South Africa wins pan African maths Olympiad

20 April 2007 | Story by Daniella Pollock

Team South Africa took first place at the Pan African Maths Olympiad in April. (From left) Haroon Moolla, Kylie Fenner (holding the team mascot Chebyshev), team leader Koos van Zyl, Francois Conradie and Nicky van der Mey.

A South African team of four young mathematicians took top honours in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO), held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 5 to 15 April.

Francois Conradie of De Kuilen High School and Nicky van der Mey of St Dominic's College tied for second place and won gold medals. Kylie Fenner of Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard and Haroon Moolla of Rondebosch Boys' High School shared sixth place to take silver.

A total of 32 contestants from nine African countries took part, writing two tough problem-solving papers over two days. South Africa finished first with 104 points, followed by Nigeria and Cameroon, on 74 points each. The other countries' scores were Benin (71), Mali (32), Zimbabwe (31), Burkina Faso (30), Swaziland (22) and Ghana (7).

The South African team was led by Koos van Zyl of the University of Stellenbosch. Before traveling to Nigeria, the team attended a four-day training programme at UCT, sponsored by Oxford University Press.

Full details can be found on the PAMO website.

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