Facilitating high quality research which addresses African development challenges is a key pillar of African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) strategy. Climate change is one of the world’s grand challenges and continuous to define issues of our time with Africa being one of the continents at high risk. Shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rise in sea levels that have led to catastrophic flooding, are but some of the effects of climate change that continue to impact the world on a large scale.
In an effort to respond to find homegrown solution to climate change in Africa, 30 researchers are currently participating in the AIMS Research School on Climate Science at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). The group includes PhD students and their supervisors who are currently enrolled in the AIMS Doctoral Training Programme. Others attending this school include the AIMS Women in Climate Science Fellows, and researchers in the field of climate change science among others.
The AIMS Doctoral Training Programme seeks to foster uniformly high standards in the training of doctoral students in areas related to climate change. The program builds on the existing academic and research strengths of the AIMS Network to enrich the learning and research opportunities available to PhD students. This includes preparing students to be able to identify and close important knowledge gaps that exist in climate-related sciences; and creating opportunities for exposure to leading-edge research. Instruments that will be employed to achieve these objectives include a research training school and thesis committees.
Speaking at the opening of the Research School, Prof Wilfred Ndifon, Global Director of Research at AIMS emphasized the need to train the next generation of climate scientists. “Through the ADTP, AIMS is harmonizing doctoral education across our network of campuses and ensuring that we train the next generation of research leaders in accordance with the highest scientific standards. I’ve advised the students to be bold and imaginative, and not afraid to tackle the biggest problems in their fields,” he said.
The participants of the AIMS Research School will consider topics including atmospheric dynamics and thermo-dynamics, data analysis, climate change and climate modelling as well as mathematical methods for climate modelling. Amongst the speakers scheduled to facilitate sessions include Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse (AIMS Women in Climate Science Fellow), Dr. David Stern, Dr. Mouhamadou Bamba Sylla (AIMS-Canada Research Chair in Climate Science), Prof. Babatunde Abiodun among others.
In his opening remarks, President of AIMS Rwanda, Prof. Sam Yala said that Africa needs to enhance its capacity to respond to climate change. “Africa needs to build up a strong research capacity in areas which address the continents grand challenges which includes climate change. As such AIMS Rwanda wishes to play a critical and catalytic role in building capacity in the field of Climate Science for the benefit of Rwanda and the continent,” he said.