The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) (www.NextEinstein.org) and the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) (www.FAWE.org) celebrated on International Women’s Day, a joint partnership for the promotion of girls’ participation in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education across Africa.
This partnership was cemented by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the opening day of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), Africa’s first global forum on science, taking place in Dakar. An initiative of AIMS, the NEF is a platform that brings together leading thinkers in science, policy, industry and civil society in Africa to leverage science to solve global challenges. This MoU will serve as a framework for collaboration between AIMS and FAWE to promote gender equality in STEM education at continental and country level.
“Gender equality and inclusion is of vital importance to our work at AIMS, where 30% of all of our graduates are women. It goes without saying that we believe that women can and will play a key role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals if they are given equal access to a quality education in the STEM fields; they constitute half of our continent’s brain capacity,” said Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS. “Through this exciting partnership with FAWE, we will reach more girls across the continent and create enabling environments for them to study and succeed in STEM education”
The AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 name gender equality as a key requirement for sustainable development. This AIMS-FAWE partnership will increase access and quality of STEM education for girls. Some key areas of collaboration include integrating gender responsive pedagogy in secondary school teacher training in Cameroon, joint outreach activities to encourage girls to develop an interest in mathematics and science, promoting AIMS students as mentors to FAWE beneficiaries and promoting awareness of successful African women in STEM as role models.
“Mathematical sciences is a key driver for Africa’s transformation and yet there are few students studying mathematics and even fewer girls. We are especially excited to work with AIMS to increase exposure to role models and mentors for the girls we work with in the communities and to show them that they too could be Africa’s Next Einstein. This partnership will also inform our advocacy engagement with continental and regional policy institutions on women and girls’ participation in STEM Education.’ said Hendrina Doroba, Executive Director of FAWE.