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African Institutes for Mathematical Sciences: Building a knowledge base for African security

Okito Lokake, Jean-Andre; Marvel, Kate; (2007) African Institutes for Mathematical Sciences: Building a knowledge base for African security. [Letter]. ISYP Journal on Science and World Affairs , 3 (1) pp. 29-39. Gold open access

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Abstract

In this paper we explore the role of scientific and technical education in addressing security issues on the African continent. We adopt a definition of “security” that emphasises the well-being of the citizen rather than that of the state, and that encompasses both military and non-military threats. Security and development are interlinked, and this paper will emphasise the need for an effective African technical infrastructure to address these twin issues. To this end, we argue for the establishment of a pan-African network of mathematical institutes, relying on open-source software and educational tools as well as improved communication links throughout the continent. We emphasise the crucial role played by free and open-source tools in improving communication links on the continent. As a case study, we analyse the recently founded African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in South Africa. This unique project is characterised by three main characteristics: a commitment to pan-African cooperation, innovative, project-based teaching methods, and exclusive reliance on open-source software and educational material. We analyse to what extent it can serve as a model for future capacity building initiatives. Finally, we outline the proposed African Mathematical Institute Network, or AMI-Net. This network of interconnected institutes will help to build the scientific and technical knowledge base necessary for sustained African development. We offer suggestions for the implementation of the project, and show how it can contribute to the overall security infrastructure.

Type: Article
Title: African Institutes for Mathematical Sciences: Building a knowledge base for African security
Open access status: An open access publication
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540398
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