Newswise — WATERLOO, Ontario, Canada, May 20, 2011 – Perimeter Institute is pleased to announce that the Government of Ghana has committed US$1.5 million to the centrepiece of PI’s global outreach effort, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI). The funding will go towards the building of AIMS-Ghana, the third independent institute of AIMS-NEI, which aims to create a coordinated network of 15 centres by 2020.

The first AIMS centre, in Cape Town, South Africa, was founded by PI Director Neil Turok, and has become a globally recognized pan-African centre of excellence for postgraduate education and research. Its mission is to rapidly expand Africa’s scientific and technological capacity by providing advanced training to exceptional African graduates.

Professor Francis Allotey, a distinguished Ghanaian scientist and founder of AIMS-Ghana says, “This is a strategic investment in young people. Ghana and Africa will reap the benefits of this initiative for a very long time.” Sir Michael Berry, FRS, a long-time supporter of AIMS-NEI, emphasizes, “It is the time of Africa, time to release the vast potential for innovation and discovery from the peoples of this continent. AIMS is both an early indicator and a driver of this African scientific renaissance.”

The Ghanaian Government support is matched by funds from the Canadian Government, Google and the Alero Olympio Trust for sustainable architecture. Construction is expected to begin in late 2011, once the architecture competition closes and exact plans have been chosen. “We are thrilled with Ghana’s leadership on this initiative and delighted to be working with its scientists, universities and government to ensure AIMS-Ghana is a jewel benefitting all,” said Professor Turok.

His Excellency John Mahama, Vice-President of Ghana, expressed the importance the Government attaches to education, especially in the sciences. “We see AIMS-Ghana as a springboard for the future development of the people of Ghana and of Africa,” he told the AIMS-Ghana delegation.

AIMS-Ghana will be built in Saltpond, seat of the African independence movement, and is scheduled to open in September 2012.

More About AIMS and NEI

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a globally recognized centre of excellence for postgraduate education and research based in Cape Town, South Africa. Its mission is to rapidly and cost-effectively expand Africa’s scientific and technological capacity by providing advanced training to exceptional African graduates.

Since its establishment in 2003, 305 students, 33% of them women, from 31 African countries, have graduated from the AIMS centre in South Africa. Their track record is outstanding, with over 95% continuing to Masters and PhD degrees and the vast majority remaining in Africa to apply their skills in African universities, research centres, government, NGOs and industry.

The Next Einstein Initiative (NEI), stemming from Neil Turok’s TED Prize wish that "the next Einstein be from Africa", is a strategic plan to build on the success of the first AIMS centre and create a coordinated pan-African network of 15 AIMS centres by 2020, producing 750 well-qualified graduates per year. The Role of PI Global Outreach

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI), in Waterloo, Ontario, is a leading international centre for research in foundational physics. PI’s Global Outreach program, with AIMS-NEI as its centrepiece, is devoted to promoting and sharing expertise with emerging centres of excellence in physics and maths worldwide. As the North American coordinating partner for AIMS-NEI, PI Global Outreach facilitates the participation of other public and private partners in advancing its mission.