African charity, the Planet Earth Institute, led by international philanthropist Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, has received substantial financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its new campaign. The Planet Earth Institute hopes to use the grant to mobilise and bring together local, national and pan-continental efforts to fund research and development in Africa.
The Planet Earth Institute has spent the last few years promoting the scientific advancement of Africa. The organisation has already funded dozens of PhD’s across the continent and plans to fund thousands more over the coming years. On top of this, the Planet Earth Institute has raised money for a higher education research centre and recently launched a pioneering initiative to bring science and scientific careers to the attention on secondary school students in Mauritius and Angola.
Chairman of Institute, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho has worked tirelessly to promote science education on continent, through his work with the Planet Earth Institute and through his own private investments and as an advocate speaking at events and writing for high-profile publications. Dr Sobrinho is convinced of Africa’s need for better and more accessible science education if the continent is going to continue to thrive in the 21st Century.
Writing for a news publication several months ago, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho explained the changing nature of the economic impetus driving Africa. Low-skilled jobs, he noted, will become less and less common as the economy shifts towards high-tech, science based production, utilising the latest in robots technology. If young Africans are to find a place in this economy, Dr Sobrinho believes they will need an education based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
With the funding from the Gates Foundation, the Planet Earth Institute will be capable of embarking on a campaign to convince governments and private capital to invest in Africa’s future, by directing their capital towards invest in research and development. In particular, it is likely that the Planet Earth Institute will call for greater investment in high-level STEM education, in order to create a new generation of graduates, skilled in the science, who can lead Africa into an era of growth and prosperity based on high-tech industry.