Cotonou, Benin

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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-4 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2008

The Partners propose to conduct a cohort study in pregnant women and their newborns to quantify the effects of Pregnancy-Associated Malaria (PAM) and to identify a PAM vaccine candidate. Effects of PAM on the pregnant woman (placental infection and anaemia), the offspring (birth weight reduction), and the infant (increased morbidity and mortality) are well known. Studies underlined the role of P. falciparum variable surface antigens expressed on infected erythrocytes in binding to placenta. A specific immune response against this antigen reduces the effect of PAM during latter pregnancies, making possible to develop a new preventive strategy based on the enhancement of this specific response. This goal will be achieved through cohort studies in 2 endemic areas (West and East Africa), as the mechanisms and the resulting effects may vary with transmission. Biological samples will be collected during pregnancy and infancy to dissect the pathological and immune mechanisms involved, as well as to characterize phenotypically and genetically the infecting parasites, providing a structural basis for anti-PAM vaccine design. The immunopathological effects will be measured in the mothers, their newborns, and the infant, in relation with timing of infection. The ultimate goal is to identify the most immunogenic epitopes of VAR2CSA (the major variable surface antigens of P. falciparum parasites infecting the pregnant women) to be included in such a vaccine. It is anticipated that the product of this project will be directly usable to enter in the pipeline of vaccine development. The 7 Partners of the consortium (5 from 4 EU countries, and 2 from Benin and Tanzania) have a combined history of high class, internationally-recognized research in malaria. All EU teams have huge experience of collaboration with malaria endemic countries institutions and with studies related to malaria in pregnant women, that are also routinely conducted by the 2 African Partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 12.17M | Year: 2013

Tropical Atlantic climate recently experienced pronounced shifts of great socio-economic importance. The oceanic changes were largest in the eastern boundary upwelling systems. African countries bordering the Atlantic strongly depend upon their ocean - societal development, fisheries, and tourism. They were strongly affected by these climatic changes and will face important adaptation challenges associated with global warming. Furthermore, these upwelling regions are also of great climatic importance, playing a key role in regulating global climate. Paradoxically, the Tropical Atlantic is a region of key uncertainty in earth-climate system: state-of-the-art climate models exhibit large systematic error, climate change projections are highly uncertain, and it is largely unknown how climate change will impact marine ecosystems. PREFACE aims to address these interconnected issues, and has the following goals: To reduce uncertainties in our knowledge of the functioning of Tropical Atlantic climate. To improve climate prediction and the quantification of climate change impacts in the region. To improve understanding of the cumulative effects of the multiple stressors of climate variability, greenhouse induced climate change, and fisheries on marine ecosystems, and ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries, coastal vulnerability). To assess the socio-economic vulnerabilities and evaluate the resilience of Atlantic African fishing communities to climate-driven ecosystem shifts and global markets. To meet these goals we bring together European and African expertise to combine regional and global scale modelling capabilities, field experiments and observation systems. Our target region includes areas more affected by climate change and by its consequences, European outermost regions, and African countries bordering the Atlantic.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-04 | Award Amount: 7.73M | Year: 2008

Malnutrition, and especially deficiencies of micronutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A, undermine the progress towards most of the Millennium Development Goals. In view of the serious coverage, compliance and safety concerns of supplementation, this project aims to identify novel staple food-based approaches to improve micronutrient malnutrition for better health and development of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It will focus on the improvement of millet-, sorghum-, maize-, and cassava based (complementary) foods. The genetic potential of staple foods for increasing the micronutrient and antinutrient content will be evaluated and the determinants of success and failure of introducing biofortified staple foods in local farming systems will be assessed. The efficacy of biofortified staple foods with adequate levels of provitamin A will be determined. Concerning fortification, the project will develop and test new approaches to optimise iron and zinc fortification of staple food-based foods. The project will develop improved (traditional) processing methods of the staple foods concerned to enhance micronutrient uptake and bioavailability. The developed approaches in the area of biofortification, fortification and processing will be compared on efficacy of improving iron and zinc intake and status. The safety of the improved staple foods on immunity and infections will be evaluated as well as the impact on cognitive development of young children. Through capacity building and strengthening the scientific and technological excellence in the field of staple food-based approaches in Africa and Europe, the project seeks to significantly contribute to the improvement of the dietary quality of young children and their mothers living in resource poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa. New scientific knowledge will be exploited to strengthen the competitiveness of local SMEs targeted at evidence-based production of healthier (complementary) foods for African children.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-3-02 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2010

AFTER aims to revisit traditional African products, knowledge and know-how in the light of new technologies for the benefit of consumers, producers and processors in Africa and Europe. By applying European science and technology to African traditional food products, AFTER seeks to turn research into quantifiable and innovative technologies and products that are commercially viable in both European and African markets. The 10 selected products representing 3 families of foods, (fermented cereal-based, fermented salted fish and meat, and vegetable and fruit based functional foods), fit into a matrix of technologies and processes shared between Europe and Africa that will be jointly developed within the framework of AFTER. The 10 products will be characterised according to existing knowledge on technologies and processes. The improved products, produced through reengineering and new processing technologies, will be tested for consumer acceptance, safety and nutritional quality. The market and entry requirement for new products will be assessed. Involving EU and African companies in production trials for the improved products will translate the results into ready-to-use information for food companies. AFTER has 8 workpackages: Management and Coordination; Characterisation of traditional products and know-how; Process reengineering of fermented cereal based products; Process reengineering of meat and fish products; Process reengineering for traditional functional foods; Consumer and market acceptance; Appropriation of the improved processes and technologies and Dissemination and exploitation. Creating new markets and trade opportunities for improved traditional foods and novel products in Europe and Africa will increase economic returns for all stakeholders involved in the production chain, down to the community level. Due consideration will be accorded to regulatory, ethical and IPR issues while also protecting the intellectual rights of Africans.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-SH6 | Award Amount: 893.16K | Year: 2011

Knowledge of the last 1000 years in the West African Sahel comes largely from historical sources, which say that many regions were ruled by vast polities. The aim of my archaeological project is to seize how, in fact, lhe empires of this region structured the landscape, and the movemenl of peoples, ideas, and things, with a focus on the period AD 1200-1850. Is empire really a useful term? I will confront historical evidence with archaeological data from one area at the intersection of several polities: the dallols in Niger. This area is rich in remains, said to result from population movements and processes of religious and political change, but these remains have been only briefly described so far. As this region is a key area of migrations and cross-influences, it is the ideal laboratory for exploring the materialisation of contacts and boundaries, through a mapping of material culture distributions. My project will approach these sites holistically, carrying out archaeological regional survey and prospection. Excavation will indicate chronology and cultural affiliation. At lhe same time, I will take an interdisciplinary approach, using anthropological and oral-historical enquiries to obtain background information to test hypotheses generated by the archaeological data. Enquiries will assess how material culture can show group belonging and population shifts, and examine the role of individuals called technical specialists. This will help solve the current impasse in our understanding of vast empires which, though they are historically known, remain poorly understood. My project will not just improve our knowledge of an almost-unknown part of the world, but thanks to its geographical location, interdisciplinary nature and strong thematic framework, open up avenues of thinking about the relalion between archaeological and historical data, the mediation of relations through artefacts, and the archaeology of empires, all widely-relevant research issues


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-4-06 | Award Amount: 1.61M | Year: 2010

The JOLISAA project aims to increase understanding of agricultural innovation systems focusing on smallholders livelihoods and the articulation of local/traditional and global knowledge. Lessons learnt about past and ongoing experiences with agricultural/rural innovation in East, Southern and West Africa will be synthesised by combining joint case-study assessment with capacity-strengthening and networking at various scales. Case studies will tackle diverse innovation types and scales: from natural resource management to production and agribusiness, from local initiatives to national and regional ones. Joint learning will be fostered by engaging diverse stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners and policymakers. The project will deliver relevant, pragmatic and collectively validated recommendations to the EC and to African decision-makers for future research, practice and policy. Over 30 months, a small consortium of European and African partners involving highly experienced and motivated research, development, capacity-strengthening and networking institutions will facilitate an iterative process consisting of five interlinked thematic Work Packages (WPs). In WP1, an analytic framework and an operational approach will be developed based on an innovation-system perspective and carefully adapted to the context and experiences of three regions in Africa. WP2 will involve joint assessment and learning from a series of case studies in Kenya, South Africa and Benin. In WP3, the capacity of members of existing multistakeholder innovation platforms to assess their experiences and to facilitate innovation will be strengthened, in close interaction with case-study development. In WP4, lessons will be shared and discussed within existing national innovation platforms across Africa and with European/international institutions. WP5 will compile and share the project outputs and deliver them in formats suitable for a range of audiences, from academia to policymakers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.2.1.3.2 | Award Amount: 4.53M | Year: 2010

UNDESERT aims at combatting desertification and land degradation in order to mitigate their impacts on ecosystem services, and following on human livelihoods. The West African region is central for understanding desertification and degradation processes, which are already severe and widespread as a consequence of climate change and human impact. An improved understanding of the effects of desertification and degradation processes is obtained on a local to regional scale by integrating remote sensing information with sound field data on biodiversity and soil as well as socioeconomic and climate data. On this basis decision support models and tools will be developed and introduced to natural resource managers. UNDESERT also includes two very practical aspects, 1) restoration through tree plantations, which will be certified for CO2 marketing as the first restoration site in West Africa, 2) ecosystem management based on scientific data and best practices developed in close collaboration between scientists and local communities. As a demand driven project, UNDESERT activities will be implemented by employing 17 young PhD students, who will receive training to enhance future capacities to manage risks and uncertainties in the frame of future demographic and climatic changes. The scientific results will be used to combat desertification and degradation directly and will be transferred to international programs in order to contribute to the implementation of relevant international strategies, initiatives and commitments of the EU and African countries.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE.2010.2.2-03 | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2011

This is a critical time for nutrition. Malnutrition rates remain high, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where only nine out of 46 countries are on track to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal target of a 50% reduction in underweight prevalence among children under five years. Despite the huge cost of malnutrition, investment in the nutrition sector has been insufficient. There has been a renewed interest in nutrition recently, however, and it is a potentially opportune moment for investing in nutrition research. The SUNRAY (Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come) project will produce a new, sustainable nutrition research agenda for sub-Saharan Africa based on five concepts. 1) Future landscape: Emergence of new nutritional challenges due to changes in the environmental landscape. 2) Sustainable and broad-based solutions: Integration of nutrition research within other sectors to ensure sustainable solutions. 3) African centre of gravity: Identification of research opportunities and constraints by African institutions. 4) Broad stakeholder involvement: Strengthening of the link between research and action. 5) Political engagement: Engagement of policy-makers to ensure political buy-in and subsequent action. SUNRAY has seven work packages: WP1 optimises communication and coordination within the Consortium. WP2 maps current nutrition research activities in sub-Saharan Africa, and examines the operating environment. WP3 analyses the views of stakeholders. WP4 examines the impact of environmental changes on nutrition. WP5 builds consensus on research priorities through workshops in three African regions. WP6 develops a strategic framework for future research in the form of a roadmap. WP7 disseminates project outputs. The SUNRAY Consortium has four African and five European institutions and an Advisory Group of six external experts with complementary expertise. The total budget of 968,463 Euros is for a period of 18 months


Samary D.O.,University Abomey Calavi
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

This manuscript reports the first order β-functions of recently proved just renormalizable random tensor models endowed with a U(1)d gauge invariance. The models that we consider are polynomial Abelian φ64 and φ56 models. We show in this work that both models are asymptotically free in the UV. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.3.2-3 | Award Amount: 7.86M | Year: 2013

Placental malaria, a special form of malaria targeting pregnant women, causes the death of 200,000 infants and 10,000 pregnant women each year. Placental malaria has no sustainable cure. The overall success criterion of the proposed project is to enable the manufacture of a vaccine, which protects fetus and mother against the adverse effects of malaria during pregnancy. Administered to women before they get pregnant the vaccine should induce antibodies that prevent the binding of malaria parasites in the placenta. Vaccine development is facilitated by the availability of an in vitro assay that predicts clinical immunity. With this proposal, we seek funding to produce the first placental malaria vaccine and perform the first clinical studies in humans. In parallel, we will prepare a field site and a protocol for a phase II study in African women. The partners behind the application have secured funding for ongoing work to down-select the current VAR2CSA lead antigens and to produce GLP batch protein for toxicology studies in animals, prior to the initiation of the work proposed here. Under the proposed FP7 project an SME, ExpreS2ion Biotechnologies will optimize production and purification of the vaccine. ExpreS2ion Biotechnologies operates a unique expression platform and this project will enable the company to expand their business into downstream process development. The academic partners are strong. Researchers at University of Copenhagen, (UCPH) originally discovered the vaccine protein and they have been collaborating with Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) and Universit dAbomey-Calavi (UAC) to optimize vaccine antigens and to prepare sites for clinical testing. The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) will provide product management and coordinate execution of the phase I clinical trial. Thus, this study will provide a product to continue into efficacy studies in Africa, which could be initiated shortly after the end of the project.

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