Research has indicated that investment in University education in Africa may well be the fastest route to technological and sustainable socio-economic development, Professor Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey, President of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences has said.
He said although nearly one million students graduate from African Universities annually, high level training was generally unavailable, particularly in the mathematical, scientific and technical fields.
Prof Allotey said this at the launch of the African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS-Ghana) in Accra at the weekend.
The AIMS programme offers a one intensive masters degree to African graduates across the continent in mathematical science.
The course also provides a broad cutting-edge science and strong mathematical and computing research skills to the graduates.
Prof Allotey, who is the Founder of AIMS-Ghana, said the programme was a unique model which had its Pan-African focus, broad curriculum and centered on independent critical thinking, inclusion of modern computational techniques, research and outreach components.
He said the AIMS Students benefit from full bursary support, continuous access to computing, internet and close interaction with full – time tutors and professors.
“AIMS-Ghana does not award its own degrees but is affiliated to University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and University of Cape Coast,” he explained.
He said the late president John Atta Mills was a strong supporter of the programme and had promised that as counterpart funding, government would pay half of the cost of $1.5 million for the construction of a permanent building at Saltpond.
Prof Allotey announced that the programme had been a beneficiary of five million Canadian dollars grant from the Canadian Government through the Prime Minister, Mr Steven Harper.
He said Canadian Universities and technology company research in motion, the makers of blackberry mobile telephones, had provided $750,000 in scholarship funding for AIMS-Ghana students.
Mr Thierry Zomahoun, Executive Director of the AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative, called on the graduates to aim high, remain focused to shape the growth and development of the continent.
The programme which is to commence on August 27, this year, has over 100 applicants from 22 African countries but has to select only 27 students from 13 countries including Ghana, Benin, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia and Togo, ready to unearth their talents to solve Africa’s problems.