The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is a Pan African Network of Centres of Excellence that offers quality postgraduate education, research innovation and public engagement for the advancement of STEM in Africa’s transformation journey.
Given Rwanda’s commitment to developing a knowledge-based economy, setting up an AIMS centre was an inevitable reward. Rwanda has invested a lot in this direction by laying fibre optics across the width of the country to enable the citizens to utilise state of the art technology in their quest to achieve a knowledge-based economy.
Still on education, the government’s commitment has seen the country attracting some of the world’s best institutions like US based Carnegie Mellon University among others who all want to be a part of the country’s success story. Rwanda epitomises a continent on the move and anyone with some momentum would love to set base in Rwanda.
AIMS is therefore another forward looking institution that is determined to work together with Rwanda in ensuring that Africa as a continent is not left behind as far as the specialty of Mathematical Sciences is concerned.
On April 3, 2017 the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) launched its Rwandan campus that will also serve as its headquarters, at a colourful ceremony held at the Kigali Convention Centre. The event was graced by the president of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame.
A year ago the Rwandan Government signed a partnership agreement with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) which culminated in the setting up of the centre here in Kigali. The aim here is to build Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) expertise in Rwanda in particular and Africa in general.
By having an AIMS centre, it means that Rwanda can now have access to some of the world’s best scientists including Nobel Prize winners and other distinguished academics who regularly visit to teach at AIMS Rwanda. The centre is also home to some of Africa’s brightest young brains who are ready to take on the mantle of transforming this continent by providing solutions to the problems that we face as Africans.
“We have to move ‘beyond potential’ and create a workforce that will lead this real transformation for Africa. It will only be done through innovative scientific training, technical advances and breakthrough discoveries. And there is not going to be a short cut,” Kagame said.
Young Africans trained in African will be best placed to remain cognizant of the challenges the continent faces and the urgency required in finding solutions to them. This is why the decision by AIMS to set up in Rwanda is timely, this being a nation rising from a tragedy and embarking on a steady path to development with so many lessons to offer and share with the rest of the continent and the world in general.
“To achieve this, we are collaborating to develop an ecosystem of pan-African institutions with a transformative agenda. As part of the ecosystem of transformation, the Next Einstein Forum continues to catalyse action, to translate these scientific advances into human benefit, and to showcase the progress that Africa is making in science,” Kagame said.
At the launch, it was also revealed that the second edition of the Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering will take place in Kigali in March 2018 with focus on establishing a clear roadmap on how Africa intends to transform by leveraging science, technology and innovation.
Neil Turok, the founder of the institution said, in its operations, AIMS would strive to attract top talent and skills into the country and beyond in order to achieve its desired objectives.
The institution has so far established partnerships with 15 African universities and graduated over 1200 students from 42 countries since its inception in 2003.
Rwanda joins five other African countries where AIMS is operational, including South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Tanzania. The first AIMS centre of excellence was opened in Cape Town, South Africa, founded by Professor Neil Turok in 2003.