The MasterCard Foundation Commits $25 Million to The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

AIMS receives boost to enable Master’s level education in mathematical sciences and improve quality of secondary-level mathematics and science teaching

Cape Town, South Africa, June 4, 2015 – The MasterCard Foundation today announced a $25 million commitment to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). This commitment will enable 500 academically talented students from economically disadvantaged communities to pursue their Masters level education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It will also support the creation of a teacher training program which will improve the quality of secondary-level math and science teaching in Cameroon.

“We are excited to collaborate with AIMS, an institution that is changing the way we view the continent,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation.  “We share AIMS’ vision of an Africa whose vast pool of young talent becomes a source of home-grown scientific discoveries and innovations.”

AIMS will join a global network of 21 Scholars Program partners who are committed to educating Africa’s young leaders. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program enables access to quality education and also fosters innate leadership abilities of its Scholars. The vision for the program is that Scholars will go on to use their knowledge and skills to lead change in their communities and contribute to meaningful transformation across the continent.

The partnership breaks new ground for the Foundation on a number of fronts:

  • STEM: With its focus on mathematical sciences, AIMS will be the first specialised, higher education partner in the Scholars Program.
  • Co-op Education Program: 80 Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in an 18-month cooperative education program. The program, an innovative new initiative, will provide work-based learning opportunities and potential career pathways for students.
  • Teacher Training: Another groundbreaking initiative for both AIMS and the Foundation will include a teacher training pilot program that will train 3,000 teachers and improve the quality of secondary-level math and science teaching in Cameroon.
  • Women in Science: AIMS will host an annual “Women in Science” event that will bring together partners, women scientists, AIMS and MasterCard Foundation Scholars to not only promote women’s contributions to science, but also to highlight how science can make a difference to the lives of women.

“Africa is undergoing unprecedented transformation and growth, thus investing in mathematical sciences is critical to drive the continent’s development forward,” said Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS. “There is also a very practical reason: Africa will be home to 40 per cent of the world’s youth, 18 years old and under, by 2050. The world will need young scientists and Africa is the best place to develop them. AIMS’ partnership with the MasterCard Foundation will greatly contribute to making this vision a reality.

About AIMS and the Next Einstein Initiative

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a pan-African network of centres of excellence for post graduate education, research and outreach in mathematical sciences. Its mission is to enable Africa’s brightest students to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa’s future scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency. AIMS was founded in 2003 and has produced over 700 graduates, about one third of whom are women. The goal of the Next Einstein Initiative is to build 15 centres of excellence across Africa by 2021. Follow us on Twitter (@AIMS_Next) and Facebook.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org.  Follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation (#MCFScholars).

About The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

The Scholars Program provides academically talented yet financially disadvantaged young people, particularly from Africa, with access to quality and relevant secondary and university education. Students selected for the Program receive a holistic set of financial, social and academic supports throughout their education and during their post-graduate transitions. The Program consists of a global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations, who together believe that education is a catalyst for social and economic betterment. The Program aims to educate 15,000 young people, and enable them to contribute to the economic growth and social development in their countries of origin. For more details, please visit www.mastercardfdnscholars.org.


For more information, please contact:

Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

Communications Manager


+1 647-535-3681


Mimi Kalinda

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Director of Communications – AIMS Global Network


+27 72 688 1250


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