In search of development in Africa through science and research development, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, AIMS has trained over 300 Nigerians out of the 2,500 of its alumni.
Speaking with the media in Lagos during their premiere movie, titled: “Wajenzi” – a science in Africa documentary, the Senior Outreach Manager, Sampson Kofi Adotey said AIMS was founded in 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa and thereafter scaled into Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Cameroon. Despite not having a centre in Nigeria, we have been privileged to trained more than 300 graduates out of over 2,500 AIMS alumni
According to him, AIMS is on a mission to raise a critical mass of skilled mathematicians who are passionate about Africa and interested in applying their problem solving skills acquired from AIMS to the challenges in their communities, countries and on the African continent. The idea behind the investment is that alumni and people who have gone through our programme will become leaders within their communities, country and continent, as we continue to make ground breaking scientific discoveries and great change.
Rating Africa on science development, Sampson said, “Despite the slow progress, Africa has to be competitive in the way we engage in the knowledge economy, and we must continue to make efforts on this area. For instance, if you look at the inventions that came out of Africa during Covid-19, one will realize we are still lacking behind. Hence, we must advance and prioritise investment in science, research and development to prepare or position ourselves for the fourth industrial evolution. When we talk about science, there is perception that science is disconnected from development, but if you look at it critically science is the foundation of development.”
Continuing, he said that for we to be able to develop, we need to prioritise science and invest in research and development, and not just that but invest in scientific research and also taking that research from the lab to the market. “When you take ideas to the market, what you are essentially doing is building companies, providing employment and solving problems. That is one of the ways Africa can develop fast”.
Sampson said further that because of passion of the work they are doing, they are interested to collaborate with different stakeholders in order widen the scope of their operation. “In Nigeria, we have partnered with a couple of universities that give us students, and because of the special nature of our training, we source our students every year from different universities. But in terms of running the organisation, we are very grateful to receive funding from a number of country governments like Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal and Cameroon. Beyond that we have also received funding from Google, Facebook, IDRC, and MasterCard Foundation among others”.
“As a non profit organisation, we kindly provide scholarship to everyone who comes to AIMS.
In addition, Dr. Oluwasegun M. Ibrahim, AIMS Rwanda 2017, is a Phd in Applied Mathematics with research interest in Mathematics of crime. “Essentially I build and test model to understand the dynamics of criminal gangs in Nigeria.
AIMS is a very wonderful programme I would recommend for all African youths who are aspiring to solve African problems. There you learn a lot and have have the opportunity to learn other African cultures, tradition and interact with other African students.
In the same vein, Ebimoboere Claudius – an alumna of AIMS Ghana (2018) said “AIMS is a network of Pan African Centres of Excellence in Mathematical Sciences where we have five centres, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Rwanda and Cameroon. These centres provide post graduate master level education for people with quantitative background in mathematical sciences.
So, I attended AIMS centre in Ghana in 2017/2018 academic year. I have masters degree in Mathematical sciences, AIMS in Ghana, so I’m an alumna of AIMS, Ghana. It is a wonderful programme that I would advise anybody with quantitative science background to go for”.