President launches Ecosystem of Pan-African transformation
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, recently announced the launch of AIMS in Rwanda, a world class ecosystem of pan-African transformation through mathematical sciences.
The official launch took place at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), with President Paul Kagame as the guest of honour.
“We are collaborating with AIMS to develop an ecosystem of pan-African institutions with a transformative agenda. We all recognise that AIMS’ education model is an important tool for development and progress on our continent,” President Kagame said at the gathering.
It is said that AIMS is an ecosystem of pan-African transformation that will leverage scientific innovation, learning and research to apply solutions to the continent’s challenges.
The network’s mission is to enable Africa’s brightest students to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa’s future scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency. AIMS consists of a pan-African network of six centres of excellence across Africa (South Africa, Sénégal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and Rwanda) and its strategic pillars are training, research and public engagement.
The first AIMS centre of excellence was opened in Cape Town, South Africa, founded by Prof. Neil Turok in 2003. The network prioritises international class education for Africa’s most valuable resource, its youth, for the development of Africa and to the benefit of society. The institute has since opened up six education centers of excellence across the continent with the latest in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with the government of Rwanda to continue to nurture Africa’s most talented scientific minds in mathematical sciences, creating opportunities to allow them to contribute to the continent by tangibly developing solutions to Africa’s problems, and fostering collaboration that will reverse the brain drain of our thinkers, problem-solvers and innovators,” said Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS.
The launch of AIMS Rwanda is a result of a partnership agreement between the government of Rwanda through the ministry of education and AIMS.
The ecosystem of pan-African transformation has the following elements at its core: Discovery and Technological Advances, Industry and Economic Advancement, Lifelong Learning and Inspiration, and Scientific and Technological Excellence.
Under `Discovery and Technological Advances’, the ecosystem will support researchers who are tackling, through multidisciplinary approaches, research topics that challenge fundamental concepts and high-end research (fundamental research and quantum science). Under `Industry and Economic Advancement’ it will maximise the opportunities and potential for mathematical sciences to contribute to African economies through human capital, knowledge transfer and applied research for scientific and technological excellence, and under `Lifelong Learning and Inspiration’, the AIMS’s Teacher Training Program will strengthen the mathematics teacher capacity and provide as many students in Africa as possible with a quality education in maths and science. Finally, under the `Scientific and Technological Excellence’, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) which is the first global science forum on African soil, will continue to showcase the remarkable progress that Africa is making in science.
Before the launch, a number of workshops and meetings had taken place over weeks in Kigali about initiatives that form part of the ecosystem.
These included the NEF International Steering Committee (ISC) meeting. The ISC provides oversight, guidance, operational and strategic direction to the NEF, thereby supporting the NEF in the development of its mission, long-term goals, philosophies and strategy.
There was also the NEF Scientific Programme Committee (SPC) meeting. As part of the NEF Institution, the SPC set the scientific strategic direction for the NEF, and establishes the programme and themes of the NEF Global Gatherings.
There was also the Quantum Leap Africa (QLA). This part of the AIMS in Rwanda ecosystem is Africa’s first research centre in quantum science and will be based in Kigali.
A number of workshops, which brought more than 30 data scientists to the city, were also held between 13-15 March to define a clear road map for the programmatic and operational outlook of the centre.
President Paul Kagame announced that after the resounding success of the NEF Global Gathering 2016 which took place in Dakar, Senegal, the second edition of the forum will be hosted in Kigali in 2018.
AIMS is Africa’s first and biggest network of centres of excellence in mathematical sciences. Since 2003, the AIMS model has prioritised international-class education for Africa’s most valuable resource – its young people – for the development of the continent.