Monthly Archives: June, 2016

PEI Gives Students a Unique Marine Science Experience


As part of the Science and Technology Enrolment Programme (STEP) organised by the Planet Earth Institute foundation, students from schools in Mauritius were given the opportunity to learn about marine science while on board an ocean exploration vessel.

Students were give a tour of the ship and shown how it operates. The crew gave interactive science lessons while simultaneously demonstrating the ships capabilities to the students. The craft belongs to the People’s Republic of China and cooperation between the PEI and the Chinese embassy in Mauritius made the day possible.

After exploring the ocean vessel and learning from the ships crew, students were given the chance to ask questions in a Q&A session hosted by Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritian President and PEI Vice-Chair.

The programme is designed to encourage African students to choose STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects when they have the chance in school and during higher education. Alvaro Sobrinho, Chairman of PEI, believes that competency in these areas will afford students the chance to find employment in an increasingly science and technology based economy.

Through his work at the PEI and through other activities, Sobrinho has been promoting science education for young people in Africa. He is also a keen investor in new innovations that have the potential to contribute and speed up African development.

– Learn more about the work of Alvaro Sobrinho and his views on how Africa’s youth have the potential to drive the continent into a new era of economic growth and prosperity based on science, technology and innovation by reading articles by Alvaro Sobrinho himself. – 

In July STEP plans to host a Science Study Week, where 100 students will spend one week learning and being inspired by the possibilities of science. The week will involve interactive learning with a focus on STEM subjects, with the goal of attracting more students to enrol in these subjects.

Dr Alvaro Sobrinho Reaffirms his Belief in Business


During an article published in African Business, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho has once again affirmed his belief in the ability of business to provide solutions that would once have fallen under the realm of governments. In particular, Alvaro Sobrinho argues that businesses are, in general, more capable of delivering development to Africa.

In his piece for African Business, Dr Sobrinho agues, “as a recognised engine of growth, I believe that private sector companies can and should help African countries provide access to clean and affordable electricity.”

The current state of electricity provision in Africa is dire, claims Sobrinho. More than 50 million power in sub-saharan Africa fuel their homes and cook using wood and kerosene. Both fuels are linked to continued deforestation in the region, harming the local ecosystem and leading to long-term damage to the earths climate. The UN estimates that roughly 20% of green house gas emissions globally are caused by deforestation.

Dr. Sobrinho points out that Africa has abundant renewable energy resources. The obvious is example is solar energy, which is widely available across the continent. However, local communities and national governments appear to lack to the willingness and the resources to invest in sustainable solutions to Africa’s energy needs. Dr Sobrinho insists that business can fill the gap, providing both resources and a willingness to act.

Business led energy projects are already taking place in Africa. For instance, Google recently invested in a wind power project in North Africa and the fast-growing business M-Kopa has plans to provide solar energy solutions to homes in East Africa.

Dr Sobrinho commends the existing business led initiatives in Africa, however, he is fast to point out that capacity is far from being met. Far more investment in Africa’s energy grid is need and it’s needs fast, asserts Sobrinho.