From Senegal and Benin to Bogota: two fellows from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences joined the Cepei team in 2018

© Framepool

In the framework of the South-South Cooperation partnership between Cepei and AIMS-NEI, this fellowship seeks to strengthen analytical skills to respond to the challenges of capacity building in emerging digital technologies, including big data, open data and problem solving, related to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda.

Bogota, January, 2019 – In May 2018, Cepei and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS -NEI) signed a Memorandum of understanding to promote the use of big data for public purposes, also known as big data for development (BD4D), a recent phenomenon that is of common interest for both organizations.

Given that the state of data for development in Africa needs improvements for public implementation and participation, and African human capital and infrastructure for data are scarce and need to increase rapidly, in an attempt to respond to skill shortages in emerging technologies, including big data and computer security that faces Africa, AIMS-NEI introduced a 18-month long Cooperative Master’s (Co-op) program (currently offered at AIMS Senegal, AIMS Cameroon and AIMS Rwanda) targeting students with an academic background in mathematics. This work-integrated learning model is a structured method of combining formal instruction with scheduled, alternative segments of practical work experience.

The AIMS Co-op students graduate with a Master’s in Mathematics, with specialization in Big Data, Computer Security and Financial Mathematics. For the implementation of the program, AIMS-NEI builds strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders around the world, to achieve the capacity development objectives of the Co-op program. Cepei’s global research contributes to the generation of tools and scenarios related to the data revolution for sustainable development through the identification, analysis and use of data in four fronts: big data, data ecosystems, data journalism and data mining for better decision making, constituting an ideal partner to support the implementation of the Co-op program.

Due to the common desire of both organizations to strengthen the Big Data for Development Network (BD4D) initiative, a southern-led network that seeks to develop relevant research for big data policies for development, including analysis and capacity building, AIMS-NEI and Cepei, as Southern organizations, have been workin together to promote the use of big data for development in these regions in compliance with the objectives of the network.

For this reason, Jamiil Touré Ali and Sokhar SAMB arrived to Bogota from Senegal and Benin, on July 2018, for a 6 month fellowship joining the Cepei Data team.

Jamiil and Sokhar working at Cepei´s facilities, 29 October, 2018, Bogota, Colombia. Photo: © Cepei

The internship, oriented by the Data Coordinator of Cepei, Fredy Rodríguez, provided the students with the main guidelines and feedback for the development of the following activities:

  • Mining and analysis of databases with large volumes of data.
  • Investigation of the state of the art of big data in different countries of Latin America and its contrast with the data ecosystem in the countries of Africa.
  • Reports based on the connection of databases and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We where very happy to have Jamiil and Sokhar as part of the Cepei team. 

Sokhar SAMB

Master’s degree in applied mathematics and computer science from Gaston Berger university in Saint Louis Senegal, where she specialized in probability and statistics (extreme value statistics and probability of ruin of assurance companies). Currently studying for a Master of Mathematics and Sciences at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS-Senegal), specializing in big data and computer security. In Cepei, she worked in two main projects: the first is to build an algorithm which objective is to download data coming from different sources in Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica; And the second, is to do research on the use of big data in Latin America.



Jamiil Touré Ali

Master Cooperative student in Big Data and Computer Security at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Senegal, he possesses a common core set of problem-solving skills such as estimation, computation, approximation, modelling, data analysis and statistics. He has the ability to think analytically and critically and is skilled at using data scientists’ tools in software such as R Studio, Apache Spark as well as coding in programming language like Python, C, and C++. With a broad technical and scientific competence in theoretical and applied mathematics, computer technology, and physics, Jamiil is also a holder of Electrical Engineering degree with a focus in Control of Industrial Process from the Polytechnics University of Benin (EPAC). Last year  he is a fellow in Cepei, where he researches on the state of the art of big data in different countries of Latin America and its contrast with the data ecosystem in the African countries, as well as making of reports based on the connection of databases and the Sustainable Development Goals.