An IHECS delegation visits Burkina Faso

From 9th to 22nd May, three of our teachers – Élise Maas, Frédéric Moens and Emmanuel Wathelet – participated in a cooperation and exchange mission on behalf of IHECS at Joseph Ki-Zerbo University in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

The objective was threefold: to maintain relationships that have already been strong for a number of years (thus, a partnership involving citizen journalism and the training of journalists is already in place), to develop new communication exchange projects and to lay the groundwork for inter-university research (between Ki-Zerbo University, UCLouvain, and IHECS) on territorial security, against the backdrop of a resurgence of violence on the ground.

Élise Maas reports:  "For me, this trip was characterised throughout by warmth. Notwithstanding the outside temperature of 41 degrees, relations with colleagues and students during doctoral courses and workshops were rich in intercultural exchanges. We are now working to make virtual meetings a reality and to set up joint work between the PR Masters at IHECS and that of IPERMIC". She also thanks Frédéric Moens for giving her some keys to understanding in order to adapt.

"During these two weeks," says Emmanuel Wathelet, "I had the pleasure of co-organising a meeting workshop between the stakeholders of a research project that brings together not only academics, but also citizens, associations and government actors. The significance of the challenges and the richness of the meetings were especially inspiring. I also gave classes in media literacy and journalism, which represented an opportunity to debate sensitive issues such as beliefs about gold mining or the incineration of fetishes by the Catholic Church."

Having visited this country for more than 30 years and having collaborated with this university for almost a quarter of a century, Frédéric Moens welcomes the new perspectives opened up by this last mission: the multiplication of contacts and the bolstering of institutional agreements serve to share experiences with this Burkina Faso partner, to engage in reciprocal enrichment of our practices and to reinforce IHCES’s desire to be present and active in the South.

This multifaceted collaboration will continue at the start of the next semester by hosting, for the fourth consecutive year, a number of scholarship holders from IPERMIC.

This project was funded by the International Dimension of the Erasmus + program.