The African focused NGO, the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) has been awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to pursue its objectives in Africa. The PEI will use the funding to create a campaign aimed at finding resources for research and development on the African continent. In particular, the NGO seeks to marshal capital for investment in science and technology.
The grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will make a significant contribution to the ongoing efforts of the PEI to advance the scientific capabilities of Africa. The charity believes that improving Africa’s science, technology and engineering capacity is the only way to overcome the myriad development challenges the continent faces.
The PEI has focused on primarily on promoting scientific education, funding a range of initiatives from secondary school educational days to committing to fund thousands of PhD programmes over the coming decade. The new campaign will be notably different from the organisations prior work, focusing on generating funding by persuading governments, financial institutions and private capital to coalesce around the shared goal of funding scientific development in Africa.
The campaign will be lead by PEI Chairman, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, and Deputy-Chair, President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. In a statement on the project, H.E. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim pointed out that, “Africa produces less than 2% of the world’s scientific research”, indicating the dire situation on the continent at present. In light of this fact, President Gurib-Fakim described the new campaign as “vital”.
Meanwhile, Dr Sobrinho expressed his gratitude towards the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for recognising the importance of supporting research and development in Africa. He pointed out that while Africa has seen economic development in recent years, “scientific and technological output has not kept pace.” Investing scientific research will help to restore the balance.