Monthly Archives: March, 2016

Science Africa UnConference to be held in London

In a press release issues last week, The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) announced the return of the Science Africa UnConference, to be held in London on July 20th of this year. The conference is in its 4th year and has been hailed as a huge success.

This year the event will be held at Ravensbourne College in Greenwich and will focus on the role of education in preparing the growing population of young people in Africa for a successful career in Africa’s bourgeoning economy.

Entitled, Generation Science: empowering Africa’s future scientific leaders, the event will host 180 distinguished guests drawn from all areas of society including academia, business and government.

The attendees will be treated to several speeches delivered by notable persons including the President of Mauritius, before being asked to divide into working groups. The guests will then be given time to discuss the issue together before being asked to offer their thoughts and solutions on the topic.

In previous years the conference has received warm reviews from guests and this years event is expected to be no different.

According the PEI the event is motivated by a desire to “stop more young Africans slipping into insecure labour and underemployment.” The organisation believes that creating “a generation empowered by an understanding and appreciation of science and technology” is the best way to achieve their goal.

Planet Earth Institute Launches Science Education Initiative

After announcing the initiative in early February, the Planet Earth Institute has reported that the launch event of their new educational initiative, STEP, received a welcome reception at Le Bocage international school on February 29th.

STEP, which stands for Science and Technology Enrolment Programme, aims to bring new meaning to the study of science to students across Mauritius. The purpose of the programme is to inspire a new generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates that will play a vital role in the increasingly tech based African economy.

To achieve this aim, STEP will evolve around interactive science study days at schools all across Mauritius organised by the PEI. Professionals who have studied and applied STEM subjects will be invited to give presentations to the students, giving them a chance to see a real world example of where studying science might lead them.

70 students attended the prestigious opening of the STEP at Le Bocage international school, along with high-ranking representatives from the Mauritian Ministry of Education, members of the business community and organisations including the British Council.

Two speeches were given during the opening ceremony, the first by Mauritian President HE President Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who focused on the need for talented individuals to drive development in Mauritius forward. Dr Aman Maulloo, Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, gave the second speech. Dr Maulloo focused on the exciting career prospects students will gain access to by studying a science related subject.

Following the two speeches, students were given a demonstration of several impressive science experiments before dividing into groups to study science at with the guidance of a teacher from the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre. The children were excited by what they learnt, many of them thanking the STEP organisers to the chance to discover science.

PEI Holds First Africa Breakfast Club of 2016

Last month African NGO the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), Chaired by Alvaro Sobrinho, held its first Africa Breakfast Club of the New Year. An ongoing event hosted regularly by the NGO, the Africa Breakfast Club invites distinguished guests from academia, government and business to give presentations to PEI members and esteemed guests.

Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya, Director of IBM Research-Africa was the first such distinguished guest to give a presentation to the Africa Breakfast Club this year. The event focused on the well-recognised link between technological innovation and economic growth and set out to shed light on how this link can be strengthened in an African context.

PEI trustee, Lord Paul Boateng hosted this edition of the breakfast club, while Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya gave a presentation on the work IMB is doing in Kenya. In particular, he spoke described how IMB is working with the Kenyan government to enhance the business environment in the country through the introduction of new technologies.

He went on to discuss other programmes IMB is running all over the continent, including a financial services system for small famers and initiatives relating to health care improvement. Dr Bhattacharya concluded that access to technology will be a driving factor in African economic development.

The next edition of the Planet Earth Institute Africa Breakfast Club will be announced in the coming weeks. After it has taken place, a summary will be posted here.