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African Institutes of Science & Technology Wole Soboyejo Princeton Institute of Science and Technology of Materials Department of Mechanical & Aerospace.

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Presentation on theme: "African Institutes of Science & Technology Wole Soboyejo Princeton Institute of Science and Technology of Materials Department of Mechanical & Aerospace."— Presentation transcript:

1 African Institutes of Science & Technology Wole Soboyejo Princeton Institute of Science and Technology of Materials Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Princeton University

2 2 The Historical Context of S&T in Africa With the exception of Africa it has long been recognized that world class science and technology are the true engines of economic growth and development (value addition to people & natural resources) e.g. IIT, MIT This has been achieved in Europe, North America, Australia and most recently Asia….. However, in contrast Sub-Saharan Africa has 83 scientists and engineers per million people compared to about 1000 in the developed world So why not Africa? and How?

3 3 The AISTs: From Concept to Reality… The idea of the AIST emerged from a conversation between Jim Wolfensohn and Nelson Mandela….. Nelson responded by suggesting a coordinated effort in African Science and technology World bank concept paper developed in 2002 Support of all African Heads of State in 2005 ISAB and ASC formed in 2005 (Academic) AIST launch in Abuja, Nigeria, in January 2006 AIST-Burkina and AIST-Arusha plans emerge First intake of students at AIST-Abuja in

4 4 AISTs Vision and Philosophy AIST Vision …. to foster sub-Saharan Africas economic growth and development through the promotion of excellence in science and engineering and their applications….with the view to complement and strengthen national institutions and network with existing institutions/groups AIST Philosophy and Approach - …Pan-African institution with a focus on African problems e.g. water, food, infrastructure, environment and value addition Dedication to excellence in learning, teaching, and research (bring down barriers and remove silos) Emphasize cross-disciplinary approaches to understanding issues and solving problems Be independent, merit-based and sustainable (endowment model is the long term goal)

5 5 The AIST Flower Model The original model was to establish 4 independent AIST campuses in Sub-Saharan Africa However, it soon became clear that strong connections were needed with existing institutions and the AIST campuses to promote synergy (win- win) Hence a new model of the AISTs has emerged with the AISTs as Regional nodes of excellence that connect to existing universities and institutions World class environments that provide shared resources for research, digital libraries & education Catalysts for the development of a critical mass of highly skilled future leaders Centers of excellence that can create new industry while being linked to local/global industry and innovation hubs

6 6 Nigeria Center for offshore petroleum engineering (G2i) Nigeria AIST campus in Abuja South Africa Center for applied mathematics (partnering with the existing African Institute for Mathematical Sciences) Tanzania AIST campus in Arusha Burkina Faso Center for water and environmental engineering The Pan-African AIST Flower Model

7 7 Towards an Integrated African Research and Education Agenda The AISTs will build on existing African networks and African/international initiatives They will integrate existing African networks & international initiatives in a synergistic way Modeling & ICT – AMMSI + AIMS + HPC (Ogana, Turok, Reddy) Earth sciences and petroleum engineering – AESEDA (Adewumi, Osseo-Asare) African materials network + USAMI + NNI (Tesha, Soboyejo, Adewoye, Beye, Marei, Zimba, Gudyanga, Buschweishaija etc) African Laser Center – (Beye, Fasasi) Water engineering - EIER-ETSHER (Ginies, Maiga, Egeibor) CODESRIA – Social sciences network

8 8 Strategy For Research and Innovation Integrate the activities of emerging research networks into systems-based interdisciplinary framework with a focus on African problems and global opportunities Manage funding that engages AIST nodes and collaborating institutions in integrated R&D and innovation with global partners Provide funding for Visiting and Permanent Faculty and Students to work in focus areas Visiting fellows, post-docs, graduate students from other African universities and institutes Visitors from the international community beyond Africa and exchange visits from AIST+partners Core faculty and staff will coordinate interdisciplinary programs from ideas to markets

9 9 Systems-Based Interdisciplinary R&D By Visiting and Permanent Faculty/Students Nanotechnology and The New Frontiers Targeting of disease Agriculture Water purification Energy Telecommunications Societal Development Affordable infrastructure e.g. recycling of agricultural & industrial waste Value addition to minerals and natural products (Africas silicon)

10 10 Strategy for Implementation Work with the government, industry, development partners (The World Bank/African Development Bank) to develop the initial campuses/centers in Abuja, Arusha and Burkina Faso Ensure that the first campus and centers of excellence are independent, financially viable, and sustainable Focus relentlessly on the key ingredients for success: Academic freedom and the pursuit of excellence A rigorous and independent student admissions process Attraction of world-class faculty and leadership Strong linkages to industry

11 11 Proposed Initial Programs at AIST-Abuja Focus initially on graduate programs + post-doctoral research/visiting professorships (start small and grow carefully…) Design programs that allow the best professors from Africa and the diaspora to come to teach without leaving their jobs + few key permanent staff Create an environment that works for everyone Initiate interdisciplinary research and education with concentrations in Petroleum and gas engineering ICT and applied mathematics Materials Biotechnology Water and environmental engineering

12 12 A Hybrid Approach to Education The students will combine their majors with a Diploma of The AIST Students will take courses in areas that will give them a balanced preparation for life The proposed areas include Ethics and philosophy Management, economics and finance Language and culture Intellectual property and public policy Global technology and development

13 13 Where We Are With The Academic Program? The first few faculty are being recruited for these programs (about identified so far for AIST-Abuja) The curriculum has been developed (Prof. Nosa Egeibor) Petroleum and gas engineering Water and environmental engineering Mathematics and ICT Materials Programs and concepts being developed for Biotechnology (Prof. Haile Debas) Management & public policy (Prof. Lamine Sagne)

14 14 Governance and Organization Nelson Mandela Institution Board of Directors AIST-Abuja Board of Trustees AIST-Abuja President International Scientific Advisory Board AIST-#2 Board of Trustees AIST-#4 Board of Trustees … African Scientific Committee AIST-Abuja Provost AIST-Abuja CFO AIST-Abuja VP (Admin.) AIST-Abuja VP (Students) Deans of Schools Reporting lines Lines of advice AIST Board f Directors

15 15 Academic Quality Control and Advice – International Scientific Advisory Board The scientific advisory board (9 members) Prof. Phillip Griffiths (IAS, chair) Prof. Mohamed Hassan (AAS & TWAS) Prof. C. N. R. Rao (TWAS & J. Nehru Center) Prof. Jacob Palis (Inst. of Appl. & Pure Math.) Prof. Anthony Cheetham (Int. Cent. Mater.,UCSB) Prof. Hans Wigzell (Scientific Adviser, Swedish Govt.) Prof. Ashok Misra (IIT, Bombay) Prof. Yongxiang Lu (Chinese Academy of Sciences) Prof. Wole Soboyejo (ASC, Princeton University)

16 16 Academic Vision and Implementation - The African Scientific Committee The African Scientific Committee (ASC) consists of 2 groups Members based in Africa Members based in the diaspora 32 fields are represented – with each field having at least 2 experts (1 in Africa and 1 in the diaspora) The fields range from the social sciences/humanities to natural/applied sciences and engineering Chair – Wole Soboyejo Secretary – Arlen Hastings (ISAB/ASC)

17 17 Ongoing Implementation Activities Short courses & International Workshops in 2007/2008 US/Africa Workshop on Frontiers in Materials Research and Education – Adewoye and Soboyejo Water and environmental engineering Petroleum and gas ICT and modeling Biotechnology Research plans and first rate infrastructure being developed for initial programs First class at AIST Abuja will begin in September small graduate class of 50 students AIST Tanzania and Burkina to follow soon afterwards – land is already allocated and plans are being developed Prof. Burton Mwamilla (AIST-Arusha) Prof. Amadou Maiga (AIST-Burkina)

18 18 Links to Industry The AISTs are being linked to industry to ensure: Curriculum is relevant to employers e.g. oil & gas, IT etc Funding and scholarship opportunities are maximized Students have meaningful internship and work opportunities Industry and government leaders can inspire the future generation These linkages will occur through: Industry practitioners sitting on boards and oversight committees Faculty incentives to develop/maintain industry connections for funding of scholarships, research, labs, classrooms A careers office for summer internship and work placement Guest lectureships and adjunct faculty programs for industry and government leaders Linkages to innovation hubs e.g. Abuja Technology Village Can envision Silicon Valleys e.g. Arusha linked to AISTs

19 19 Summary and Concluding Remarks This talk presents a summary of the AIST vision a catalyst that will stimulate the development of a critical mass of highly skilled S&T workforce undergraduate/graduate education + research/innovation linked to entrepreneurship & industry The AISTs will work closely with the existing universities and the international community to provide an enabling environment for R&D + innovation in Africa We appreciate your support and we welcome your involvement in this initiative….


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