On August 29, 2017, the Center for Global Advancement International Affairs at Rutgers University, New Jersey, counted among its 2017 graduates, the first three scholars from the East African Development Bank/Africa-America Institute (EADB-AAI) STEM program. The EADB-AAI Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Scholarship Program was created to award experienced STEM teachers and lecturers from East Africa with scholarships for post-graduate study at Rutgers University. The program, which is administered by the Africa-America Institute, funds one hundred percent of the tuition, travel and living expenses for the scholarship recipients who as a prerequisite are actively teaching in an East African public institution STEM Programs, and are committed to returning to teach in East Africa.
Among our graduates include Alfred Limbere from Kenya and Emmanuel Nsadha from Uganda who graduated with a Master’s of Science in Math Education and Theo Nyirinda from Uganda who graduated with a Master’s of Science in Statistics. The students were exemplary in their contributions to the programs and graduated with high distinctions. Emmanuel Nsadha created an online course on how to creatively teach math to students, which he hopes is his first step in transferring knowledge to his fellow lecturers.
Kofi Appenteng, President of AAI, congratulated the new graduates and thanked the East African Development Bank and Rutgers University for their dedication to improving STEM education in East Africa. “The impact of this partnership will be felt far beyond the classrooms in New Jersey, Uganda or Kenya thanks in special part to the leadership of Vivienne Yeda, Director-General of the EADB and to Erick Garfunkel, Vice President of the International and Global Affairs of Rutgers University.
The caliber of teachers and educators that the EADB-AAI STEM scholarship is supporting are an important contribution to realize Africa’s aspirations contained in the African Union’s continental Agenda 2063 on revitalization of the higher education systems. The knowledge they manage and produce give relevance to other institutions such governance, health, agriculture and energy.
As the program continues to grow, this year saw an addition of fields that EADB-AAI scholars can select from, namely graduate programs in Cell and Developmental Biology; Industrial and Systems Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. For the fall 2017, the EADB-AAI scholarship awarded five new recipients among the 200 lecturers who submitted their applications.
We are pleased to welcome to Rutgers University Miriam Kabagorobya from Uganda and Denis Akuom from Kenya pursuing a degree in Math Education; Edward Mureka from Kenya, a Master’s student in Science education and; Barnabas Wafula and Chris Njagi both from Kenya candidates for the Master’s in Cell and Developmential Biology. The EADB-AAI STEM program is a model of excellence and we are pleased with our partnership with Rutgers University. We anticipate continued success of this program and long-term benefits for the education systems in East Africa.