Magnificent representation of diversity: as 40 young women dazzle at ASA’s 6th graduation

African Science Academy

The African Science Academy (ASA) has held its 6th graduation ceremony, with 40 young women drawn across Africa graduating with various certificates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The girls-only Advanced Level school for math and science founded by African Gifted Foundation is a boarding school for young women from across the continent with outstanding mathematical and science potential.

The young women, in just one year, completed the globally respected Cambridge International A Levels in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics. 

They were also provided with robotics and computer science programmes alongside their A-Levels to prepare them for careers in engineering, science, computing and more.

Magnificent representation of diversity

Speaking during the ceremony as guest speaker, award-winning businesswoman and activist Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE urged the graduates – who were drawn from 12 countries across the continent including Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria and Togo – to seize the opportunity provided them by ASA to lead the continent’s transformation.

“You are the magnificent representation of Africa’s rich diversity, and as you commence your journey you have shown that you have the thirst for life, for knowledge, for progress, innovation and being able to conquer all obstacles the world to come will inevitably throw at you,” she told the graduates.

Narrating how her parents many years ago answered the call to the Commonwealth from the late Queen Elizabeth II to come to England and help repair the motherland after the Second World War, Dr. Thompson eulogised the graduates for their exceptional achievement, saying: “We are in awe of you. We are proud…go forth and set the world on fire turning your dreams into reality”.

She continued: “While you do so, sprinkle the African stardust with every step you take in every country you visit; remember to keep connecting the African Science Academy dots across the globe as you weave the golden thread of success, creativity, innovation and dreams”.

Epitome of dedication, persistence, courage

Dr. Thompson further reminded the graduates that as they weave their path to the top, they should always be guided by the fact that they carry with them the wisdom of Ghana, the resilience of Rwanda, the resourcefulness of Uganda, the heart of Burundi, the rhythm of Zimbabwe, the warmth of Togo, the strength of Nigeria, the spirit of Cameroon, the richness of Tanzania and the pride of Kenya. “Know that you stand before us as the epitome of dedication, persistence and courage. And, together, you are a great force of nature,” she stated.

Biggest class ever

Dr. Tom Ilube CBE, the founder of ASA, said the 2023 class is the biggest the Academy has ever had in its six-year existence.

Describing them as the first of the Academy’s ambitious future expansion plans, he said: “Now it is your time to leave us and go off to achieve amazing things. It is a wonderful time, actually, to go out and make your mark. It is a time of extreme technological change. There is so much going on in the world of technology, which will influence everything”.

In the near-future, Dr. Ilube said, the Academy hopes to commence building a campus as part of a long-term plan to allow for the enrolment of more students.

Privilege to witness this collective brilliance

The Headteacher, Ms. Gifty Ghansah, spoke fondly of the graduates in her remarks, saying: “In a world where science, engineering and mathematics play an increasingly critical role, it is truly a privilege to witness the collective brilliance of these young minds”.

She said through sheer grit and determination, the all-women graduates demonstrated that they are future leaders of the STEM world. “They have proven that gender is no barrier to success, and their achievements are a testament to their intelligence, passion and unwavering belief in their abilities,” Ms. Ghansah reiterated.

The beacon of hope

On her part, the deputy head prefect, Praise Kudzai Machengere who hails from Zimbabwe, praised Dr. Ilube for believing in them and illuminating the paths of their countless dreams.

“Today, we gather not only to celebrate our individual accomplishments but also to express our profound gratitude to the father and visionary founder of the African Science Academy, Dr. Tom Illube. Dr. Tom, your belief in us and your unwavering support has been nothing short of extraordinary. You have empowered us to become who we are today, instilling in us a passion for education that knows no bounds. Your dedication to nurturing our dreams has given us wings to soar and contribute to Africa’s future transformation. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Dr. Tom Illube,’ she stated.

Ms. Machengere on behalf of her colleagues also thanked Ms. Ghansah for her love, leadership, and unwavering support throughout their journey. “You have been a guiding light, providing us with strength when we needed it and moments of laughter and celebration when we least expected it,” she said.

Let’s be the torch of knowledge

Ms. Machengere further urged her colleagues to “in the grand tapestry of your achievements, recognise the divine hand that has guided them, granted them wisdom, protected them and watched over them throughout our course of study”.

African Science Academy

“It is through His grace that we stand here today, ready to embark on the next phase of our lives, equipped with the knowledge and a burning desire to drive change through various projects,” she said, adding: “As we step into the next chapter of our lives, as proud graduates of the African Science Academy, let us carry the torch of knowledge, compassion and empowerment. We are Sinningia Flairs, a group of individuals who have conquered Advanced Level Mathematics, Physics and Further Mathematics in just ten months. Our achievements today are a testament to the power of resilience and determination. We came here for a reason, with a purpose, and now we are prepared to be the catalysts for positive change, igniting progress and unity throughout Africa”.

African Science Academy


The school’s management gave out several awards during the ceremony; including Best Student in A-level Further Mathematics and Overall Best Student in Academics, which were picked up by Merveille Solim Sama of Togo. 

Below is the full list of awardees:

Category Name
1 Best student in A-level Mathematics Esther Aku Beni
2 Best student in A-level Further Mathematics Merveille Solim Sama
3 Best student in A-level Physics Joyce Christiane Zebaze Temkeng
4 Overall best student in Academics Merveille Solim Sama
5  Outstanding Development Award Gladys Ayebea Ashong
6 All Round Student of the year award Praise Kudzai Machengere 
7 Most disciplined student of the year award Sarah Nana Efua Serwaa Paintsil
8 ASA resilience award Favour Amourzang Fri Fon 
9 ASA ambassador award  Ruth Arhin
10 Exceptional Dedication: Theresa Ajube/ Chioma Stella Opara 
Award for the Embodiment of ASA values
11 Excellence Merveille Solim Sama
12 Integrity Ruth Arhin 
13 Diversity Ode Prisca Pamela Ishimwe/Georgette Akou Edzodzinam Zuouglo 
14 Caring Community  Eva Mensah
15 Ambition Agatha Suzie S. Youyou
16 Empowerment Christiane Joyce Temkeng Zebaze
17 Innovation Favour A. Fri Fon/ Suzzie Youyou/ Monica Moses
18 Creativity Doris Fosu


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