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What's new at LIRIMA

May 2019/ n° 07



 After its positive evaluation on last September, LIRIMA's partners decided to continue the collaboration. LIRIMA is thus embarking on its third period: after Yaounde (2009-2014) and Saint-Louis du Senegal (2015-2018), the headquarters are now located in Tunis for the period 2019-2022.

The laboratory is in a mature phase and we wish to strengthen our actions in order to be more present and visible in the rapidly developing African digital landscape. Indeed, Mathematics and Computer Science are important levers for development of Africa as it was illustrated during the Maths Day for Development organized by Cimpa on last March in Paris.

To this end, we will continue to rely on our traditional partners (AUF, Cimpa, Cirad, IRD), while strengthening links with African Centres of Excellence in Digital Sciences and European and African companies involved in the continent's digital transformation.

Moreover, we intend to close the gender gap by promoting the participation of women in all instances of LIRIMA. Regarding our collaborations, LIRIMA was involved in AgriNumA 2019, a workshop on digital agriculture organized on last April in Dakar by Cirad and the Institut de convergence en agriculture numérique (#DigitAg). It had followed a first edition held last year in Montpellier.

As part of a partnership with AUF, we are also setting up an online seminar on Digital Sciences that will be widely disseminated in both Africa and France. The aim is to focus on issues that are gaining importance in Africa such as Data Science, Big Data, High-Performance Computing, Digital Agriculture and Cyber Security in order to initiate or strengthen collaborations around these topics between African and Inria researchers.

As part of the next LIRIMA scientific days, which will be held on next December in Yaounde in conjunction with the CRI'2019 conference, we are co-organizing a one-day workshop on Data Sciences in collaboration with Gicam (the Cameroonian inter-entrepreneurial group). This will provide us a better understanding of how African companies are taking these new opportunities and how our teams can contribute to it.

Amel Ben Abda, Eric Badouel

Directors of LIRIMA



Renewal of the International Lab LIRIMA

We are pleased to announce that our International Lab in Africa (LIRIMA) has been renewed for 4 years. The headquarters will be hosted in the premises made available by the DGRS within the Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis ("ENIT"), in the University of Tunis El Manar.

On September 18-19, the Scientific Council organized with the help of Inria the evaluation of LIRIMA for the period 2015-2018.

The Scientific Council has acknowledged the quality of the research produced and welcomed the teams' success in meeting the challenge of combining the production of fundamental results with a good anchoring in social reality through relevant case studies. Moreover, the teams have found a good level of focus with clearly stated and well identified research issues. This was noted as a positive shift for LIRIMA compared to its first period (2009-2014).

Symposium "Digital Agriculture" 2019 in a nutshell!

Inria with Cirad and #DigitAg co-organized the AgriNumA'2019 Symposium - Digital Agriculture in Africa - from 28 to 30 April 2019 in Dakar.
AgriNumA was preceded by the 9th CNRIA Computer Research and Applications Conference, held from 25 to 28 April 2019 in Saint-Louis (organized by Gaston Berger University - UGB, and the Senegalese Association of Computer Science Researchers - ASCII).

The discussions focused on topics related to Digital Agriculture with 120 participants coming from different horizons: start-ups, companies (some of these companies are mentioned in the news of the section « Read on the web » below), associations, NGOs, students, researchers and teachers. 

The methodological approaches were very varied (Data Collection and Management, Data Mining, Image Analysis and AI, Modeling) and at different scales (genome, plant, exploitation, territory) with different data types (drones / satellites, socio-economic and environmental, genomic, textual) and uses (epidemiology, food safety, plant growth analysis, plant genetic improvement).

The challenges posed by accessibility, openness, governance and control of data, the relevance of advice in decision support, by taking into account the end users from the design and throughout the construction of the tools and services, or by training engineers and users, were presented and discussed.

The program is available on the AgriNumA website:

News of ACE-SMA, Benin

The Institute of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (IMPS) is a very dynamic environment. Schools that are organized inside are very successful. After the memorable ORTASA school held in November 2018, which gathered 75 participants from 11 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) with experts from South …

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Online Franco-African Seminar

AUF, Inria and its partners from LIRIMA (Inria International Lab) set up an online seminar widely distributed in Africa and France, with a monthly program of presentations by a guest speaker and a facilitator.

The first seminar will take place on Wednesday June 26 at 4:00 (Paris time). To learn more about the seminar and how to connect:

Save the date: LIRIMA Scientific Days, 2019

The next LIRIMA scientific days will be held at the University of Yaounde 1 (Cameroon) on next December, from Thursday 5 to Friday 6. These days will be preceded by CRI'2019.

A workshop on "Data Sciences" will be held on Thursday December 5.

This workshop will be opened to a wider audience, in particular to welcome Cameroon teams. We expect to have two or three invited lectures, the other contributions will mainly come from members of LIRIMA or their partners.

The second day (Friday December 6) will be devoted to a presentation of LIRIMA’s six teams, followed in the afternoon by a discussion between the team members, the Scientific Council and the Steering Committee. 

We hope lots of you will come!

More information soon on the website:



CIMPA: pending calls

You can view the pending calls in the  newsletter of April.

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Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme

Within the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, at the 2014 4th EU-Africa Summit, the EU and Africa committed to further promote higher education in Africa through mobility of students and staff, and to provide greater support to its higher educational institutions. The commitment recognised the crucial role of higher education in driving economic and social development, and the potential for greater mobility to improve its quality. By encouraging the use of transparency and recognition tools, it is recognised that institutions can develop better services to send and receive foreign students and researchers.

• Online Submission Deadline: 12 June 2019 – 12:00 (noon) Brussels time
• Evaluation period: June-September 2019
• Information to applicants: October 2019
• Estimated starting date of the action: 1 December 2019

Read more



Smart Tech the New Tool for African Farmers 

Agence France-Presse
May 5, 2019

Farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are embracing technology to improve productivity, reduce costs, and smooth out issues in the market. For example, Senegal's Lifantou offers a one-stop platform that draws on a database of crop production and schools to match potential demand with supply. Another project, called Pix Fruit, aims to help farmers better estimate their mango crops. Farmers take photos of a selection of trees in their fields with a smartphone; fruit-recognition technology calculates the likely overall harvest, based on data compiled with the help of drones. The system was developed with help from CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development.