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11 November 2017 | Sci/Environment

Mathematicians Charged To Diagnose Africa's Science And Maths Problems

Mathematicians Charged To Diagnose Africa's Science And Maths Problems

African Mathematicians have been urged to seek constant engagement with industry and define common relationship with the problems of the Continent.

In this vain, they could effectively use mathematics to solve problems peculiar to the African environment as most of the problems were said to be inherently Mathematical in structure and dynamics.

Professor Louis Aime Fono, a Visiting Researcher from the University of Doliala, Cameroon who made the call noted that African mathematicians were solving problems defined by the West.

'Now the main question is, how can African scholars use mathematics to solve problems of our environment because up till now, we publish and solve problems already set by our white colleagues but in our context, we need constant engagement with industry in order to define our own problems' he stated.

Prof. Aime Fono said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a three-day Mathematics and its Applications (MiA) Workshop at Biriwa in the Central Region.

The workshop was organised by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana within the framework of the German Research Chair programme under the Alexander von Humboldt and the German Ministry of Education and Research.

The workshop brought together mathematical researchers as well as graduate students with research interest and experience on mathematics and its applications from the Universities in Ghana.

It focused on scientific directions in applications of mathematics and served as a platform for initiating collaborative research among researchers at universities and industries in Ghana.

Prof Aime Fono said such engagement could also give an indication to the academia as to the possible areas of research as it continued to find solutions to societal problems.

He described the workshop as very useful and said it could be a stepping stone towards using Mathematical thinking as prerequisite for developing specific logical solutions to address peculiar African problems.

The Chairman of the Endowed Humboldt Research of AIMS Ghana, Dr Olivier Menoukeu Pamen, said the workshop sought to foster collaborative research among mathematical researchers in Ghanaian universities and as well strengthen existing collaborations and initiatives.

He explained that the aim of the workshop was to bring Ghanaian mathematicians together and allow them to make presentations on their research works and to identify common grounds for future research to solve real life problems.

This, he said was necessary because mathematicians in Ghana worked separately in their fields in their respective institutions without knowing what their colleagues were also doing.

Dr Pamen was optimistic that participants at this year's workshop would go back to their respective institutions and work on the problems identified so as to present solutions for solving them.

The participants presented research talks and poster presentations on their respective research disciplines relating to Probability Theory, Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, Insurance, Mathematics, Statistics and Economics.

A participant, Dr Shisara Agbogbo of the University of Ghana, Department of Mathematics said many of Africa's problems that impede development were and could be solved using mathematical modules.

She said for instance, a mathematical module could be developed to address the challenges faced in the stock exchange market and micro finance sectors and to predict the prices of crude oil.

This, she indicated could help countries and individuals to prepare adequately and brace themselves up before the unexpected happens.