“What happens to you if you are born with a brilliant mind but grow up in difficult circumstances in a village, township or City? Does Africa benefit from your amazing talent?” – Thomas Segun Ilube
It is those few questions that led Thomas Ilube, the Nigerian born British entrepreneur and educational philanthropist, Founder and CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity, to create the African Gifted Foundation, a UK registered charity and it’s subsidiary, the Africa Gifted Foundation-Ghana.
While I plan to tell you more about Thomas Ilube and his extraordinary journey in the coming weeks, today, I am inspired by the promise held by his Foundation and its most recent project, a special school helping young people to have better chances to a successful future.
Created in 2010, Ilube’s African Gifted Foundation aims at giving high quality educational opportunities to hundreds of young people, in cooperation with leading African universities. Since its foundation, AGF has run four summer Academies reaching over 200 gifted African students aged 14 – 18.
Having noticed the gender imbalance in the world of technology and science, the Philanthropist decided to take it one step further by creating the Africa Science Academy in Ghana, a girls-only school opened in August 2016.
“Girls go to school loving maths and physics in the early years, but when you get to A-level physics there are 25 boys and one or two girls in a class. So I wanted to create a world-class institution that was really attractive to girls who have a passion for science and technology. A space where they can talk about what it means to be a female scientist and how to build their careers.”
The ASA is a boarding school for young women from across Africa with outstanding potential in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.). ASA is a pathway to university studies and future careers in Engineering, Science, Computing and more. The academy offers a one-year program consisting of 3 core subjects at Advanced level which will allow them to sit the internationally recognized Cambridge International A Levels.
The school’s vision is to be the leading school in Africa for gifted young scientists from different countries of the continent.
Though it started with a less than 30 students a year from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zimbabwe, the ASA objective is to grow enough to host over 200 students a year from all corners of the continent.
Um’Khonde Patrick Habamenshi