Book section Open Access
Ouattara, Annette; Sangaré, Yaya
Excellence in research in Africa builds on the capacity of research institutions and research granting bodies to produce relevant, original, valuable, and competitive research results. These research results must respond to different national needs and propose solutions to boost national development. In this essay, we take the example of PASRES to explore the theme of excellence, proposing a holistic vision of the concept, including not only the outputs, but also the research process itself and the uptake of the results. PASRES also focuses on the skills of researchers and the capacity of institutions providing support, for example, in the context of the interaction with the national private sector and the protection of research products by patents. PASRES financing is a competitive financing and faces a major challenge to find a balance between international quality requirements and the ability to have a socio-economic impact at the national level. The best projects (those considered excellent) are funded, depending on the attractiveness of the theme, the formulation of the problem, the accuracy in the methodology, and the potential for scientific and economic enrichment. In addition, the project monitoring and evaluation mechanism at PASRES is based on ‘excellence’ in project management. Overall, this chapter sheds light on the many challenges and opportunities in tailoring the notion of excellence to the research system in Côte d’Ivoire, not just through projects but also through networks and national journals.