Seven reasons to attend the 2017 PEI #ScienceAfrica UnConference

The #ScienceAfrica UnConference is the PEI’s flagship event and sees over 200 people from a variety of backgrounds come together to discuss critical issues related to scientific and technological development in Africa.

This year’s event will be held under the banner of ‘Big Ideas for Africa: Celebrating the Continent’s Science and Technology Pioneers’. Here are just seven reasons why you should attend the event!


1)    Help shape the discourse around Big Ideas for Africa

Our #ScienceAfrica UnConferences are a highly participative event series: we want all of our attendees to get stuck in and help us identify the most effective ways to drive scientific and technological advancement in Africa. This year, our attendees will be empowered to identify how to address challenges and galvanise support for Africa’s science and technology pioneers. Our UnConference will also empower our attendees in realising their own ‘Big Ideas for Africa’: original, impactful, and feasible projects that can make a big difference for the continent. If you want to help drive a science-led development agenda for the continent, then please join us on 20th July.


2)    Listen to distinguished guest speakers

Every #ScienceAfrica UnConference features two high-level panels in the morning and the afternoon, which include individuals at the heart of Africa’s development agenda. This year, we are privileged to welcome Minister Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, Minister of Business Development, Ghana, Professor Kelly Chibale, Founder and Director of H3D, a drug discovery centre, Professor Maggy Momba of the University of Tshwane, and much more.

During the day, you’ll get to hear these distinguished individuals discuss their ‘Big Ideas for Africa’ and there will be plenty of time to quiz them during our audience Q&A sessions.



3)    Collaborate and network with like-minded people from business, government, academia, and civil society

The PEI’s #ScienceAfrica UnConference has an unparalleled convening power: they bring together African, UK and European government officials, academics, venture capitalists, tech entrepreneurs, journalists, major NGOs, and much more. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with this diverse range of attendees in our table working groups and all of the other exciting activities that we have planned.

We also provide plenty of open spaces that allow conversation to flow and new connections to be made. Our drinks reception will also give you the chance to unwind and talk more to your new contacts and friends.


4)    Hear the announcement of the #BigIdeasforAfrica video competition winners

During the UnConference, we’ll also be announcing the winners of the #BigIdeasforAfrica video competition! You’ll also get to see a selection of the winning videos at the event.

The #BigIdeasforAfrica competition invites people from across the continent and around the world to film a very short video explaining their ‘big idea for Africa’ and upload it to YouTube/Twitter/Facebook using the #BigIdeasforAfrica hashtag. We’re looking for original, impactful and feasible ideas; these could be projects, business plans, new technologies or just crazy dreams. What’s more, the best videos have the opportunity of winning the following prizes:


First prize: Acer Chromebook

Second prize: Raspberry Pi starter kit

Third prize: Amazon Fire tablet


Learn more about the #BigIdeasforAfrica video competition here, and make sure you enter the competition.


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5)    Engage in exciting and stimulating workshops

Our interactive, participant-led workshops are one of the standout features of the #ScienceAfrica UnConference. 10 workshops will take place simultaneously across the venue in both the morning and afternoon sessions. Hosted by the PEI’s partners, supporters and sponsors, these are fast-paced, engaging and cover the most critical issues in scientific and technological development in Africa. You’ll be able to attend whichever workshop and however many you like. We’re also delighted that the winners of our competition to run a workshop at the UnConference will host four of the workshops. INASP, Ignite Futures, the Africa Technology Business Network, and the National Film and Television School will host workshops at the event.


6)    Contribute to the Key Outcomes Report

Following every #ScienceAfrica UnConference, we publish a Key Outcomes Report, which distils the most interesting insights and takeaways from the event. When you take part in the UnConference, your insights and contributions will help inform the Key Outcomes Report. This is a great opportunity to generate new ideas to support scientific and technological innovation in Africa! Take a look at our Key Outcomes Report from the 2016 UnConference.


7)    Participate in the launch of the PEI exChange

Last but definitely not least, our #ScienceAfrica UnConference will feature the launch of the PEI exChange, the first online matching platform for people interested in African development. The PEI exChange will allow users to connect with a range of people passionate about and working in development in Africa, and find potential collaborators for development projects on the continent.


So what are you waiting for? Register here to attend the #ScienceAfrica UnConference today!

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