For the second time after the edition of 2009, the West African Research Center (WARC) in Dakar was honored to host the overseas research centers directors ‘workshop organized every other year by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). This edition, it should be noted, was the first post-covid international event held by the Council.

For five days, participants attended various panels and other events held at WARC, at the nearby Radisson Hotel and at the US Embassy in Dakar with field trips to a number of Dakar landmarks including Goree Island. This part of the workshop started with the unveiling of the plaque in memory of the first CAORC Director, Mary Ellen Lane, whose name was given to the WARC main conference room.

On October 5th– 8th, the workshop was followed by an extension period which took most participants to the Saloum Delta (south central Senegal) where they discovered the wonders and beauties of the islands, of the mangroves and other notable sites. The stay in Toubacouta was also marked by several cultural events including an evening traditional wrestling gala crowned with the awarding of the Mary Ellen Lane trophy to the champion wrestler.

Apart from the various center directors, the workshop was also attended by a strong delegation from CAORC staff including the current director, the WARA president and director, with the opening ceremony presided over by a US acting deputy assistant secretary of state for academic programs, a deputy vice-chancellor of University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and a senior representative of the US Embassy in Dakar.

Photo 1: Right to Left: Jenny Parker (WARA Director), Ismael Montana (WARA President), Ousmane Sène (WARC Director), Heidi Weiderkehr (CAORC) Marianne Craven (State department)

Photo 2: During the reception at the US Embassy Dakar

Photo 3: The Mary Ellen trophy handed to the champion wrestler

Photo 4: The Mary Ellen Lane plaque