How Capacity Building in Mathematics Lays the Foundation for Scientific Excellence in Africa
As a result of the strong economic growth in many African countries, the continent has a growing demand for young professionals, particularly in mathematics, IT and engineering, in order to ensure rapid and stable economic, social and political development. Yet, only six per cent of post-secondary aged Africans are enrolled in apprenticeships, colleges or universities, compared to the global average of 26 per cent, and the European and North American average of 70 per cent. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is playing a major part in closing this gap. Led by its global head, Thierry Zomahoun, the AIMS Next Einstein Initiative is a model to provide talented young African scholars with cutting edge mathematical sciences research and training skills through the establishment of a network of 15 centers of excellence across Africa by 2023. Founded in 2003, AIMS has won international acclaim for its scientific model which builds independent thinking, problem-solving and widely applicable mathematical skills for its graduates while offering exposure to development fields of greatest relevance to Africa such as health, epidemiology, information technology, finance and banking and natural resource management. At Falling Walls, Zomahoun explains how AIMS-NEI can promote the transformation of Africa through cutting edge postgraduate skills training and research, resulting in technological progress and scientific discoveries which might benefit the whole of society.