April 13, 2023

The inside story of AIMS Rwanda

Known as the country with a thousand hills, Rwanda and its capital Kigali is gradually becoming a household name for tourism globally. Its vibrant culture, great rift valley, epic scenery and canopy walks make it a one-stop shop for everything tourism in addition to incredible history. Stamping its name on worldwide sports like football and sponsoring clubs like Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the country is absolutely up to something that will change the world’s perception of Africa. The Kigali Convention Centre now hosts significant global events, including the just-ended 73rd FIFA Congress Meeting from 13th to 17th March 2023. It is remarkable that Rwanda also provides an enabling atmosphere for education and training, hosting the Secretariat of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).

AIMS was established in 2003 by Prof. Neil Turok, a South African Theoretical Physicist (currently the Higgs Chair of Theoretical Physics at Edinburg University) who was challenged by his father to impact the world beyond his research papers and publications. With the help of his friend Prof. Francis Allotey (the late) and a few others, he founded the institute to provide excellent academic experience in the field of Mathematical Sciences to Africa’s brightest but needy students. In 2008, Prof. Turok was awarded the TED Prize for his work and for the establishment of AIMS. This Prize led to the expansion of AIMS beyond the shores of South Africa. By 2015, AIMS had established Centres of Excellence in Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Tanzania.

AIMS Rwanda was established in 2016 with the support of the Rwandan government through its Ministry of Education. The Centre is contributing immensely to global knowledge through the outputs of its research centre. The Centre runs a 10-month structured master’s program in Mathematical Sciences with particular attention to its application in Climate Change Science. It also holds a Research Centre with Chairs focusing on areas including Data Science, Climate Change Science, Epidemiology, etc. The Quantum Leap Africa (QLA) – a unique research base for a high-level interdisciplinary research program focused on data science, engineering, intelligent systems and quantum science, created to place Africa on the leading edge of Quantum Science and technologies of the future, is also attached to the Centre.

AIMS Rwanda, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, also runs an important program called the Teacher Training Program (TTP). The TTP program has trained over 4,900 teachers in different pedagogical methods and practical science skills over the years.

It has also trained and certified 3,563 teachers with International Computer Driving Licenses (ICDL). The program has established 14 smart classrooms in various country districts and has selected 12 students from partner high schools to represent Rwanda in the 2023 Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) – which is being hosted at AIMS Rwanda. The Centre also hosts numerous international and local seminars, colloquiums and training schools. In December 2022, AIMS Rwanda launched the Kigali City Framework for Noise and Air Quality Monitoring Campaign, directly impacting the country that hosts it. The AIMS Secretariat, the Administrative Headquarters for all AIMS Centres and Chapters, was moved to Rwanda from South Africa in 2016.

On Wednesday, 12th April 2023, the founder of AIMS, Prof. Neil Turok, paid another courtesy visit to the Centre and gave another impressive presentation on his latest research in cosmology on the topic: The History of the Universe. He also used the platform to sync up on all the Centre’s activities and connect with students from the other Centres of Excellence. Just as Prof. Neil Turok has done, the next time you yield to the call to Visit Rwanda, do make it a desire to VISIT AIMS RWANDA.

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