AIMS Alumni, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Topic C: Sex and gender knowledge, improving people’s lives
Savannah Nuwagaba from Uganda completed the AIMS Diploma in June 2011. She obtained her Master’s degree in Biomathematics at the Stellenbosch University and is currently pursuing her PhD at Stellenbosch. Her desire to join AIMS was triggered by the research opportunities which are opened up for AIMS students. “When I was offered the bursary and started my studies there, all my expectations were met - and more. The learning environment where students interact with their lecturers, who are so committed to sharing their knowledge, is one of those experiences that made me dream of going back home to share the knowledge I have acquired, in a similar manner.”
An opportunity to tutor first year mathematics students at Stellenbosch University provided Savannah yet another chance to encourage young Africans, especially girls, to discover their potential in Science and mathematics. “I believe that the future of any woman, and hence of Africa, is dependent on education, because, “if you educate a woman, you will have educated a nation”. I hope to continue inspiring young Africans to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses in order to help bring about the change that Africa needs. I enjoy teaching and research, but in 10 years' time, I see myself not only as a teacher or researcher, but also an advocate for policy changes that can create an environment where women can freely contribute, develop and grow without having to sacrifice other aspects of their lives. She describes AIMS as, “The tower on which one can stand to see the beauty and potential in Africa”. She believes that the establishment of similar institutes will greatly impact the development of science in Africa. As she continues to pursue her career, she hopes that more women engage in science for the betterment of “our motherland, AFRICA.”