Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphones, has become the first company to join the One-for-Many Scholarship campaign, which enables a select few African maths and science graduates to study at the prestigious African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
The announcement took place at the graduation ceremony of AIMS South Africa, in Muizenberg on 23rd June 2011. The news was welcomed by an audience of local university vice-chancellors, foreign dignitaries and government officials, among other representatives of South African higher education and science and freshly graduated AIMS students.
“This represents a real opportunity for some very talented young people to have access to a great scientific education,” says Professor Barry Green, director of AIMS South Africa.
AIMS South Africa opened in 2003 and its success led to the establishment of the AIMS – Next Einstein Initiative, a project to build a network of 15 AIMS centres across Africa.
Africa is a strategic and important market for RIM and the BlackBerry platform has opened up new possibilities for thousands of small businesses in Africa. Market researchers predict a boom in Africa’s data market over the next five years, with Informa Telecoms and Media projecting there will be 265 million mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa by 2015, a huge increase from the current figure of about 12 million.
“An important component of RIM’s outreach programme is to attract young people to science and engineering studies, so we are especially pleased to support the One for Many scholarship programme at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences,” said Robert Crow, RIM Vice-President, Industry, Government and University Relations.
RIM also has a strong focus on education through the BlackBerry Academic Programme, which promotes mobile technology education such as wireless networking and application development for mobile devices. The programme helps facilitate the training of the next generation of BlackBerry developers, technical support personnel, and system administrators. Since its launch in 2009, institutions and universities from around the world have registered for the programme in order to integrate mobile technology into their courses.