Thierry Zomahoun, president of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, talks about the potential and needs of science on the continent.
“In a couple of decades from now Africa is going to be the powerhouse of human capital globally—the youngest continent in terms of young demography.”
Thierry Zomahoun. He’s the President and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. He spoke with Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina, who recorded these comments, at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.
“Africa is…going to be the global hub for science discoveries in this century. How to make this happen is going to take three things in my view. Number one, we’ve got a massive view of untapped scientific talent, a wave of youngsters are coming. What we need to do is to provide these young people with the equal system within which they can flourish as great scientists and successful scientists. Equal system meaning training, give them the right training, give them research infrastructure for them to be able to come up as a great scientist.
“So, second thing this is going to take is a conducive policy environment. Political leaders, industry leaders must join forces to come up with policies which are conducive for science in Africa.
“And lastly, global collaboration around science. We need the American continent, the European continent, all continents, to join forces around Africa to collaborate effectively—researchers from the West and Africa to collaborate around some of the grand challenges which necessitate breakthrough research.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]