On October 10, 2017, the University Ouaga I Professeur Joseph Ki-Zerbo of Burkina Faso launched a graduate degree program in Environment and Mining Waste Management, which has been developed with the support of Polytechnique Montréal.
The official launch of the Master’s Program in this West African country included representatives from the University Ouaga I Professeur Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Polytechnique Montréal and the Canadian Embassy as well as representatives from Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Scientific Research and Innovation; Ministry of Energy, Mines and Careers; and Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change. Other attendees came from the Bureau of Mines and Geology of Burkina Faso, the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the Chamber of Mines of Burkina Faso and mining companies.
The new master’s degree is part of the CIRDI project, Program for Strengthening the Governance of the Extractive Industry in West Africa. One of the components of this program is support for university capacity building with the goal of establishing training programs in selected universities. The objective is to provide involved countries with professionals specializing in the mining industry.
A Strong Commitment from Polytechnique Montréal
The first cohort of the new master’s degree, which started classes on October 16 is comprised of ten students, including four women. The curriculum is divided amongst four semesters and includes existing teaching units as well as new ones that were designed with the educational support of Polytechnique Montréal. Three departments of the University Ouaga I Professeur Joseph Ki-Zerbo as well as their faculties are involved in the program: the Training and Research/Life and Earth Sciences Unit (UFR/SVT), the Institute of Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development (IGEDD) and the National Graduate School of Engineering of Fada N’Gourma (ENSI-F).
In preparation for the implementation of the master’s program, a delegation of West African teachers went on a three-week mission of knowledge exchange at Polytechnique Montréal in May and June 2017. The teachers were able to share with their peers of Polytechnique who are in charge of teaching units, and to brainstorm about potential research projects that would be conducted in collaboration with researchers of partner institutions. As well, this stay allowed the participants to increase their knowledge of the mining industry and to become familiar with Polytechnique Montréal’s mechanisms and experience in the areas of industrial internships, applied research projects and continuing education initiatives.
Since the beginning of 2016, Polytechnique Montréal has supported the implementation of new master programs in environment and mining waste management in Burkina Faso, and at the University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Senegal, where a postgraduate degree will be implemented shortly.
Polytechnique Montréal will send follow-up missions in both countries at the end of 2017 and in 2018 in order to continue its support to the implementation of the teaching programs. These missions will also aim at establishing industrial internship programs with selected mining companies and at developing applied research projects in collaboration with partner institutions.
Published October 30, 2017, courtesy of Polytechnique Montréal.