1. AMU Mathematical Sciences network for Africa
The aims and objectives of the network - which has currently fifteen members - are the following :
The long term programme, outlined below, will commence as soon as we find funds to execute any part of it.
2. AMU tertiary level textbook development
The prices of imported texts at the tertiary level are becoming prohibitive in African countries because of frequent devaluation of the currencies in these countries. So, neither the students nor the teachers nor sometimes the libraries can afford to buy them. Thus, as soon as the AMU is able to mobilize enough funds, we shall organize writing workshops for our membership to produce text books across linguistic and geo-political barriers. It is our strong belief that producing books locally will reduce costs as well as make the texts more relevant to the needs and background of African students.
3. Journals/books for Africa
The AMU is currently exploring ways of co-operating with Organisa-tions/Individuals who are interested in getting mathematics journals/books across to African Institutions. We like to seize this opportunity to appeal to Professional Organizations like the AMS, CMS, LMS.MAA, etc, publishing journals/books to donate journals/ books to members of the network. We also like to appeal to reputable publishers of journals/books to donate some and /or sell some at highly reduced rates.
4. Electronic mail
We are aware of the dire need for electronic mail all over the continent to reduce the isolation problems of African Mathematicians and we are joining forces with other scientific organizations within and outside Africa to put pressure on our various Governments and tertiary Insti-tutions to make this a reality. We do hope that by the year 2000, all tertiary Institutions in Africa will have e-mail.
Many third world countries are, at the moment so overwhelmed by their debt burdens that it is absolutely impossible for them to find financial resources necessary to make meaningful progress in the direction of mathematics, science and technology.
There is currently a mounting pressure on the creditor nations to write off a lot of these debts. While it is indeed desirable to write off quite a lot of these debts for various reasons, it is also desirable to ensure that the money that these countries would otherwise have used to service debts is spent on concrete developmental projects. The International Scientific Community should spearhead a Debt-for-Science campaign whereby Third world countries that show evidence of willingness to use its debt-servicing funds to further the progress of mathematics, science and technology would have such debts written off.
This way, the creditor countries will be contributing to global development of mathematics, science and technology without giving new loans. The Third world countries involved will also be able to make scientific progress without much pain. It should not be too difficult for WMY 2000 to co-operate with other scientific organisations like ICSU, TWAS, UNESCO, to promote an effective campaign, and succeed.
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