Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (August 4) – The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) have signed an agreement with the government of Tanzania to open the latest AIMS centre of excellence for postgraduate training, research and outreach at a ceremony at the Ministry offices in the capital. Prof. Sifuni Mchome, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT), signed on behalf of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania, while Thierry Zomahoun, President, signed on behalf of AIMS-NEI.
“Tanzania is our fifth centre and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished to date,” says Thierry Zomahoun, President of AIMS-NEI. “AIMS has graduated 731 Africans from 41 nations with advanced degrees in mathematical sciences and more than a third have been women.”
The signatories were joined by a who’s who of the education sector in Tanzania, including, among others, Ms Consolate Mgimba, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of MoEVT; Prof. Eustela Bhalalusesa, Tanzania Commissioner for Education; Prof. Sylvia Shayo Temu, Director of Higher Education, MoEVT; Prof. Yunus Mgaya, Vice Chancellor, Planning and Administration, University of Dar es Salaam; Prof. Mohamed Bakari, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Planning, Finance and Administration, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences; representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Communication Science & Technology, and Natural Resources and Tourism and Prof. Barry Green, Chair of the AIMS Global Academic Advisory Council.
The new AIMS centre is scheduled to open in October of 2014 in the city of Arusha in the northern region of the country. The permanent campus will reside at the historical Old Boma in Bagamoyo and is set to open in September 2015 after extensive renovations have been completed.
The arrangement was finalised following a meeting of top officials from the Tanzanian government and AIMS-NEI representatives in Toronto, Canada at the International Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health earlier on May 30 of this year. Tanzania’s President co-chaired the summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“We are pleased to bring our model to Tanzania. We bring together top global scholars in math and science to teach and research with Africa’s brightest students,” says Zomahoun.
“Our graduates then use these skills to tackle African development issues ranging from disease prevention to environmental degradation, education and poverty. AIMS graduates have a broad-based training and are talented problem solvers and innovators, which is just what this continent needs.”
The expansion is timely as economies in Africa have been experiencing phenomenal growth in the first decade of this century. Many countries have seen economic growth rates greater than 4 per cent and these high growth rates are predicted to continue until 2015. Tanzania has emerged as an economic leader in the Eastern region, with a $31.9 billion (USD) economy that grew 7.0 per cent in 2013.
Tanzania’s economy is projected to grow by 7.2 per cent to $34.9 billion (USD) in 2014. As a result, the demand is exploding for a generation of youth that can apply science and math to ensure rapid and stable social, economic and political development. According Prof. Mchome, Tanzania is to become a knowledge driven economy by 2025 and sees AIMS’ newest centre of excellence in Tanzania as a saviour at the right time. “Mathematics learning at Secondary and Primary level need to improve and with AIMS coming to Tanzania we are pleased. The vision of President Kikwete is to accelerate the development of Tanzania through the use of Science and Technology. This vision is alive.”