(Biriwa, Ghana) February 2014 – The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS-Ghana) in Ghana received a high profile delegation from the Canadian government this month. The Canadian Deputy Minister of International Development, Paul Rochon, visited the centre of excellence for mathematics with colleagues to see for his own eyes how well the site was progressing and to reinforce the relationship between the Canadian government and AIMS.
“We are pleased that the deputy minister has come a long way to see our progress,” said Professor F.K.A Allotey, President of AIMS Ghana. “The Canadians are pleased with our progress and confident that their investment will ensure Ghana develops the next generation of young scientists.”
The deputy minister was accompanied by Ken Neufeld, Director of African Bureau in charge of Central and West Africa, Daniel Arsenault, Acting Director of Development Cooperation and Eileen Stewart, Programme Analyst.
Representatives from AIMS included: Thierry Zomahoun, the Executive Director of the AIMS Global Secretariat; Prof. Allotey; Kame Atsiavor, Chief Operating Officer of AIMS-Ghana; and other staff from AIMS-Ghana. The Ghanaian government sent H.K. Hayfron, Municipal Chief Executive for Mfantseman, and Joseph Nyankamawu, Coordinating Director of the Mfantseman Assembly.
Zomahoun took time to explain the AIMS concept and formula for success. AIMS provides free training in mathematical sciences to talented graduates from across Africa.
“At AIMS we are training our graduates to flourish as independent thinkers, problem-solvers and innovators,” Zomahoun said. “These graduates will build Africa’s economic, educational and governance self-sufficiency.”
The three core programmes for AIMS are mathematical training, cutting edge research, and public engagement and outreach. There are four unique features of the AIMS’ innovative model:
Learner-centred approach to teaching
Students residing in a 24-hour learning environment
Critical thinking and problem solving curriculum
Opportunity for women in science.
Zomahoun also explained to the visiting delegation that AIMS operates through a Secretariat providing operational support and shared services to its four centres. AIMS plans to expand the concept to 15 centres like AIMS-Ghana by 2023.
Each centre is managed by a Director/President with competent staff. The model delivers top international and African lecturers who volunteer to teach three-week courses in the host country. The Canadian government has been an important investor in the program and academic institutions and governments in Africa, Europe and North America are also involved.
“The AIMS network has trained 560 students,” Zomahoun added. “More than 70 per cent of the graduates have remained in Africa.” He also told the assembled that AIMS believes in pan-Africanism by admitting students from all over Africa. AIMS-Ghana admitted 40 students from 16 African countries. AIMS alumni have gone on to use mathematical sciences in roles education, epidemiology, technology and engineering.
Prof. Allotey also informed the delegates that preparations were underway to establish a joint research chair in Ghana.
Following the meeting, the delegation toured the facilities speaking to AIMS students. Rochon challenged the students to make good use of the unique opportunity that AIMS offers. He affirmed the conviction of world renowned physicist and AIMS founder Neil Turok that the next Einstein would be from Africa. This vision will see the next generation of scientific discoverers transform Africa and the world.
About AIMS and the Next Einstein Initiative
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a pan-African network of centers of excellence for post graduate education, research and outreach in mathematical sciences. Its 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 was founded in 2003 and has produced 560 graduates to date, about one third of whom are women. The goal of the Next Einstein Initiative is to build 15 centres of excellence across Africa by 2023. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
To learn more: www.nexteinstein.org