Presentation on theme: "African Institutes of Science & Technology"— Presentation transcript:
1 African Institutes of Science & Technology Wole SoboyejoPrinceton Institute of Science and Technology of MaterialsDepartment of Mechanical & Aerospace EngineeringPrinceton University
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, MITThis 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 worldSo why not Africa? and How?
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 technologyWorld bank concept paper developed in 2002Support of all African Heads of State in 2005ISAB and ASC formed in 2005 (Academic)AIST launch in Abuja, Nigeria, in January 2006AIST-Burkina and AIST-Arusha plans emergeFirst intake of students at AIST-Abuja in
4 AIST’s Vision and Philosophy London, UK, March 2006AIST’s Vision and PhilosophyAIST Vision …. to foster sub-Saharan Africa’s 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/groupsAIST Philosophy and Approach - …Pan-African institution with a focus on African problems e.g. water, food, infrastructure, environment and value additionDedication to excellence in learning, teaching, and research (bring down barriers and remove silos)Emphasize cross-disciplinary approaches to understanding issues and solving problemsBe independent, merit-based and sustainable (endowment model is the long term goal)
5 The AIST Flower ModelThe original model was to establish 4 independent AIST campuses in Sub-Saharan AfricaHowever, 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 asRegional nodes of excellence that connect to existing universities and institutionsWorld class environments that provide shared resources for research, digital libraries & educationCatalysts for the development of a critical mass of highly skilled future leadersCenters of excellence that can create new industry while being linked to local/global industry and innovation hubs
6 The Pan-African AIST Flower Model London, UK, March 2006The Pan-African AIST Flower ModelBurkina FasoCenter for water and environmental engineeringNigeriaAIST campus in AbujaTanzaniaAIST campus in ArushaPhased development of four regional campus, the first to be established by thefall of 2008 in Abuja, with affiliation to existing institutions within SSA (build onRegional centres of excellence).Comparable institutions include IIT, MIT, Cambridge, Stanford, etc…NigeriaCenter for offshore petroleum engineering (G2i)South AfricaCenter for applied mathematics (partnering with the existing African Institute for Mathematical Sciences)
7 Towards an Integrated African Research and Education Agenda The AISTs will build on existing African networks and African/international initiativesThey will integrate existing African networks & international initiatives in a synergistic wayModeling & 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 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 opportunitiesManage funding that engages AIST nodes and collaborating institutions in integrated R&D and innovation with global partnersProvide funding for Visiting and Permanent Faculty and Students to work in focus areasVisiting fellows, post-docs, graduate students from other African universities and institutesVisitors from the international community beyond Africa and exchange visits from AIST+partnersCore faculty and staff will coordinate interdisciplinary programs from ideas to markets
9 Systems-Based Interdisciplinary R&D By Visiting and Permanent Faculty/Students Nanotechnology and The New FrontiersTargeting of diseaseAgricultureWater purificationEnergyTelecommunicationsSocietal DevelopmentAffordable infrastructure e.g. recycling of agricultural & industrial wasteValue addition to minerals and natural products (Africa’s silicon)
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 FasoEnsure that the first campus and centers of excellence are independent, financially viable, and sustainableFocus relentlessly on the key ingredients for success:Academic freedom and the pursuit of excellenceA rigorous and independent student admissions processAttraction of world-class faculty and leadershipStrong linkages to industry
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 staffCreate an environment that works for everyoneInitiate interdisciplinary research and education with concentrations inPetroleum and gas engineeringICT and applied mathematicsMaterialsBiotechnologyWater and environmental engineering
12 A Hybrid Approach to Education The students will combine their majors with a Diploma of The AISTStudents will take courses in areas that will give them a balanced preparation for lifeThe proposed areas includeEthics and philosophyManagement, economics and financeLanguage and cultureIntellectual property and public policyGlobal technology and development
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 engineeringWater and environmental engineeringMathematics and ICTMaterialsPrograms and concepts being developed forBiotechnology (Prof. Haile Debas)Management & public policy (Prof. Lamine Sagne)
14 Governance and Organization London, UK, March 2006Nelson Mandela Institution Board of DirectorsAIST-AbujaBoard of TrusteesPresidentInternational Scientific Advisory BoardAIST-#2AIST-#4…African Scientific CommitteeProvostCFOVP (Admin.)VP (Students)Deans of SchoolsReporting linesLines of adviceAISTBoard f DirectorsBoD – responsible for setting the overall direction of AIS. Its key responsibility withrespect to the AIST-Abuja’s is to appoint and oversee the AIST Board of Trustees.AIST-Abuja BoT – The responsibilities of the BoT include the provision of governance andindependent oversight, the appointment of key personnel, the establishment of campuspolicy, and the provision of assistance and expertise where and when it is required withrespect to AIST-Abuja and its affiliated centers of excellence. The decisions of the BoTare binding on the campus administration.ISAB – The establishment of the ISAB allows AIST to draw on world-class scienceand engineering experts. The responsibilities of ISAB include establishing mechanismsfor quality control and advising the management of AIST on issues related to faculty,staffing, academic programs, and curriculum development. The ISAB will also providea forum for additional input and out-of-the-box thinking for AIST-Abuja. The AdvisoryCouncil’s decisions are non-binding on the campus administration.ASC – The ASC will provide advice to the AIST-Abuja BoT, president, and otheracademic staff. It will assist in developing academic programs, the curriculum,the admission process, and the composition of faculty. It will also play aninstrumental role in the recruitment of faculty and in mobilizing support forAIST-Abuja within the academic, business and industrial communities.
15 The scientific advisory board (9 members) Academic Quality Control and Advice – International Scientific Advisory BoardThe 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 Academic Vision and Implementation - The African Scientific Committee The African Scientific Committee (ASC) consists of 2 groupsMembers based in AfricaMembers based in the diaspora32 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 engineeringChair – Wole SoboyejoSecretary – Arlen Hastings (ISAB/ASC)
17 Ongoing Implementation Activities Short courses & International Workshops in 2007/2008US/Africa Workshop on Frontiers in Materials Research and Education – Adewoye and SoboyejoWater and environmental engineeringPetroleum and gasICT and modelingBiotechnologyResearch plans and first rate infrastructure being developed for initial programsFirst class at AIST Abuja will begin in September small graduate class of 50 studentsAIST Tanzania and Burkina to follow soon afterwards – land is already allocated and plans are being developedProf. Burton Mwamilla (AIST-Arusha)Prof. Amadou Maiga (AIST-Burkina)
18 Links to Industry The AISTs are being linked to industry to ensure: London, UK, March 2006Links to IndustryThe AISTs are being linked to industry to ensure:Curriculum is relevant to employers e.g. oil & gas, IT etcFunding and scholarship opportunities are maximizedStudents have meaningful internship and work opportunitiesIndustry and government leaders can inspire the future generationThese linkages will occur through:Industry practitioners sitting on boards and oversight committeesFaculty incentives to develop/maintain industry connections for funding of scholarships, research, labs, classroomsA careers office for summer internship and work placementGuest lectureships and adjunct faculty programs for industry and government leadersLinkages to innovation hubs e.g. Abuja Technology VillageCan envision “Silicon Valleys” e.g. Arusha linked to AISTsThe AIST campus and its affiliated centres of excellence will be closely linked to business,industry. Maintaining these close connections will ensure that the curriculum of AIST isrelevant to potential employers of its graduates; research conducted is relevant to theproblems of the real world; funding is forthcoming; new ideas and developments areincorporated into the operations of the campus; students are able to gain meaningfulinternships and work experience during their time at AIST.
19 Summary and Concluding Remarks This talk presents a summary of the AIST visiona catalyst that will stimulate the development of a critical mass of highly skilled S&T workforceundergraduate/graduate education + research/innovation linked to entrepreneurship & industryThe AISTs will work closely with the existing universities and the international community to provide an enabling environment for R&D + innovation in AfricaWe appreciate your support and we welcome your involvement in this initiative….