The Planet Earth Institute has brought back its #ScienceAfrica UnConference this year and will host the event next month, in London, UK. The event will be attended by many members of the Planet Earth Institute board, including Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, the organisations chairman.
The conference will explore the challenges posed by Africa’s exploding young population, a topic Dr Alvaro Sobrinho has discussed and written about at length. Participants of the conference will be asked to give their expert input and to offer their views on how policy-makers and businesses can and should approach the youth bulge challenge.
In previous work, Dr Sobrinho has argued that the youth bulge presents both an opportunity and challenge. On the one hand, absorbing the bulging young generation into the labour market poses some serious obstacles, particular, as Dr Sobrinho has pointed out, when Africa’s economy is moving towards a low-labour, high-technology model. Low skilled jobs will be increasingly replaced by robotics and high-tech solutions in the coming decade, claims Sorbinho. This presents a situation where large numbers of people are entering a job market that is shrinking.
However, while recognising the potential dangers of the situation, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho remains positive and has argued that the problem can be overcome through education and training. By giving Africa’s youth the skills they need to exist in a high-tech economy they will not only find work but also fulfilling, challenging opportunities that will improve their lives.
The conference has been named, “’Generation Science: Empowering Africa’s future scientific leaders”, to reflect the focus on science, technology and education. The conference will look specifically at how youth education in Africa can be improved and how more students can be encouraged to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, which will prepare them for the economy they will enter upon graduation.
The event will take place on the 14th September at Kensington Town Hall in London. Registration is free and can be done online or by contacting the Planet Earth Institute events team.