Ivory Coast: 23 best female students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) distinguished

Twenty-three (23) students regularly enrolled in Master 1 for the 2020-2021 academic year in the Training and Research Units (UFR) and schools of public higher establishments in Côte d’Ivoire were distinguished during a ceremony this Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Abidjan-Marcory.

On the initiative of the Fund for Science, Technology and Innovation (FONSTI), this distinction aims to arouse the interest of young Ivorian girls for Science, Technology and Innovation (STEM). And more specifically, to encourage young girls to move towards experimental sciences.

“We are convinced that it is more useful and beneficial for our country which aspires to be emerging, to celebrate, in priority, the intellectual beauty and the attachment to the civic and moral values ​​of our young girls. Dr Sangaré Yaya, Secretary General of Fonsti during this award ceremony.

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According to the Secretary General of Fonsti, in African countries in general and in Côte d’Ivoire in particular, women, who constitute half of the human capital, are poorly represented in the field of so-called Exact Sciences. ”This is why PASRES and FONSTI have decided to encourage scientific vocations among young girls in Côte d’Ivoire.” he explained.

According to Dr. Yaya Sangaré, despite this general observation of the under-representation of women in scientific disciplines, examples of the success of women in STEM exist in our country. ”In Ivorian universities today, we have brilliant women scientists who deserve to be known to the new generation of students because their academic paths and professional experiences can serve as models and sources of inspiration for these young students” he testifies.

He also recalled that with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MESRS), since 2018, this initiative has set itself the objective of rewarding the best female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics within the Public Universities of Côte d’Ivoire. In total, 62 laureates with MASTER degrees were honored at three (3) award ceremonies.

Professor Ouattara Djakalia, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, on behalf of Minister Diawara, congratulated the elected officials of the day before expressing the support of the ministry responsible for scientific research.

Professor Mireille Dosso, Director of the Institut Pasteur and sponsor of this promotion expressed his encouragement to the laureates and invited them to work harder to maintain this momentum.

The spokesperson for the laureates, Opokou Adjobi, on behalf of her classmates, confided that this promotion of women’s skills reinforces them in the choice of scientific courses they have made and encourages them to give the best of themselves in order to to contribute alongside men to the development of Côte d’Ivoire. ”Beyond the Distinction we measure the responsibility that is now ours. This confidence in us is undoubtedly your firm desire to contribute to removing stereotypes and prejudices against young girls. We are committed to increasing the number of young girls in science courses, becoming real ambassadors for our little sisters who are new to the baccalaureate,” she promised.

At the level of higher education, particularly in public universities, the number of girls enrolled for the 2019-2020 academic year was 40,693 against 63,778 boys, or 38.95%. Of these 40,693 girls, only 9,390 (i.e. 23.08%) were enrolled in scientific courses known as exact sciences.

Cyprian K.

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