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Vol 3 - Issue 1

Science, Technology, Development

List of Articles

Institutional governance of genome-edited plants: The case of rice in Madagascar

New breeding techniques (NBT) are today at the centre of a new governance of varietal innovation that is reigniting the debates around the technological promises of GMO varieties. Similar to GMOs, they are controversial due to their ecological, agronomic and socio-economic risks. By examining an experimental case study on genome editing techniques used to develop rice varieties in Madagascar, we explore how the interactions between the different societal stakeholders renew the governance of biotechnology-based varietal innovation. The results suggest that initial experimentation should be reconfigured by strengthening skills to detect genetic modifications in new varieties, as well as by considering societal risks. They highlight the inadequacy of institutional frameworks for biosafety risk assessment in low-income countries. The results also inform us on how to strengthen these frameworks through targeted stakeholder involvement. They suggest that more cooperative approaches will aid in defining the models and objectives of varietal innovations.

The adaptation of growing spirulina (Arthrospira Platensis) for a better western economy: center of the aquaculture development of Mahajanga in Madagascar

There are many reasons to produce spirulina, especially in the social, environmental, economic and scientific fields. It could be a solution in the fight against world hunger. In Madagascar, poverty is a major problem for the Malagasy population. Our objective is to optimize the best growing conditions in order to to determine the real potential for spirulina growth on a production scale. Two hypotheses have been proposed: on the one hand spirulina is arable in Mahajanga, and on the other hand protein-rich spirulina has an income-generating activity. Therefore, a test comparing 3 formulas of inputs and an analysis of the data was completed. According to the results, the F3 formula is the most productive and has an average weekly production of 3000 g of humid weight, in other words around 300 g in dry weight. In Madagascar, the price of spirulina varies depending on the producer. The level of biomass production depends on the surface of the basin as opposed to the depth of that which is growing. The cultivation of spirulina is innovative for Mahajanga, and could be considered as one of the best income-generating activities for the population.

Understanding the constraints that lessened the involvement of women regarding integrated water management in the Mouhoun region of Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, women represent 51.7% of the population and provide more than 60% of national agricultural production. Although women make an essential contribution, there is still a large gap between men and women when it comes to access to natural resources, such as land and water. The ability of a woman to participate in water management depends on the authority that she has over this resource in the society. This paper explores the constraints that weakened the involvement of women in watershed management in Burkina Faso, with regards to participation, representativeness, role and ability in relation to means of production. Semi-structured individual interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with users (men and women); representatives from local water committees. The results show that women cannot make any decision regarding water resource management that affects them (men and women) differently. Although women are the primary stakeholders/end users of water resources, and are therefore key actors in terms of use, they are lagging behind in terms of their ability to make decisions regarding water management. This impacts the sustainability of water and the ecosystems as a whole.

How seeing how a university functions affects the success of a student: The case of the Faculty of Economics at Marien Ngouabi University, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

This article analyzes the impact of the perception of students from the Faculty of Economics of Marien Ngouabi University, in terms of institutional practices, on the quality of their course in License I and II. To do this, a field survey was carried out in 2021 among 205 License III and Master I and II students. The statistical analysis and logistic modeling of the collected data validated the hypothesis that certain areas of interest affect a student’s success. Failure, it was revealed by the survey, is due to adaptations at the organizational level of the establishment’s operation and due to the pedagogical follow-up of the students. The pedagogical support of students by their peers and course leaders, the pedagogical training of teachers, the modernization of equipment and teaching tools, as well as socially differentiated student aids are all actions authorized by the results of this study, which is aimed at championing positive perceptions expressed by students.

The circular economy and socio-economic inclusion in West Africa

This article explores the links between the circular economy (CE) and socio-economic inclusion in West Africa within the discourse and practices of international cooperation (IC). It identifies two main findings. First, the circular economy, as promoted, often omits socio-economic inclusion issues and goals. The circular economy, as a reformist model, can promote a just and sustainable world with the help of IC, all while considering its limits. Second, while Africa has always circularized at many scales and in many often informal contexts in situations of innovation under constraints, the promoters of the circular economy and international cooperation could recognize this knowledge and the practices of an existing implicit circular economy by promoting an inclusive socio-economic circular society. Avenues for research and action are proposed to promote a social reformist CE, while respecting cultural and local know-how.

New Challenges for Innovation Support Services to Improve Cocoa Quality and Sustainability in Cameroon

With an output of 250,000T, Cameroun is the fifth cocoa producer in the African continent. The provision of support services for cocoa sectors experienced a transformation at the beginning of the 90’s. In fact, with liberalization, the cocoa sector suffered from the effects of the disengagement of the State when it came to production and post-harvest support, and in the regulation of the cocoa market and prices. A decline in cocoa quality and production volumes has resulted from this situation. In this paper, we focus on the emergence of innovation support services dedicated to supporting the improvement of cocoa quality and sustainability. We conclude by identifying the main challenges and opportunities for the development of these new services, with a holistic and systemic approach that includes social, technical and organizational dimensions.

Energy use at the urban scale in the Democratic Republic of Congo: State of affairs, challenges and perspectives

The national electrification rate in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) is currently 9%, or only 1% if only rural areas are considered (where 75.8% of the Congolese population lives). The opportunities however are endless – the rich natural and mineral resources of the country rank it among the richest in the world [NKU 06]. The aim of this study is to determine the challenges and prospects of exploitable energy used in urban areas. We do this by examining the city of Lubumbashi. After analyzing the results, we noticed that in the CRAA district there is a disproportionate use of energy sources distributed between hydroelectric energy (23%), coal (wood energy) (12%) and generators (petroleum energy) (45%). Priority is being given to the national electricity company (Société nationale d’électricité – SNEL), which offers sufficient energy but its services are rated lower, with an average rating of 40%. The more desirable panels are relatively expensive compared to the income of the population, and so it has been projected that, between 2000 and 2030, hydroelectric energy will rise from 36 to 38%; coal consumption will fall from 48 to 8%; and energy consumption will fall from 7.3 to 2%. However, in spite of the changes, according to all these projections, by 2030 the per capita consumption figures for renewable energy will still have a too high percentage in terms of energy growth for renewable energies – around 52%.

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