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Diasporas scientifiques

Rémi Barré
Valeria Hernández
Jean-Baptiste Meyer
et al.

English Version


Pierre-Andre Wiltzer

Texte intégral

1It is time to stop deploring the "brain drain" from Southern countries to the industrialised world, to stop regarding the departure of researchers and engineers to Northern countries as a pure loss for developing nations. On the contrary: it is possible for Southern scientific diasporas to mobilise effectively and leverage a renewal of French policy on co-operation in higher education and research with the home countries, African countries particularly. These are the "realistic" options we want to emphasize as the 21st century gets under way. They are part of a broader policy choice refocusing and strengthening our co-operation with developing countries, taking greater account of the significant and original support emigrants can give their home countries just as the French Government is designing an innovative policy on co-development.

2That is why we wished to help the IRD, the Institut de recherche pour le développement, conduct a review of collegial expertise on the scientific diasporas of the South, so that we would have a precise quantitative and qualitative analysis and a certain number of proposals or recommendations on which to base an operational response as part of our co-operation policy.

3The IRD was asked to assess the size and nature of the intellectual diasporas of developing countries, and more particularly countries in France's "priority solidarity zone", to assess the situation with regard to these diasporas' networks and other forms of organisation, estimate their input to scientific co-operation and development aid, assess the current and potential role of public policy in this connection, and formulate recommendations for procedures, mechanisms and tools that would help to integrate these diasporas into bilateral and multilateral co-operation strategies.

4The results of the study are set out in this report. They seem to us to constitute a satisfactory basis for organising reflection and debate about the main recommendations, with a view to operational implementation. These discussions will be pursued on a certain number of points, in association with the parties concerned: political, scientific and academic circles, voluntary bodies, etc. For potential participants in this promising project, this means examining the feasibility of various measures and preparing the decisions that are needed to implement them.


Deputy Minister for Development, Co-operation and French-speaking Countries

© IRD Éditions, 2003

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