When you watch the Olympics this Summer and admire the achievements of the medalists, ponder on the unknown number of people who may have done just as well if only they'd had the chance. Of course this is true of many fields of human endeavour. Take mathematics for instance. In a world of data overload, pandemics and cyber intrusion never have we needed all the mathematical talent we can muster. Yet many people are denied the opportunity, both at school and, as crucially, at research level.
This problem is especially acute in Sub-Saharan Africa which is where Mfano Africa comes in. Mfano Africa is a mentorship platform launched in August 2020 and which helps pre-PhD mathematics students to improve the quality of their postgraduate applications. And in June 2021, it has come (virtually) to Oxford via the Mfano Africa - Oxford Mathematics Virtual Mentorship Programme. This pilot aims to encourage a small cohort of 11 competitively recruited and promising pre-PhD students, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, who hope to continue PhD study within the mathematical sciences.
However, the best person to explain the project is Geoffrey Mboya, Founder and Director of Mfano Africa. Geoffrey is a PhD student here in Oxford Mathematics and a student of St Peter's College, Oxford. Over to you Geoffrey.