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Experts debate urgency of investing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Africa

KABGAYI, RWANDA - FEBRUARY 06: Students of the ETEKA vocational school inspecting a motor on February 06, 2014 in Kabgayi, Rwanda. The ETEKA is a vocational school for trainees in the automotive business. (Photo by Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images)

In the last decade, Africa has experienced unprecedented economic growth and some of the continent’s industries – retailing, manufacturing, banking, telecommunications, construction and private investment – are booming.

But as Africa undergoes unprecedented transformation and growth, challenges such as the impacts of climate change on economic sectors like agriculture, the spread of disease and the inequitable division of wealth remain.

To meet these challenges and to ensure Africa’s continued growth, experts have unanimously agreed that the continent needs well-trained engineers, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs, which makes investments in and access to quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education an urgent imperative.

It is against this backdrop that a panel of experts will on Thursday June 4, 2015 explore how investments in STEM education will drive Africa’s development forward and why the lack of such investment is perilous to the continent’s future. Experts will debate the urgency of investing in STEM education, an area of focus on which Africa’s future depends.

The MasterCard Foundation and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) will also discuss details of their new $25 million partnership to educate talented, yet economically disadvantaged, young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Africa.

The discussion will be held at the One and Only Hotel, Dock Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. The discussion is open to the media and will be moderated by Alan Kasujja of the BBC World Service Newsday radio program.

The public can also follow the conversation through Twitter (#MCFScholars).

Speakers at the meeting include Her Excellency Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS); Phillip Clay, former Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and member of The MasterCard Foundation Board of Directors; and Dr. Tolu Oni, a 2015/16 Next Einstein Forum Fellow.

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