23.05.2012 - Africa Department

“Africa Week” at UNESCO: Focus on science in Africa

As part of the “Africa Week” at UNESCO, the afternoon of Thursday 24th May will provide the opportunity to focus on the field of science in Africa through the convening of a conference and the presentation of three major scientific organizations (Room XI).

Organized by the Permanent Delegation of Benin to UNESCO, a conference on the Yoruba mathematics will be the beginning of this half-day dedicated to science in Africa. The Conference hosted by M. Aimé Dafon Segla, Anthropologist of Knowledge and Philosopher of Sciences, will go over one of his research topics: “The Yoruba mathematics reviewed, corrected, reconstituted: Archeology and anthropology of knowledge in an oral culture”. Featuring an intervention by Professor S. Exc. Olabiyi Babalola Joseph YAÏ, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Benin to UNESCO, the discussion will focus on the history and analysis of the traditional mathematical designs of the Yoruba people who constitute approximately 30 million of individuals, including 20 % of the Nigerian population.

Starting at 3 pm, in cooperation with the Natural Sciences Sector, three scientific organizations will be presented in turn. First, the International Institute for Water and Environment Engineering (Foundation 2iE), then the Academy of Science for the Developing World (TWAS), finally the International Center for Theoretical Physics (CITP) for the promotion of science in Africa.

Professor Amadou Hama Maiga, Deputy Director General of the Foundation 2iE, will present this African nonprofit organization, based in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). The foundation 2iE is a teaching center of excellence in numerous fields (civil engineering, water & sanitation, energy). It provides affordable engineer training thanks to different public and private partnerships. Internationally renowned, the Foundation 2iE is the only institution of the continent of which the diplomas are certified by both the Commission Française des Titres de l’Ingénieur (CTI) and the European label EUR-ACE.

The roles of the TWAS and CITP in promoting science in Africa will be presented by Professor Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of TWAS and M. Fernando Quevedo, Director of the ICTP. The main objectives of TWAS, Academy of Science for the Developing World based in Trieste (Italy) is to promote scientific capacity and excellence in favor of a sustainable development in the developing world.

For the past 45 years the CITP (International Center for Theoretical Physics), under the aegis of UNESCO and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), has been a driving force behind the global effort in favor of the advance of scientific expertise of developing countries.

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