The Operating Unit (OU) modality provides UNU-INRA with an effective mechanism for spreading out its work in Africa. It helps UNU-INRA to identify national competencies that serve regional research and training needs, harness limited financial and human resources of African nations, and enhance UNU-INRA’s capacity to effectively network with African institutions. The OU modality provides avenues to mobilize funds from the local host governments for a “joint programme” of activities between the main partner local university/centre and UNU-INRA. An important benefit of this collaboration is the capacity for collaborative search for additional funding.
Additionally, the OU concept provides an effective mechanism for identifying, attracting, harnessing and networking Africans, within and outside the continent, whose expertise or skills are directly relevant to the specific research and training programmes of the OU.
UNU-INRA has established OUs in five African countries through which some of its major activities are undertaken. These are:
Department of Computer Science of the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon
UNU-INRA and the University of Yaoundé I have collaborated to offer specialised short courses in Computer Applications for Natural Resources Management since 1998. In December, 2002, the Government of Cameroon and UNU-INRA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an operating unit to improve capacity in the use of computer technology for natural resources and environmental management.
The operating unit in Cameroon has been running a bi-annual Training of Trainer course in the use of computer tools for the management of natural resources and environment since 2003. It is currently being coordinated by Professor Laure Pauline Fotso, who is also a Vice Rector at the University of Dschang, Cameroon.
The operating unit is hosted at the Computer Science Department of the University of Yaoundé I.
University of Yaoundé I
PO Box 337
Ivorian Centre for Social and Economic Research (CIRES) of the University of Cocody in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
The Ivorian Centre of Economics and Social Sciences (CIRES) is an autonomous research centre at the University of Cocody, Cote d’Ivoire. CIRES is mandated to undertake socioeconomic research to guide policy development in Côte d’Ivoire and the entire West African sub-region.
In August 2003, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the government of Côte d’Ivoire and the United Nations University (UNU) to make CIRES an operating unit of UNU-INRA. The institute saw it as a need to have a unit that focuses on socioeconomic analysis of natural resources management to support the formation of policies by African governments. The unit became operational in 2004.
The core mandate of the operating unit is to increase the understanding of the socioeconomic aspects of natural resources management, biotechnology, food security and poverty mitigation.
Dr. Binate Fofana Namizata, a lecturer at the University of Cocody, Abidjan is the Coordinator of this operating unit.
Centre Ivoirien de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CIRES)
08 B.P. 1295 Abidjan 08;
Abidjan Cocody, Boulevard Latrille,
Près du Lycée Classique d’Abidjan.
Tel: +225 22-44-89-42 or 22-44-43-63
Fax: +225 22-44-08-29.
Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Centre of the University of Namibia in Henties Bay, Namibia
Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre (SANUMARC) was established in 2001 to promote research and development activities in the field of marine and coastal resources, taking into consideration the unique comparative and competitive advantage of the Benguela cold current ecosystem. It has state-of-the-art equipment for marine and coastal research.
In an agreement signed with the Namibian government, UNU-INRA conferred operating unit status on the centre. The research and training activities of the operating unit are centred on marine and coastal resources utilisation and development.
Following initial research on mushroom cultivation in coastal zones, the operating unit is transferring the knowledge to relevant government agencies and rural communities in Namibia as a livelihood option.
SANUMARC is also the African coordinating unit of the Science Partnerships for the Assessment of Complex Earth System Processes programme, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany. The programme aims at examining the influence of the Benguela upwelling system in the prediction of global climate change.
The operating unit is headed by Professor Edosa Omoregie, who is also the Director of SANUMARC.
Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre, University of Namibia
P.O Box 462,
Henties Bay, Namibia
Tel: +264 – 64 – 502 600
Fax: +264 – 64 – 502 608
Institute of Food Technology, Ministry of Mines and Industry in Dakar, Senegal
The Institute of Food Technology (ITA) was established in 1963 in accordance with Article 63-11, to train, research and ensure technology transfer, quality control, production management, financial management and commercial management in the area of food and nutrition in Senegal. The research activities of ITA focus on food processing, development and packaging. In addition, ITA is also involved in the design and the development of equipment to improve the production capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises. The institute has done important work on cereals and leguminous plants, fruits and vegetables, fishing products, dairy and meat products.
ITA is UNU-INRA’s operating unit in Senegal, focusing on the processing of agricultural and local food products, food quality and food technology . The unit is working on comestible mushroom culture development in northern Senegal. The project is exploiting methods of cultivation and conservation of edible mushrooms and the utilisation of residue substrates (e.g. Biofertilisant) to enhance agricultural productivity. The main objective of the project is to develop edible mushrooms cultivation in Senegal by targeting rural areas. As a result, the project is enhancing the capacity of various rural communities on the choice and preparation of substrates and also on the construction of low-cost mushroom growing houses. The training courses include:
The institute is being headed by Dr. Mamadou Amadou Seck who is the Coordinator of the UNU-INRA operating unit.
Institut de Technologie Alimentaire (ITA)
Route des Pères Maristes, Hann. BP 2765 Dakar-Sénégal
Tel: +221 – 33 – 859 07 07
Fax: +221 – 33 – 832 82 95
Mineral Resources Unit, School of Mines of the University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
The Mineral Resources Unit (MRU) is the first operating unit of UNU-INRA, established through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations University in 1985 — the same year UNU-INRA was founded. The mandate of this operating unit is to pursue project activities that are directed towards developing capacity of Africans to harness the continent’s mineral resources endowment; to achieve sustained economic growth, through professional development in the areas of research, technology, management and development, policy studies and information services.
Since its establishment, MRU has engaged in a number of mineral research projects (such as phosphate, liming, lanthanum, etc.), to determine their economic viability for the development of Africa. The Unit has also offered its expertise to various symposiums and conferences, such as the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) project and several others. The Mineral Resource Unit is located at the School of Mines, University of Zambia.
Professor Stephen Simukanga, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia, is the Coordinator of the operating unit.
UNU-INRA Mineral Resources Unit,
School of Mines
University Of Zambia
P O Box 32379
Lusaka 10101, Zambia.