It’s about 8.15am during the busy rush hour in London and the doors to Mansion house, the residence of the Lord Mayor of London, are open. Invited guests trickle through the doors not to meet the Lord Mayor but on this occasion to meet with a number of girls from the African Science Academy located in Tema, Ghana.
The Academy is a specialist Science and Maths advanced level school for gifted girls across Africa which opened its doors to the first cohort of girls in 2016. That cohort took their Cambridge International A-levels this year and are awaiting their results. In the meantime, they are on a short visit to the UK to enrich their journey with the academy. The girls are aspiring to institutions including Heriot-Watt University and the African Leadership University to pursue programs such as engineering. It is no secret that there is a general lack of women who pursue careers in the sciences and an even more global shortage of women engineers. What the ASA is doing is grooming a generation of future women leaders in the science and maths field who will no doubt contribute to this much needed reduction in the lack of women leaders at the top and the gender gap.
After the welcome address from the Lord Mayor, Andrew Parmley and ASA founder and chairman, Tom llube, the girls took it in turn to address the audience about their ASA experience including a note from their Maths teachers Levina Ansong Owusu who accompanied the girls on their trip. They spoke with poise and confidence as they talked about how the ASA has helped shape their outlook and aspirations and helped them to better discover and nurture their gifts.
As part of their visit, they have been to some of the popular London attractions, Ada College, the science museum, Regent University, St Anne’s college Oxford and even had a go punting.