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article imageCanada is supporting science research in Rwanda

By Tim Sandle     Mar 31, 2017 in Science
Toronto - April 7 marks the United Nations Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Rwanda, which makes the news that Canada is investing heavily into science, engineering and mathematics research in the country very timely.
Canada is helping to transform Kigali and Rwanda into Africa’s science and technology hub. As part of the developments, and to mark April’s Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Rwanda, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences will be opening of its newest center for excellence, focused on education and research.
The main project, the launching of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Rwanda, will occur on April 3, 2017. This will be an extension of the network that exists in other parts of the continent. The aim of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is to promote scientific innovation, learning and research. The launch is at the Kigali Convention Centre. The launch event will include addresses from Neil Turok, who is Canada’s foremost physicist and Director Perimeter Insitute for Theoretical Physics, together with Thierry Zomahoun, President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Zomahoun lived in Canada for many years, a situation that helped to cement the relationship between Rwanda and Canada.
The launch would not have been possible without Canadian investments. This began in 2010 with $20 million and this was followed by a further $30 million in 2016. As well as government donations, Toronto-based MasterCard Foundation also donated $25 million.
As well as backing research, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences also places an emphasis upon education. This includes ensuring there is gender equality. Across Africa, 30 percent of graduates of the education program have been women. With the new launch attention will be paid to the young, including details about a new initiative called the “Pan-African Ecosystem of Transformation”, which will be run as a model for educating youth. Academic partners to help see this through include the Universities of Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo, British Columbia, Simon Fraser, Moncton and Victoria.
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and the support from Canada’s government and education institutions shows how foreign aid can be put to good use in terms of building skills and infrastructure to help move a less-developed country (and in this case, one still recovery from the ravages of war) forwards.
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