The African institute for mathematical Sciences Rwanda Centre graduated its first ever cohort of students at a graduation ceremony held at the AIMS center in Kigali, Rwanda on 22nd June  2017

Forty-four students from 10 African countries, namely; Cameroon, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Sudan, Burundi, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania received their Master’s of Science in Mathematical Sciences from AIMS Rwanda. Eighteen students are Rwandan, and 15 of the graduates are female; keeping in line with the institute’s initiative to ensure a third of students are female as it aims to attract more African girls in the STEM related fields through the AIMS women in STEM program.

The permanent secretary in the ministry of education, Sam Mulindwa, attended the ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Education, his Excellency Dr Papias Musafiri. The permanent secretary encouraged the graduates to use the opportunity as a stepping-stone to help them propel the continent to greater heights: “this is a great time for you to use the education acquired to help solve our continent’s challenges. Go out there and launch into the deep,” he said.

The AIMS President and CEO, Thierry Zomahoun, congratulated the class of 2017 on their achievement noting that graduating as the first ever cohort shows the determination of AIMS in ensuring that Africa’s brightest students are propelled to reach their ultimate potential. This is in line with AIMS’ mission of enabling the creation of an environment that helps Africa’s greatest young minds become problem solvers as the continent seeks to attain self-sufficiency. “ I don’t see you as graduates, I see you as problem solvers”- he said.

Nanna Adam Salamutu, a female graduate from Ghana, was awarded the Thierry Zomahoun Fellowship program. This Program was established to enable promising young Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds access to cutting-edge science education and research.

The day’s keynote speaker was Professor Thomas Kigabo, the chief economist of the National Bank of Rwanda. Professor Kigabo underscored the importance of mathematical sciences to our everyday lives and urged the students to use the skills garnered to solve real world issues: “Mathematics is in our everyday lives, it’s part of everything that we do, please take this education out of class into the real world, “he noted.