Ethiopian delegation visits AIMS South Africa and other scientific facilities

A small Ethiopian delegation visited South Africa and came to AIMS on Monday, Sept 19. The delegation was composed of scientists setting up the Entoto Astronomical Observatory and Space Science Center, an astronomical observatory that the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) has been setting up for a few years.

The observatory is almost ready to open and the delegation came to learn about governance and to set up academic partnerships with South African institutions, including SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory), UCT, UWC, NASSP (National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme), the Global Office of Astronomy for Development and AIMS.

Director Barry Green, IT Manager Jan Groenewald and Carolina Ödman-Govender from AIMS-NEI spent the morning with them showing them around and describing how AIMS is run, in particular administrative and IT aspects. The delegation had lunch with the Ethiopian students currently studying at AIMS. Before leaving, they made contact with Prof. Bruce Bassett of the AIMS Cosmology Group. They are keen to stay in touch to learn from the experience of setting up a small research group.

With the prospects of opening an AIMS Centre in Ethiopia, we were very glad to establish new contacts with the country’s scientific community. Although not directly involved with AIMS Ethiopia, they know our partners very well and are visibly enthusiastic about the prospect of an AIMS centre in Ethiopia, with whom they are likely to cooperate, like AIMS South Africa cooperates with local academic and research institutions.

The members of the delegation were:
– Dr. Baylie Damtie, Bahir Dar University President
– Prof Gezahegn Yirgu, ESSS Manager and, Dean School of Earth and Planetary Science, AAU representative
– Tesegaye Kassa, Bahir Dar University representative
– Dr. Solomon Belay, Chair, Research, Education and Public outreach Program and EAOSS, Technical Committee chairman, ESSS representative

Every visitor to AIMS get to sample the beautiful beach in Muizenberg. This is part of the beauty of this site.

Posted in AIMS Centres

AIMS Senegal – what atmosphere!

As I write this, part of the global elite in the mathematical sciences converges on a small town in Senegal, West Africa. The reason for the celebration is the opportunity created for more than 30 brilliant minds from across Africa to join the world scientific stage. The students are inspired and eager and ready to take on the challenge of new science, new life, new work, new cultures, new languages.

The staff at AIMS Senegal have worked tirelessly to put everything into place and make everything work on time for this academic year. Their achievements are nothing short of miracles, and they are setting a remarkable example for the students, tutors, lecturers and future AIMS centres alike. We are infinitely grateful for their dedication and hard work!

Tomorrow the big party will take place, at which his Excellency President Wade of Senegal will officially open AIMS Senegal. May this be the beginning of great things!

The first AIMS Senegal student body from 14 countries!

Posted in AIMS Centres, Events, Life at AIMS | 1 Comment

The new AIMS – NEI Executive Director has arrived

This morning, Barry Green introduced Thierry to everyone at AIMS South Africa at tea.

After looking for the right person for a long time, we have finally welcomed our new Executive Director, Mr. Thierry Zomahoun from Benin.

We are going to publish a real news item about it soon but we are all so thrilled to welcome Thierry that we are ‘leaking’ the news on our blog…

Thierry officially started earlier this month and had come to visit the AIMS-NEI office before then as a consultant already, which gave us a hint of the great things to come.

For more about Thierry, stay tuned for the full announcement!

Posted in Life at AIMS

SPORE award goes to a member of our team!

Our Director of Academic Development has been awarded a prestigious Science Education prize. The SPORE prize stand for Science Prize for Online Resources in Education and is awarded by Science Magazine. For more about it, here are some links:
– the AAAS press release
– the essay published in Science Magazine
– the news on the AIMS NEI website

Posted in Life at AIMS

AIMS Sénégal is about to open

AIMS-Sénégal opens on September 6

News of the opening has already spread to African news websites, such as

As the new institute welcomes new students and tutors and its first academic year, everyone is preparing to welcome distinguished guests from a number of governments and organisations that have helped make this a reality, including from Sénégal, Canada and France and German company Q-cells whose solar panels will power the institute.

For more information on AIMS-Sénégal, you can visit its website here.

Posted in AIMS Centres, Events