AIMS, ADEA partner to strengthen inclusive STEAM higher education in Africa

Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda_ Executive Secretary of ADEA and Mr Thierry Zomahoun_ President and CEO of AIMS at the signing of the MoU in Addis Ababa
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) Monday announced the beginning of a partnership for the promotion of appropriate education sector policies that support Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). This partnership was cemented with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the margins of the African Union (AU) Specialized Technician Committee on Education, Science and Technology being held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and in presence of Hon Professor Mary Teuw Niane of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Republic of Senegal. Partner representatives from AAU, AfDB, Commonwealth Secretariat, Education International, FAWE, UNESCO and UNESCO-IICBA were also in attendance. This partnership constitutes a framework for strengthening collaboration between the two organizations, to better fulfill their missions at country and regional levels.

In a globalizing world, education models and their ability to produce innovators and leaders across all sectors is a critical imperative. For Africa in particular, the question is closely linked to the continent's ability to develop inclusively. The AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 name education, particularly in STEAM, as a key catalyst for sustainable development. This AIMS-ADEA partnership will support African countries in areas that include policy development and implementation of the integration of STEAM into teacher training and learning programs, skills development, public engagement, and research and innovation with the goal of transforming Africa through applied skills relevant for the continent's labour market and research developmental needs.

"Education training, research and innovation are key factors that will propel Africa's transformation. The collaboration between AIMS and ADEA will address policy issues with a focus on the Ministries of Education, Gender and other relevant ministries, to promote the integration of STEAM into the respective policy initiatives. We are especially determined to create an enabling environment that will encourage the engagement of women and girls", said Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda, Executive Secretary of ADEA. Some specific areas of collaboration will include working with the ADEA Inter-Country Quality Node on Mathematics and Science Education (ICQN-MSE) for the purpose of providing strategy level support to relevant Ministries in Africa in leveraging inclusive higher education and STEAM.

"AIMS looks forward to working with ADEA in close collaboration to ensure the implementation of this partnership which we believe will lead to a climate for increased investment in science and innovation in Africa. We expect strong development outcomes that will impact higher education in Africa while contributing tangibly to SDGs. We are also happy to announce that ADEA will join the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), Africa's global forum for science, as a member," said Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS.

The NEF, an AIMS initiative in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, is a platform that will bring together leading thinkers in science, policy, industry and civil society in Africa to leverage science to solve global challenges. The first NEF Global Gathering will be held in Dakar, Senegal on 8th -10th March 2016 under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal.

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