Afedzi Abdullah, GNA
Biriwa (C/R), July 03, GNA - Research in Mathematics, Astronomy and Computer Sciences is negligible in Africa despite the fact that they constitute the foundation for socio-economic development.
Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Education (UEW), Winneba, who made the observation said publications in such areas were also very low in Africa.
He was speaking at the fifth graduation ceremony of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS Ghana) where 47 students made up of 18 females and 29 males drawn from 19 African countries graduated with master’s degrees in Mathematical Science.
Seven of them received Professor Allotey Meritorious award.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah said Africa was richly endowed with minerals reserve yet the continent was poor because the raw minerals were extracted and processed in other continents, depriving the continent of industries and jobs.
He, therefore, challenged African Governments to focus more of its efforts and resources on building a strong scientific and mathematical foundation to rise above such challenges.
He said Africa could not boost of a critical mass of skilled labour due to high dropouts in the education system, adding that, ‘only about a third of children in Africa were in secondary school and just one in ten had access to tertiary education’.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah indicated that Africa could not afford to waste any time and that it was imperative to step up its efforts to catch up with the rest of the world.
According to him, a recent report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) indicated that poverty in the Sub-Saharan Africa could be reduced by two thirds if all adults completed secondary education.
He charged the graduates to use the mathematical sciences skills and knowledge acquired to influence trends in research and innovation to transform the continent.
“You cannot fail the generation to come after you. As highly trained mathematical sciences graduates, one of your greatest interests should be to demystify mathematics to both young and old,” he advised.
Professor Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey, President of AIMS-Ghana, said the body has trained 201mathematical science students made up of 134 males and 67 females from 19 countries in Africa since 2013.
He said about 70 per cent of graduates from AIMS were pursuing further studies in prestigious universities across the World in mathematics related subjects, while 60 per cent of them were contributing to scientific teaching, research and industry development.
He said the AIMS Ghana Research Centre presented a unique platform to help compound mathematical skills shortage in the academia and the private sector and offered opportunity for Ghana to bring Africa to the forefront of science and innovation.
Prof Allotey said AIMS Ghana in partnership with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) with funding from the German Academic Services launched the AIMS ESMT Industry Immersion Programme as part of its industry initiative.
The programme, he said, aimed at strengthening the employability of mathematically excellent university graduates and provide hands-on supplementary curriculum to those who sought a career in industry.
He expressed appreciation to the Canadian Government and the Government of Ghana for the continual support and called on others to come to the aid of the academic institution to admit more mathematical science students.
In their Valedictory address, the overall best graduating students, Mr Enayon Sunday Tiawo and Ms Mildred Aduamoah, urged their colleagues to endeavour to contribute to the development of Africa and not expect to be successful overnight.