, who hosted the event, called on the audience: “In this era of digital revolution, it is important that we push forward the boundaries of knowledge to make it accessible to all for the common benefit.” He also challenged his colleagues and the students, who represent the next generation, to revisit current practices to transform the French-speaking scientific environment. He also stated: “This revival requires necessarily new networks of creation and collaboration that take into account the multidisciplinarity and cultural diversity of the French-speaking scientific world.”  

At the end of these days of reflection, RICSF members collectively committed to work for the production and dissemination of science in French through collaboration, exchange, and mobility. In keeping with this decision, the University of Ottawa made a strong commitment to:

  • a) Maintaining and strengthening its international Francophone mobility programs for its students who wish to study abroad;
  • b) Continuing to provide its support, through various programs, to international students who enroll in graduate programs delivered in French;
  • c) Renewing its support for the Collège des chaires de recherche sur le monde francophone (uOttawa’s own network of Francophone chairs) and diversifying it by increasing the number of “Francophone mobility” chairs.

The full text of this commitment is available online.

The RICSF annual meeting was organized in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Senghor Chair on Health and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Collège des chaires de recherche sur le monde francophone, Réseau international des chaires Senghor de la Francophonie et la Chaire Senghor of the Université du Québec en Outaouais. The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, the University of Ottawa and the Embassy of France in Canada provided financial support. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council provided a $24,800 Connection Grant for hosting Scientific Conferences and the publication of results.

Founded in 2002, the Réseau international des chaires Senghor de la Francophonie aims to create a network of French-speaking areas to provide training in the institutional Francophonie, but also to independently observe and work on the Francophonie. The Réseau brings together a community of scientists from around the world who have in common the French language and the study of the Francophonie, who collaborate, cooperate, and consult each other to promote education and research in French in their respective fields.