11 Jul 2019

IVADO and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) join forces to give impetus to Africa’s most promising data science researchers

Montréal, July 11, 2019 – IVADO, the Institute for Data Valorization, is proud to announce its very first partnership with an African academic institution, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), with a mission to lead the transformation of Africa through innovative scientific training, technological advances, breakthrough discoveries, strategic foresight and innovative policy design.  

Through the partnership, IVADO will award scholarships to AIMS master’s students, who will carry out supervised research activities at Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal. The Canada First Research Excellence Fund made this project possible.

Arrival of the first cohort of eight fellows in Montréal

These three-month stays began in June and will end in September. Participants are affiliated with various AIMS centres; AIMS Senegal, AIMS Cameroon and AIMS Rwanda, and will benefit from the support of several professors from different Montréal universities during their stays. The cohort is composed of Yasser Salah Eddine Bouchareb from Algeria, Patricia Talotsing and Junior Momo Ziazet from Cameroon, Sara E.M. Elkafrawy from Egypt, Janet Mutuku from Kenya, Nneka Okolo from Nigeria, Matar Ndongo from Senegal and Ola Badr from Sudan.

From left to right in the photo (top row): Nneka Okolo, Janet Mutuku, Patricia Talotsing and Junior Momo Ziazet. From left to right (bottom row): Jihane Lamouri (IVADO), Yasser Salah Eddine Bouchareb and Sara E.M. Elkafrawy.  *Ola Badr, Matar Ndongo, Craig Cag (IVADO) and Laurence Renault (IVADO) do not appear in the photograph. 

“Inclusivity has to be more than a word we say to look good. The potential for AI to be useful in the developing world is even greater.” – Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director, IVADO and Full Professor at the Université de Montréal.

The president and CEO of the AIMS Global Network, Thierry Zomahoun, CEO of the global AIMS network, echoed this position: “We welcome the role IVADO is playing in connecting young scientists to renowned researchers. At AIMS, we are equipping young African scientists with problem-solving skills to enable them to tackle challenges on the continent. AIMS is committed to leveraging the expertise of our academic partners to create added value to our training and hone the skills of our students, towards the development of data science in Africa”.

“Supporting the next generation of data scientists in Africa helps to stimulate innovation outside our borders and thus ensure that the solutions developed can benefit as many people as possible.” – Andrea Lodi, Scientific Co-Director, IVADO and Full Professor at Polytechnique Montréal.

Supporting Africa’s young data scientists 

According to the International Development Research Centre, advancements in data science could exacerbate international inequalities. Indeed, there are already signs of vast disparities between nations in the development of techniques of social significance in data science and related fields, including artificial intelligence. Through their partnership, IVADO and AIMS hope to stimulate knowledge sharing and transfer and build academic ties. The initiative is part of IVADO’s recently announced strategy to promote equity, diversity and inclusion within its ecosystem. 


The Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) is a joint initiative of HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montréal that brings together nearly 100 industrial, academic and government partners. With over 1 200 member researchers, IVADO is a multidisciplinary centre of advanced expertise in statistics, artificial intelligence and operations research. IVADO’s mission is to 1) contribute to the development of an economic sector in big data processing for decision making; 2) create privileged partnerships between industry and the administrative, social and academic sectors; 3) contribute to the advancement of knowledge and train new generations of data scientists; and 4) foster exchange and knowledge sharing between experts, partners, researchers and students. IVADO provides a framework for six research centres: Canada Excellence Research Chair in Data Science for Real-Time Decision Making, CIRRELT, CRM, GERAD, Mila and Tech3Lab.


The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a Pan African network of Centres of Excellence for post-graduate training, research and public engagement in mathematical sciences. Founded in 2003 in South Africa and later replicated in Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and Rwanda under the framework of the Next Einstein Initiative, AIMS is feeding the STEM pipeline by training African students for a Master’s in Mathematical Sciences, including a co-operative option with a direct link to industry. Students admitted at AIMS benefit from full scholarships and close interaction with tutors and professors from around the world. The faculty is made up of volunteer professors from the best universities in the world, including Nobel Prize and Fields Medal laureates. For more information, visit: www.nexteinstein.org



Camille Barrier
Communications officer
514-343-6111 #31803


Layih Butake
Senior Outreach Manager, AIMS-NEI