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Top African mathematician to be awarded KES 600,000

21 April 2016, 07:26 Samuel Arap Yego

Nairobi - A plan to honour the best mathematicians in Africa has been launched by a Kenyan based International non-governmental organization.

African Mathematics Millennium Initiative (AMMSI) Tuesday officially unveiled the process, which will see African mathematicians who live in the continent that have made outstanding contributions in the subject feted.

Winners will be awarded the AMMSI-Philip Griffiths Prize which also comes with monetary cash prize of USD6,000 (KES 600,000), according to AMMSI Executive Director Wandera Ogana.

Speaking to News24 Wednesday, Prof Ogana said two winners have been selected from a pool of 14 nominees from all regions of Africa, whose names were submitted following an international call for nominations.

"The Prize has been made possible through a grant to AMMSI by Prof Philip Griffiths the 2014 recipient of the Chern Medal by the International Mathematics Union (IMU)," he said at the sidelines of an ongoing Mathematics workshop in Nairobi.

Prof Ogana, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi explained that two individuals, Prof Omar El-Fallah from Morroco and Prof Edward Lungu from Botswana have been recognized as winners of the inaugural AMMSI-Philip Griffiths Prize.

"The duo were selected by the awards committee chaired by Prof Herbert Clement of Ohio State University. They will be receive their awards at a formal ceremony that will be held on July at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, USA," he said.

Prof Nyamwala Oluoch from Moi University's Mathematics Department was the only Kenyan who made it in the short list of 14.

Apart from Nyamwala, Ugandan Prof John Mango, who is the head Mathematics Department of at Makerere University, was the only other individual from East Africa.

"We noticed response to the nominations was low especially from Eastern Africa as compared to mathematicians from French Speaking countries in the continent. We are encouraging Kenyans and others from East Africa to take the awards seriously next year," said Ogana.

Prof Philip Griffiths after whom the award is named, appealed to young people in Kenya and Africa in general to take up courses that deal in Mathematics noting that the subject is applicable in all spheres of life.

"Mathematics applicable everywhere in the day to day life, even in the arts. I will continue supporting initiatives that are meant to boost the subject in developing world countries," he affirmed.

Over 200 Masters and PhD Students from Africa have received scholarships from AMMSI which seeks to nurture the next generation of mathematicians in the continent 

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- MyNews24

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