The idea of creating a Centre has been materialized in 2008 when the Head of the Centre was awarded the Reimar Lüst Price of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt Foundation awarded the Reimar Lüst Price and the Thyssen Foundation financed this price. The Foundation elucidated the recipient that, though the Price is the crowning of a scientific career, it nonetheless does not represent the end but the possibility of a new beginning. For the Thyssen Foundation, the Price should therefore be seen as the beginning of an activity that will be promoting science. Faced with this exhortation to propose new projects where the Thyssen Foundation can be a helping hand in this achievement, Professor Simo explains that existing models inspired him and submitted to the said Foundation the project to create a Centre with its headquarters in Yaoundé. A few months later, he received an agreement in principle from the Thyssen Foundation. Given the ongoing infrastructural problems specific to the African context, the Foundation agreed to finance the construction of the Centre. It is in 2010 that the German part signed the final agreement to finance the construction of the Centre. With the approval of the Yaoundé 1 University Rector and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences to host the Centre, the Centre got an institutional anchor.

 In January 2011, the construction project of the building began with the outcome of the funds transfer facilitated by the German Embassy in Cameroon. The construction of the building effectively began in mid-January and the work was completed within 6 months.

The Centre not being an administrative but a scientific Centre, the effective start of its activity could not depend on the completion of the construction of its headquarters. Therefore, its effective existence took effect with the letter of the Rector addressed to the Dean of FALSH (June 2010), authorising it to host the Centre and begin right away to run. The meeting of the Scientific Council shared the same interest to make the running of the Centre successful.