55 students from 21 different African countries graduated with the AIMS Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Sciences on 23rd of June 2011. The group includes 16 women and brings the total of AIMS graduates to 360 since 2003. A special graduation ceremony officiated by the Vice Chancellors of the three Western Cape universities was held in the Muizenberg Pavillion. The guest speaker Prof Aggrey Ambali, Director Policy Alignment and Programme Development at NEPAD, encouraged the graduates to become agents of change in their own countries, using the problem solving and creative thinking skills which they have acquired at AIMS. He gave tribute to the work of many different institutions, both public and private, in making AIMS a role model for success and looked forward to the opening of the AIMS Senegal and AIMS Ghana Institutes.
Highlights of the ceremony included the announcement by the University of the Western Cape that it would be making 18 graduate assistantships available to AIMS students who graduated through its university. Mr Craige Fleischer of Research In Motion (RIM) announced that his company will provide five scholarships of 10 000 US dollars each for AIMS students over five years – a donation amounting to 250 000 US dollars. Because Africa faces so many challenges, innovations have to be more creative and science and technology hold the key to this, he said.
During the ceremony, five students were awarded scholarships in recognition of their achievements while at AIMS. The students were: Farooq Kyeyune (Uganda), Kazage Utuje (Rwanda), Tovohery Randrianariso (Madagascar), Ogochukwe Frances Odumodu (Nigeria) and David Wakyiku (Uganda).