The Ethics and Public Policy Laboratory (EthicsLab) is a new venture at the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC) that will be a center of research excellence, incubating innovative ideas and developing young researchers that will contribute to the promotion of a culture of integrity in public and private domains, and advance just public policies in Central Africa. EthicsLab is now on the cusp of an official launch, after years of laying a solid foundation through the successful Young African Scholars’ Yaoundé Seminars, and institutional partnerships with the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC), University of St. Gallen, the Berggruen Institute, and Harvard University. The launch week will feature an inaugural conference that will bring together leading international and local researchers with proven track records in the practice of research in ethics and the management of research centers in ethics. The inaugural conference aims to open the debate about how a research center like EthicsLab can support the university and benefit society.   

The launch week is organized around three main activities: 1) the Berggruen Workshop of Harvard University, featuring public lectures by Mathias Risse and Ajume Wingo and new research by Harvard’s three Berggruen Fellows and commentaries from nine young African scholars, 2) an International Conference featuring keynote lectures by Danielle Allen, Godfrey Tangwa, Philippe Van Parijs, Rose Leke, and Alain Renaut, and 3) panels on the institution building of EthicsLab.  

EthicsLab aspires to be a pole of excellence in providing high quality research in the domain of fundamental and applied ethics in the sub-region of central Africa. By stimulating an ethical reflection on issues of economic, social, and political importance, our aim is both to build a culture of integrity and to contribute to improve the public-policy-building capacity of countries of the sub-region of Central Africa that relies on it and that requires in turn better informed debates in the broader public on the big challenges that the region faces given its underdeveloped economy and fragile political institutions.  

EthicsLab strives to provide innovative perspectives and instruments to address and cope with such challenges considering the fundamental role that scientific research in general, and in the field of ethics, can play in the human and economic development of the sub-region of central Africa and advocate for fair public policies. We will build on the strong philosophical tradition in the sub-region of central Africa to define its scientific agenda, free from any political pressure, by focusing on the specific challenges that this sub-region faces, as opposed to western countries for instance, and more broadly by giving a voice to African perspectives of moral and political theories which are so lacking in the global justice debate.  

The EthicsLab Launch Week co-planners are Thierry Ngosso, Pierre Germain Belinga, Atabong Tamo, Ndidi Nwaneri, Rosine 
Bidjeck Song, and Vernuy Eric Suyru.