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Maths Olympiad in Africa

28 May 2013, 07:54

Johannesburg - Africa will host the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in July next year, the SA Mathematics Foundations (SAMF) said on Monday.

"It is the first time this annual international mathematics competition will be held on the continent... We expect more than 600 contestants from about 100 countries to visit Africa for this," SAMF executive director Johann Engelbrecht said in a statement.

The annual world championship mathematics competition for high school pupils would take place in Cape Town. It was first held in 1959.

In February, it was reported that South Africa was battling to raise the R6m balance to meet the base target of R11m needed to host the competition.

At the time Engelbrecht said backing out of hosting the event would humiliate the entire continent.

He later said a breakfast organised by the National Treasury in February had attracted some private partners, and added: "For obvious reasons, we cannot disclose these sponsorships before the contracts are in place."

SAMF said the education department had also pledged R6m towards the event.

Basic Education Deputy Minister Mohamed Enver Surty said on Monday that it was exciting to have South Africa host the event.

"The department of basic education has identified mathematics as a priority area and every effort is being made to ensure that not only is there an increase in learner enrolment in this subject, but also an improvement in the quality of results that learners achieve in mathematics," he said.

"The Advisory Board of the IMO has agreed that South Africa may invite African countries to the IMO in South Africa without sending an observer first, if they have taken part in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (Pamo)."

The Pamo would take place from 23 June to 2 July in Nigeria.

SAMF said it hoped as many African countries as possible would participate. It would target countries already participating in the Pamo, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal and Tanzania.



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