AfDB, AIMS to Explore Partnerships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

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Neil Turok, AIMS Board Chair; Akinwumi Adesina AfDB President; and Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President & CEO

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a Letter of Intent with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) aimed at finding opportunities for potential partnership between the two institutions. According to a release from AfDB, the organizations will specifically explore ways of strengthening education and research in the mathematical sciences across Africa.

The AfDB and the AIMS said the letter signifies intention for collaboration, that will afford opportunities to leverage resources to develop and strengthen advanced science, technology, and innovation skills, as well as the knowledge required to drive the modern economy in Africa. Jennifer Blanke, the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, joined Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President, and CEO, as signatories of the Letter of Intent.

Blanke said mathematics and science play a critical role in the promotion of human development and innovation in Africa. “What we are really excited about, in all areas that we are working, is that it is about developing African solutions to African challenges. We are very excited to be doing this, and doing this with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences,” she said.

The AfDB and the AIMS said a possible outcome leading from the letter could be the establishment of an AfDB-AIMS Partnership Program to build expertise in mathematical sciences across Africa. The Partnership Program would be tasked with scaling up a strong, young African community of world-class scientists and technologists. AIMS has said it wants to be the MIT of Africa, referring to the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

Established in September 2003 as an AU-NEPAD intervention in the strengthening of mathematical sciences capacity on the continent, the AIMS is a pan-African network of centers of excellence enabling Africa’s talented students to become innovators driving the continent’s scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.

“As we talk about Africa’s transformation – this is such a passion that drives AIMS, this is what I personally believe in – that nothing is possible without the people,” said AIMS CEO and President, Thierry Zomahoun.

The Letter of Intent was signed on the sidelines of the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings in Busan, Korea.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

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