By Francis Tim Mbom
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, AIMS Cameroon, on Wednesday, June 29, graduated its ninth batch of Master’s Students in Mathematical Sciences for the 2021/2022 academic year.
The 55 students were conferred Master’s Degrees after one year of intensive studies in Structured Master’s in Mathematical Sciences at the AIMS Cameroon Centre in Limbe.
Of the 55 graduands, 26 were females. Seven of the graduands succeeded with a mark of distinction of which four were females. Meantime, of the seven still, six were from Cameroon and one from Kenya with Ms Kevine Meugang Toukam emerging Best.
Ms. Kevine, besides her Degree, went back home that day smiling as her certificate was accompanied by a cash prize of FCFA 300,000 smartphone all offered by CAMTEL authorities. This prize accounted for the Marco Garuti Excellence Award. It was in memory of Prof. Marco Garuti, the former Academic Director of AIMS Cameroon who passed away in 2021.
The second-best student, yet a female and a Cameroonian, Ms Aneva Doliciane Tsafack, also pursed home FCFA 300,000.
All the ten best students, this year, bagged cash prizes ranging from FCFA 150,000 to FCFA 300,000, donated separately by some of AIMS Cameroon partners among them Zenithe Insurance, CAMTEL, FINI Hotel, Spider Security, UBA Bank among others.
The graduation ceremony was presided at by the Secretary-General in the Ministry of Higher Education, Prof. Wilfred Nyongbet Gabsa, who congratulated the graduates for their great achievement.
“It is my joy to be here, the temple of excellence,” Professor Gabsa said. He enjoined the graduads to use the Mathematical skills they have garnered at AIMS Cameroon to solve the problems that they shall meet in their different communities.
AIMS Cameroon, it should be noted, is part of the AIMS Global network const five constituting centres spread across some five African countries – South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal. AIMS’ mission is to train the best African young minds in the field of Mathematical Sciences; to enable them solve problems using Mathematics.
With this drive, the Cameroon Government, in collaboration with the Governments of Canada and Germany alongside the MasterCard Foundation, has highly supported the programme.
Professor Gabsa used the occasion to assure the public the gorvenment has no plans to move AIMS from Limbe to Yaounde. He said the construction of the permanent campus of AIMS was already ongoing in Limbe and, by May 2023, the first phase would have been completed.
The Centre President of AIMS Cameroon, who doubles as the Chief Academic Officer of the AIMS Global Network, Professor Mama Foupouagnigni, thanked the Cameroon Government and all their partners for all the support they have been receiving since the opening of the Limbe Centre in 2013. He noted that, everything being equal, the next graduation of AIMS shall take place at the AIMS campus that is being built at Ngeme, Limbe II Sub-division. Since 2013, AIMS has been operating from a temporary space at Crystal Gardens, Limbe.
The Centre’s President disclosed that AIMS, across all its Centres, has trained 2,800 students from 43 countries. But he said AIMS intends to move from the current yearly intake of 300 students across its centres to 1,000 in the next five years and, later on, to 2,000 in ten years’ time.
This plan, he said, aims to opportune aspiring young African talents in Mathematics to be trained and to become those on whom Africa can rely for solutions to its economic, social and developmental problems. Prof. Foupouagnigni noted that AIMS was focused on encouraging the girl child to engage in the Sciences. He was glad that this approach was bearing fruits, especially because the top two of this year’s 55 graduates were girls. He added that their drive for Cameroon will be to encourage girls, especially from Cameroon’s Northern regions, to join other girls who are being trained in Mathematics.
Present at the graduation ceremony was Professor Godfrey Tangwa, who presented a discourse entitled: “Genuine and Fake African Intellectuals at a Critical Moment of Our History.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buea, Professor Horace Ngomo, who is also the President of the AIMS Cameroon Advisory Board, conducted the graduation ritual.
The graduation ceremony began with a welcome address that was done by the AIMS Cameroon Chief Operating Officer, Mr Honore Bernard Youfegnuy, and another by the Mayor of the Limbe City Council, Mr Paul Efome Ngale.
The AIMS CEO, Ms Lydie Hakizimana, sent in words of congratulations to the students by video link. “Hope you made the best of this opportunity…Now it is time for you to give back to your communities. Congratulations to you all,” she said.