We have long supported research in Senegal, one of West Africa’s more stable democracies. For example, we supported the 2011 opening of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Mbour. Part of an emerging network of centres, the Institute offers advanced training in mathematics to Africa’s brightest graduates, increasing the continent’s scientific and technical expertise.

Our funded research has reduced poverty, and improved urban agriculture and education. For example, a system for tracking poverty helped local authorities design more targeted and effective programs for the poor. In the Tivaouane district, a new nutrition program for children and expectant mothers addresses needs identified by a survey.

Urban agriculture

Many studies in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, have demonstrated the vital role of farming within the city — especially important for local authorities. Urban farming in Dakar helps feed residents, provide jobs, and lets the city better manage its garbage and wastewater.   In addition, one of our research grantees showed city residents how to treat wastewater with an aquatic plant. Treated water can then be safely used to irrigate gardens. The United Nations human settlement program, HABITAT, listed this innovation as a “best practice,” and the World Bank integrated it in its programs.

Information technology for improved learning

Research supported by Canadian experts piloted a project on the use of information technology in a Dakar school. The project improved students’ reading and writing ability, and rapport between teachers and students. The experiment showed that information technology in the classroom encourages greater student independence and leads to better academic results. The project’s success led the Senegalese Education Ministry to use digital technology as a principal strategy to improve the quality of teaching and learning throughout the country.

Total IDRC Support

326 activities worth CA$45.7 million since 1972

Hewlett Foundation/J.Torgovnik

Our support is helping

  • improve research quality in Senegal, and strengthen links to policy outcomes
  • understand the impacts of youth migration on rural labour markets 
  • develop strategies to deal with the tonnes of electronic and computer waste donated from other countries   
  • determine why laws, strategies, and systems to protect women from violence are not working, and offer recommendations
  • find solutions for climate change flooding in Dakar’s out-of-control urban sprawl
  • support anti-smoking campaigns using higher taxes as disincentives