Scholarships for young African mathematicians


By Godfrey Olukya 28-3-2016

World-renowned cosmologist has donated Tate International Physics
Leadership Prize to scholarship for young Africans mathematicians and

The 2016 winner of the American Institute of Physics’ John Torrence
Tate Award for International Leadership in Physics, Prof. Neil Turok,
announced that he is donating the monetary portion of the award, a USD
10,000 cash prize, to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

According to a statement relaesed by AIMIS,the donation will be used
to initiate the Thierry Zomahoun Scholarship at AIMS, which will be
awarded upon graduation to an African student currently taking the
AIMS Masters at one of AIMS five centres of excellence. Thierry
Zomahoun has served as President and CEO of the AIMS organisation for
the past five years.

“I would like this scholarship to encourage students who come from
disadvantaged backgrounds, overcome huge obstacles in their personal
development, and show outstanding commitment to creating a better
future for others,” said Turok. “Thierry was a street kid who gained
three Masters degrees and became an incredible manager and development
leader. Africa needs more Thierrys!”

“I can think of no better way to pay tribute to this honour, and to
John Torrance Tate (who established the world’s top physics journal),
than to support an AIMS scholarship in Thierry’s name. I hope this
will encourage other donors to follow suit.”

Turok, who is the Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical
Physics and the founder of AIMS, is one of the world’s most renowned
physicists. The donation is a token of esteem for the outstanding
leadership Zomahoun has exhibited during his five years at AIMS,
driving the expansion of AIMS from one to five centres, with a sixth
to open in Rwanda in August.

Zomahoun is also the founder and chairman of the Next Einstein Forum
(NEF), an AIMS initiative. The NEF was held in Dakar, Senegal from
March 8 to 10, attracting over 1000 participants including top African
scientists, policy makers and private sector leaders. It was the
largest scientific gathering ever held in Africa.

“This is a great honour,” said Zomahoun. “I am humbled by this
scholarship in my name. We are determined to transform Africa into the
next global hub for science. All forms of scientific endeavour and
especially those that produce tangible results will be encouraged with
the aim being to solve challenges in Africa and around the world.”

Turok’s hope is that the cash prize donation will encourage similar
contributions from public, private and non-governmental sources to
allow more African youth to benefit from top quality training in
mathematical science.


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