University and scientific cooperation

1. French research activities in Kenya

Three French research institutes in Kenya

French research is well represented in Kenya with three institutes operating in East and Southern Africa. These are the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA), and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD).
Around twelve expatriate researchers work on social sciences and natural sciences (agronomy, geology, ecology). Long-term and short-term assignments are carried out by numerous researchers from these institutions or others: the National Center for Scientific Research-CNRS (palaeontology, geology, osteology), the National Museum of Natural History in Paris-MNHN (palaeontology), the National Institute for Health and Medical Research-INSERM (on the Rift Valley fever), and Universities (Lyon 2, Paris 6 among others).
The research programmes carried out in Kenya by French researchers are undertaken in collaboration with Kenyan scientists. Quite a lot of research programmes involve other European or African partners. Funding is mainly done by research bodies themselves, the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the National Research Agency (ANR, France) and by the European Union.

Numerous and diversified partnerships

PNG ( scientific collaboration is mainly established with the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and Kenyan universities (University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa). Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is also involved in some programmes. Significant links exist with two international centres based in Nairobi: the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF).

PNG ( has developed co-operation links with several national research centres, namely Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). In addition, public universities are involved in some scientific projects. These include Kenyatta University, Moi University, University of Nairobi, and Egerton University.

PNG ( collaborates with six out of the seven Kenyan public universities (especially with the University of Nairobi) and with some international organisations on research programmes, PhD tutoring and consultancy.

2.The policy of the French embassy on scientific cooperation

Coherence in research actions

The French Embassy policy is to maintain a coherent and concerted cooperation between the three research institutes. An agreement signed in June 2009 and prolonged in 2015 with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MOHEST) highlight this policy.
Meetings are held regulary with French Research Institutes and the French Agency for Development (AFD) to share experience and work on possible joint action projects.

Promoting scientific partnership

The French Embassy policy is to support partnership efforts and initiatives between French higher education and research institutions (especially those based in Kenya) and similar Kenyan institutions with a view to strengthen Kenyan scientific capacities. This collaboration is mainly carried out through joint tutoring of Kenyan students completing a Master or a PhD, joint supervision of PhDs, research associates team, organization of scientific workshops and summer school, teaching in universities, joint research programmes benefiting from French or European funding and memorandums of understanding.
Launched in June 2015, the Hubert Curien Partnership (PHC) PAMOJA. Signed in May 2015 between the Kenyan ministry of high education and the French Embassy, PAMOJA is the 2nd PHC with a Sub-Saharan African Country dedicated to the funding of mobility between Kenyan and French laboratories, with an emphasis on the training of junior researchers. The third call for applications will been launched next july 2018, and will concern all topics, but with priority given to following areas : Space Science and Technology, Biotechnology (Health, Agriculture, Biomathematics, etc.), Energy Science and Technology, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Humanities and Social Science, Engineering Science, Architecture and the Built Environment.

3. University and scientific cooperation

Master and PhD scholarship programmes

Scholarships are mainly to Master and PhD student’s with excellent academic field. They can also been awarded to the Kenyan members of staff in national universities and research institutes with a view to strengthen institutional capacities (Staff Exchange Program).
The programme funds PhD student’s upkeep in labs in France (three months per year on a three or four year period). Currently, twenty-two scholarship holders are pursuing their studies in France.

Download the scolarships application documents

Download call for application form guidelines here
Download application form for PhD program scholarship here
Download application form for Masters degree scholarship here
Download application form for Staff exchange program here

Supporting scientific projects

This programme aims at offering the French expertise on scientific research and pedagogic engineering issues. The French Embassy funds or mobilizes external resources to launch assignments composed of French experts.
The programme involves scientific or thematic workshops whose objective is to strengthen the capacities of Kenyan partners
The French Embassy wants to participate towards the institutionalisation of current scientific co-operation. It fosters the establishment of memorandums of understanding between Kenyan and French research and higher education institutions, not only by funding assignments but also by providing advice and support to Kenyan institutions.

The French Embassy supports the development of an Alumni network (AFRAKEN) that brings together former and current scholarship holders as well as former Kenyan students who studied in France for their Masters and PhDs. This initiative aims at creating a social network between Kenyan scientists (sharing of experience, promotion of science in Kenya, implementation of multidisciplinary projects, participation in scientific capacity building workshops) and maintaining cordial relations with various French institutions.

Dernière modification : 11/01/2018

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