The importance of building a credible capacity in mathematical research in Africa is undeniable. Known models for realizing this goal are not sufficiently effective. It is proposed that a Pan-African Centre for Mathematics, providing graduate studies in mathematics, would furnish a robust and sustainable model for achieving this goal effectively.

Standard indicators demonstrate that Africa faces an alarming deficit in the size and quality of its human capital and has a conspicuously weak science and technology base. In particular, the average number of PhDs in mathematics in the Sub-Saharan African countries, with the exception of Nigeria and South Africa, is less than 10. The level of output and structure of mathematical research in the continent is visibly weak.

Indeed, in almost all African countries where mathematical research is undertaken, it is sporadic and limited to a few fields. This means, among other things, that most African countries lack the capacity to access the global mathematical knowledge. In view of the enabling role of mathematics in science and engineering, the seriousness of these weaknesses cannot be overemphasized.

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University of Dar-es-Salaam

Stockholm University