Educate a girl and you educate the whole Nation

By Um’khonde Habamenshi for the UMURAGE Foundation

We often complain that there are not enough women in the scientific professions, and that is rightly so. Well, there is a school in Ghana that has decided to tip the scales in their favor, an atypical school founded by Thomas Segun Ilube, the British philanthropist I’ll feature next week 

It all started with a few simple questions:

“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?” 

Today, I am inspired by the African Gifted Foundation and it’s school, the African Science Academy.

Created in 2010, the 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 become 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. 

Right Your Legacy, Africa Gifted Foundation! Right Your Legacy, young students of the African Science Academy, you are the future of Africa! 

Um’Khonde Patrick Habamenshi
Lion Imanzi