MasterCard Foundation Awards $25 Million for STEM Education in Africa

MasterCard Foundation Awards $25 Million for STEM Education in Africa

The MasterCard Foundation has announced a $25 million commitment to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in South Africa.

Awarded through the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, the grant will enable five hundred students from economically disadvantaged communities to pursue a master's degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, with eighty of those students chosen to participate in an eighteen-month cooperative education program that includes work-based learning opportunities and access to career pathways. In addition, the grant will support a pilot teacher-training program for three thousand secondary school teachers in Cameroon.

A pan-African network of centers of excellence for postgraduate education, research, and outreach in the mathematical sciences, AIMS also will host an annual "Women in Science" event that brings together partner organizations, women scientists, and MasterCard Foundation Scholars to promote women's contributions to the sciences and highlight the difference science can make in the lives of women.

"Africa is undergoing unprecedented transformation and growth; thus investing in mathematical sciences is critical to drive the continent's development forward," said AIMS president and CEO Thierry Zomahoun. "There is also a very practical reason: Africa will be home to 40 percent of the world's youth, 18 years old and under, by 2050. The world will need young scientists, and Africa is the best place to develop them. AIMS' partnership with the MasterCard Foundation will greatly contribute to making this vision a reality."