By Abdi Ali
Published July 16, 2015
Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the newly-appointed President of Mauritius, is set to open a conference on Africa’s science and technology agenda in the British capital, London, on July 21, 2015.
Entitled ‘Africa’s scientific independence: no more business as usual’, the Conference is expected to be a highly interactive and collaborative event to explore the linkages between industry and scientific development in Africa. Through panel sessions, workshops and interactive working groups, issues raised will include industrial relevance of doctoral training in Africa, supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurship and funding and investment for science and innovation.
The meeting that shall be hosted by a Non-Governmental Organisation called Planet Earth Institute (PEI) is expected to bring together some 200 delegates working on science and technology with government ministers, universities and businesses from across Africa.
In her opening address marking her first official visit to the United Kingdom, Dr Gurib-Fakim is expected to outline the efforts of Mauritius in boosting scientific research, technology and innovation besides exploring the role that the private sector can play in driving scientific excellence.
Before her appointment as President of Mauritius in June 2015, Dr Gurib-Fakim won multiple awards for her scientific work, including the African Union’s Women in Science award in 2009.
Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, Chairman of PEI, says, “While Africa continues to make economic progress at a rapid pace, the focus on investing in educational excellence for our future generations should never be overlooked. Excellence in science and technology can equip Africa with a workforce ready to compete in the 21st century, where we can lead the world as scientists, engineers and innovators, and the role of industry is absolutely crucial.”