On 23 November African based NGO, the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) expanded its work to Mauritius. A formal launch party hosted by His Excellency President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim at the State House, Reduit, marked the occasion.
The keynote speech during the event was given by Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the Chair of the PEI. To an audience of over 160 people from the wide-ranging spheres of business, politics and academia, Dr Sobrinho reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the goal of securing scientific independence for Africa.
The Planet Earth Institute, of which Dr Sobrinho is a founding member, is a non-profit NGO dedicated to furthering the development of Africa’s science and technology resources. The NGO focuses on supporting educational initiatives aimed at creating a new generation of young Africans with science and engineering expertise. The organisation firmly believes that prioritising science, and innovation will be the key to the continents economic and social development.
The objectives of the PEI were clearly articulated by Dr Sobrinho during his speech:
“We all want to inspire a new generation of African scientists. But better still, let’s make them relevant and critical to our local economies too. Their research focused on our challenges. Their innovations solving our problems.”
He also took the opportunity to point out a startling fact about the state of Africa’s scientific development; that “scientifically, Africa produces just 1% of all global research, and is struggling to keep up with other regions in the Global South.” Making it clear as to why the PEI’s efforts are so crucial at this time.
Dr Sobrihno convincingly argued that Africa’s youth would be instrumental in creating changes on the continent. He passionately advocated support for aspiring young Africans, declaring, “We must offer great education. We must surround them with the environment they need. And we must inspire them.”
The speech ended with Dr Sobrihno injecting a sense of urgency into the packed room by warning that audience that they must “move fast, because Africa can not wait”.