Pacodel : Central Africa Platform
The desire for the University of Liège to open itself up to the world is expressed through the implementation of an institutional project: the Central Africa Platform. This original and permanent structure is based with our local partner, the ERAIFT in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It ensures, with the help of the PACODEL, the identification and study of local area issues that also have an impact on cross-border areas in Central Africa.
Why a Platform in Central Africa?
The ties that unite ULiège and Kinshasa are long-standing, strong, and binding. In addition to the historical aspects, the university has been present in this region for several years both through its institutional support and through the involvement of its members in many research projects, teaching, and community service. For these reasons, ULiège has decided to be present on a continuous basis by concentrating its cooperative activities via a permanent structure: the Central Africa Platform.
The goal of the University of Liège is to play a key role in supporting the various projects carried out on site, but also to develop new partnerships (North and South). Our permanent on-site agent, Lucille Grétry, works daily on these objectives, on their coordination, and on their influence throughout Central Africa. Indeed, the desire of the university is not only to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also to develop its projects and activities with neighbouring countries: Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Chad.
A launching theme: peri-urban territories
When it was created, the Central Africa Platform focused on a very specific area of research: peri-urban areas. Why was this theme chosen? On the one hand, because it is expected that the urban population (living in the city) will grow by 60% by 2030; on the other hand, because the urban transition is already a global phenomenon.
This movement in population has shown rapid and transverse transformations in the societies of the South. The university therefore sought to contribute to the development of these areas under its environmental, territorial and societal aspects.
Today, ULiège finances five doctoral theses related to the theme of peri-urban territories, and the Central Africa Platform has opened its field of activity to other areas, all more diverse and varied.