The Planet Earth Institute, charity of banker and philanthropist Dr. Alvaro Sobrinho, has announced a new event series to highlight the groups and individuals making a difference in Africa through innovation, science and technology. The Spotlight Seminars will promote the impressive achievements and contributions of African science, in an attempt to counter the often negative perception of the continent.
The Institute believes African countries are often viewed as “passive recipients of scientific
and technological advancement, gifted to them by a benevolent global community”. This framing, suggest the Planet Earth Institute, belies the very real contributions Africa is making to the global advancement of science and technology.
That said, the Institute recognises that Africa faces many challenges including a “debilitating lack of scientific capacity and seriously underfunded educational institutions”. Yet these challenges obscure the potential of Africa to become a significant contributor to global science. Already there are “pockets of excellence and scientific hubs dotted around the continent doing great work” claims the Institute.
The Spotlight Seminars will highlight those pockets of excellence and bring the scientific hubs to the attention of the international community, starting in March with a seminar on agriculture in Africa. The seminar will explore the many challenges facing small-holder farmers on the continent and draw on the experience and knowledge of experts from academia, business and NGO’s to demonstrate the opportunities these challenges present.
On top of this, the seminar will bring attention to the technological innovations already being implemented in Africa and examine the many innovations that are under development on the continent.
The event will be hosted by Planet Earth Institute trustee, Lord Paul Boateng. The seminar will take place on March 15th at Burlington House in London, UK.