Committed to Africa

Romaric Compaoré comes from Burkina Faso and is working on a project to facilitate access to water in his village. Romaric is part of the first cohort of Sciences Po - MasterCard Foundation Scholars, a programme to educate and support bright young African students with a personal commitment to changing the world around them.

Why did you choose the Europe-Africa programme at Sciences Po?

I wanted to get to know my continent better so I could take an active part in its development. I was looking for a really African programme, not like the African Studies programmes at American universities. I wanted a strong African focus. When I heard about Sciences Po’s Europe-Africa programme at my high school in Ouagadougou, I knew it was for me. Then when I learned there was a Mastercard Foundation scholarship for African students keen to contribute to the continent’s development, that was the icing on the cake.

Where does this desire to become an expert on Africa come from?

The development of my country, Burkina Faso, is closely linked to the development of the continent’s other countries. African countries have to solve their problems together. I want to devote my efforts to the economical and political integration of African countries. That’s why I want to become an expert on the continent. Later, I would like to join an organisation like the African Union, or start a company to work towards African integration.

When you were 16, you launched a project to build a water tower in your village in Burkina Faso. Can you tell us more?

It was at high school that I started the Yakin project, named after my village in Burkina Faso. The goal is to build a water tower in Yakin, a village where the main economic activity is market gardening.

But market gardening is only possible for three months a year, in the rainy season. Over those three months, the villagers manage to grow enough produce for the whole village. But after the three months, in the dry season, water is difficult to find. The children are tasked with fetching water and leave school. The women can’t go to the hospital because it involves costs they can’t pay. Without treatment, many children die of fever.

If water were available all year, the village would have income all year. Solving the water problem would solve most of the village’s other problems.

I started this project in Year 11 and I plan to finish it in 2018.

How do you plan to finish the water tower project in Burkina Faso while you’re studying at Sciences Po?

I’ve already raised quite a lot of money, but we still need more to make the project a reality. When I arrived at Sciences Po, I presented the project and the Reims students chose it as one of student initiatives for the year, which means I’ll be able to keep working on it and raising funds, even at a distance. My goal for 2018 is to raise the necessary funds to build the water tower and get it up and running.

Related links

Lifting the barriers to female entrepreneurship

Lifting the barriers to female entrepreneurship

Whether setting up a new business, negotiating a pay rise or taking on more responsibility in the workplace, women can be supported in reaching leadership positions. As of 2018, Sciences Po's Women in Business Chair aims to improve understanding of the obstacles women face and spearhead action to remove them. Interview with Anne Boring, researcher in charge of the Chair. Anne’s work focuses on the analysis of gender inequalities in the professional world.

More
Mary Robinson’s 3 Steps to Tackle Climate Change

Mary Robinson’s 3 Steps to Tackle Climate Change

Mary Robinson, now President of the Elders and climate justice activist, was the seventh President of Ireland, and the first woman ever to hold this office. She also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and as Chancellor of the Trinity College Dublin for twenty years. In June 2019, she was the guest of honour at the Paris School of International Affairs’ graduation ceremony. In her talk, she gives graduates 3 key steps to do their part in the fight against climate change. Watch the video to find out what they are.

More
U7+ Alliance: A University Alliance To Weigh in on the G7 Agenda

U7+ Alliance: A University Alliance To Weigh in on the G7 Agenda

Under the high patronage of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, the first annual U7+ Alliance Summit took place at Sciences Po on July 9 & 10, 2019, with 47 university leaders from 18 countries. The purpose of the summit was to formalise and vote on a series of founding principles for the U7+ Alliance, and for universities to commit to associated concrete actions to tackle global issues, within their own communities, in the context of the upcoming G7 Summit in Biarritz in August 2019.

More
Blended Learning: Focus of the 2019 International Teaching and Learning Workshop

Blended Learning: Focus of the 2019 International Teaching and Learning Workshop

This June 2019, Sciences Po hosted the second annual Teaching and Learning Workshop with our global university partners to discuss, debate and share research and methods on the latest innovations in education. This year, the focus was "Blended Learning and Educational Impact," with participants from Harvard University, the National University of Singapore, the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, LSE, King's College London, the African Leadership University, and more.

More
Highlights of the 2019 Graduation Ceremonies

Highlights of the 2019 Graduation Ceremonies

Over 7,300 people attended the four graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2019 on June 28 & 29, 2019. Graduates walked under the proud gaze of their parents, friends, teachers, companions, and sometimes children to receive their diploma. Relive these unforgettable moments in video.

More
2019 Graduation: Who Are Our Graduates?

2019 Graduation: Who Are Our Graduates?

Bright and engaged citizens. Promising futures. Inspiring guests and motivational speeches. Parents brimming with pride. On Friday, 28th of June and Saturday, 29th of June 2019, the Sciences Po graduation ceremonies brought together over 2,500 graduates and their guests at the Philarmonie in Paris. So who are the graduates of the Class of 2019? More

Green China: A Quixotic Vision

Green China: A Quixotic Vision

Despite an overarching negativity where China and the environment are concerned, it is set to become the leading power in the green economy. However, it is the political elective which must make the policies to make China’s future green. As a one-party-state there is very little green opposition should environmental reforms not be put into practice.

More