The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) Science Africa UnConference will once again take place in London. The event will be hosted by the PEI on September 15th and will include more than 200 delegates from a variety of business sectors, academia and policy/governance organisations.
The topic of the conference is Africa’s youth bulge, represented by 200 million Africans aged between 15 and 25. Figuring out how to find meaningful employment for these 200 million young Africans has become a pressing problem for business and policy makers on the continent. Roughly 10 million Africans enter the labour market every year and without sustained economic growth it will be difficult to find employment for them all, raising serious concerns about social stability and cohesion.
It is not only the sheer number of young Africans that pose a problem. Shifts in the nature of the African economy, brought on by the introduction of labour saving technologies such as robotics, only serve to exacerbate the problem. The PEI is well aware of the issues. Its Chairman Dr Alvaro Sobrinho has written extensively on the subject.
The PEI hopes to find ways of mitigating the problem, particularly by educating Africa’s youth so that they may find ways to contribute to an economy based on technology and innovation. The conference will explicitly focus on “new ways to create high-quality, industry relevant STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education”.
Delegates will be invited to give their thoughts on how this can be achieved. The event will also include speeches from Dr Alvaro Sobrinho and other members of the PEI board. With luck the conference will play a key role in creating Africa’s “generation science”.