Pan-African charity, the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), plans to lead a delegation of senior African figures and academics to New York, between Tuesday 20-22 May, to call for renewed Maths and science investment targets in Africa. The call will be made to the United Nations (UN) to help double student enrollment rates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects in African universities.
The delegation is led by the Board of Trustees at the Planet Earth Institute, including African businessman and philanthropist Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, former Cabinet Minister and British Ambassador to South Africa Rt Hon Lord Boateng and Sir Christopher Edwards, a prominent academic. The delegation is further planned to include a number of the PEI’s scientific and business partners, including leading academic Prof Phillip Griffiths, Chair of the Science Initiative Group, and Dr Joaquim Teixeira da Cunha, CEO of TAAG Angola Airlines.
The call is expected to be made at a conference hosted by the Observer Office of the African Union, which is planned to be attended by Ambassador Antonio Tete and the United Nations Secretary General’s Post 2015 Adviser Amina J. Mohammed.
The call is expected to further focus on Africa’s technology and science strategy after UN millennium development goals expire next year.
“Our campaign for Africa’s scientific independence is about setting the continent on the best possible path to sustainable development and growth. Only through science, technology and innovation – driven by investment higher education and advanced skills training – can Africa move to a knowledge producing continent and able to reach our true potential.” -Chairman of the PEI, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, said in a press statement.
“No development agenda will be complete without addressing the critical issue such of Africa’s scientific deficit. The Post 2015 process must include measures to support training and resourcing local African researchers, and apply pressure for governments to invest in research and development, as well as incentivize and support business to play their part. As someone who has spent my life in the private sector in emerging African economies, I see every day the ability enterprise has to make scientific debates real and tangible, through job creation and investment in new technologies that can improve the daily lives of our communities. Our conference and delegation to the United Nations next week is in recognition of the growing support we are receiving, working with partners across Africa and around the world. I urge all those interested in Africa’s scientific development and Post 2015 journey to join us,” he said.
The call also aims to focus on Africa’s number PhD researcher, which is currently the lowest in the world.
The PEI plans to bring this figure more in line with the global average in the next ten years.