The MAREMA project, which received prestigious European funding in 2016, brings together partner institutions in Europe, Benin, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast to train Africa’s future leaders in water and resource management.
MAREMA – Master Ressources en Eau et Risques Environnementaux dans les Métropoles Africaines – will bring together the specific expertise of teachers at the five African partner institutions to create a common curriculum that responds to local needs and job markets.

The new curriculum will make use of innovative pedagogical strategies designed to equip students for local job markets. Classroom training will be complemented by hands-on learning including work in the field, work with the tools currently used by professionals, analysis of specific case studies, etc.

The project will also provide support to teachers at the partner institutions, creating a professional network for the exchange of experiences and best practices.

Responding to complex international context

The project responds to the complicated context of development in today’s African cities. Increasing urbanization, climate change, and pollution all interact to create new challenges for sustainable development, yet inadequate higher education resources mean that talented young people in countries like Benin, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast cannot access the advanced training they need to contribute to innovative solutions.

Training programs in the sciences and technology make up only 28% of higher education programs in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). At the same time, the number of young people in the region seeking advanced training is higher than ever before. In addition, many young graduates, instead of bringing their energy and talent to the international table, find themselves unemployed.

Supporting Francophonie

This network will also provide a space for French speakers; the African partners are all located in countries which make up UEMOA: Benin, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast.

UEMOA was created in 1994 as a subgroup of French-speaking countries within the ECOWAS economic union (Economic Community of West African States), whose dominant members (Ghana and Nigeria) are English-speaking. UEMOA countries also shared a common currency: the CFA franc.

Updated on November 16, 2018