Prof Abdon Atangana, Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) at the University of the Free State (UFS), will serve as the new chairperson of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Research and Innovations (AMU-CRIMS) after being nominated by the commission’s mother body – the African Mathematical Union (AMU).
Prof Atangana, a fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and winner of the World Academy of Sciences Award for Mathematics (TWAS – Mohammad A. Hamdan Award) in 2020, will head this commission from October 2022 for the next four years, where he will put all his efforts into managing, advancing, and promoting mathematical research in Africa.
“I will also put all my efforts into increasing the academy’s visibility among senior African leaders and decision-makers and winning their support, securing financial support for the commission’s programmes and activities, and forming and strengthening alliances with other regional mathematical union chapters.”
“In this vein, priority will be given to initiatives that implement the AMU’s council and instances for African recommendations; recognise, support, and promote excellence in scientific research in Africa; attend to the needs of young scientists in African nations that are still developing in science and technology; foster and expand South-South institutional partnerships in STI with African, Asian, and Latino American mathematicians; and respond to the needs of young scientists in African countries that are still developing in science and technology,” says Prof Atangana.
This highly cited mathematician says he will also work to develop partnerships between the AMU and Pan-African organisations such as the African Academy of Sciences, the African Union Science Wing, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), the Association of African Universities, and other Pan-African research institutions. He will aim to promote and strengthen South-South and South-North cooperation in science, technology, and innovation and to promote scientific study and the exchange of knowledge to address the main issues affecting African nations.
The AMU was established in July 1976 to coordinate and promote high-quality teaching, learning, research, and outreach activities in all fields of mathematical sciences throughout Africa.
Joined the AMU in 2021
According to Prof Atangana, who joined the AMU in 2021, he has worked with several eminent and rising researchers from around the world over the past five years. “I have supported more than 3 000 young mathematicians with research, mainly from the Global South – the majority of whom I have never seen in person. I’ve been doing this out of a pure passion to aid those who are powerless by sharing maths knowledge, not for any financial gain.
“Some have obtained positions at their respective universities, while others have advanced to full professor and senior director roles. As a result, I’ve been working outside in the shade, and God has given me the formal go-ahead to continue performing this work inside ‘my Africa’, which was once a temple of mathematics.”
He concludes by saying that Africa will have strengthened mathematics and its applications at the end of his term.