CAPE TOWN, South Africa, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) joined African corporations, non-government organisations and various stakeholders in the public and private sector across the world in speaking out against the recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals residing in South Africa.
"On behalf of AIMS, I am deeply shocked and saddened by the recent xenophobic violence against foreign nationals in South Africa." said Professor Neil Turok, Founder of AIMS. "There are deeper socio-economic catalysts that have brought South Africa to this point. A motivating factor for the foundation of AIMS was to address these issues by creating an environment in which Africa's brightest students can become innovators who propel scientific, education and economic self-sufficiency. We must focus on solutions to move Africa forward towards sustainable prosperity and to avoid conflict that leads to irreparable damage such as loss of life."
AIMS expressed its support of the South African Department of Science and Technology's statement, in which Minister Naledi Pandor stated: "Let us also not forget that during their exile from South Africa, due to the denial of access to education opportunities by the apartheid regime, many South African scientists benefited from training and education in other African states."
Six people are reported to have been killed in the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in the past two weeks. The key drivers are poverty, unemployment and poor access to education, leaving migrants and the poorest South Africans competing for scarce jobs to make a menial living.
AIMS' objective is to enable Africa's youth to shape the continent's future through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education. The organisation, which has centres in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon and Tanzania, offers Master's coursework in mathematical sciences and is focused on scientific training, cutting-edge research and public engagement. "At AIMS, we embrace a spirit of pan-Africanism, where students from across Africa work together in a 24-hour live-work environment focused on applied solutions to development and global challenges." said Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS. "In this environment, our students also embrace tolerance, which fosters friendship and collaboration- key elements for individual, national and continental growth."
AIMS has produced 748 mathematical scientists from 42 African countries including 240 women.
SOURCE African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)