UNESCO approval of AIMS as a Category II Institute : Centre of Excellence

The Executive Board of UNESCO, on Friday 13 October, 2017, approved the hosting in Ghana of a Centre of Excellence in mathematics and allied sciences under the auspices of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana (AIMS GHANA).

AIMS is a pan-African network of centres of excellence for postgraduate training, research and public engagement in mathematical sciences. The work of AIMS is to harness Africa’s brightest young minds to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa’s future, particularly, in the STEM fields.

The new Centre of excellence to be hosted in Ghana, is a direct response of the present government’s efforts to scale up science and mathematics education for socio-economic transformation in the country. The Minister for Education, and Ghana’s Representative on the UNESCO Executive Board, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, led this historic move, which is expected to transform mathematics and science education in Ghana.

With the coming into effect of the Centre’s operations, AIMS Ghana will be embedded in UNESCO’s network of Category II institutes and centres which are formal arrangements approved by the General Conference of UNESCO. AIMS Ghana will take part in UNESCO’s activities in the Basic Sciences, STEM Education and Research. The Centre will also closely cooperate with UNESCO, in particular, the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) in developing mathematical sciences; STEM education and research resources activities, as well as support to teacher training, thereby contributing to UNESCO’s actions towards building national, regional and international capacities in science, in line with its Global Priority Africa Programme. The Centre will further contribute to Ghana’s efforts to achieve SDGs 1, 4, 5 and 9 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

AIMS Ghana will seek to build partnerships and collaborations with relevant UNESCO partners, among these, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the network of UNESCO Chairs and Category II institutes and centres in the basic engineering sciences and science education, and other specialized institutions and networks of excellence. The institute will cooperate with higher education institutions, scientific establishments, and public and private institutions for the successful realization of its mission.

AIMS Ghana’s cooperation with UNESCO will foster the development of activities in STEM education and research areas, including science teaching materials and in contributing to the work of UNESCO in promoting science learning and teaching at national, subregional and regional levels. The overarching aim is to reduce the deficit in schooling in the mathematical sciences and to foster the blossoming of talented young African scientists.

Among the delegation to UNESCO that spearheaded this significant achievement is one of Africa’s renowned scientist and mathematical physicist, Prof. F. K. A. Allotey, President of AIMS Ghana; Prof. Edward S. Ayensu, Chairman of AIMS Ghana Board of Trustees; and H.E. Anna Bossman, Ghana’s Ambassador to France, Portugal and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.