The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) has closed

The Planet Earth Institute (UK) has now closed, following eight years of work to raise the profile of Africa’s science, technology and innovation agenda. We are incredibly proud to have played our small part to ensure Africa’s continued socio-economic development is underpinned by a focus on scientific excellence.


Through our work, including hosting over 80 events in 19 countries, working with over 40 African governments and thousands of delegates, we helped forge and empower a diverse community of people and organisations dedicated to this aim. Our other projects in Africa directly improved advanced academic training for university faculty, inspired young-would-be-scientists and supported African researchers through grants, scholarships and funded exchanges. We thank all of you who joined this movement. Whether you came to an event, spoke, sponsored, hosted, enrolled in our courses or partnered with us in any other way, we thank you for the energy you gave to the network.


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While there is much more to do, we close in the knowledge that governments across Africa are making great strides scientifically. We also know that key international organisations have now cemented the role science must play in the continent’s future, including in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda, which in their own terms is ‘underpinned by science, technology and innovation’.

The Chairman of the PEI, The Right Honourable Lord Paul Boateng

“The Planet Earth Institute has a distinguished and unique record of convening impactful events around the world to focus on Africa’s scientific empowerment. Ask anyone who came to one of the many events we held over eight years and they will agree, I think, that it was special. Delegates from around the world and drawn from business, academia, policy and beyond, all focused in one room discussing science in Africa. This is a legacy created by the vision and passion of Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist and our Former Chairman, who spearheaded the PEI toward the achievements. All PEI activities, participants and awardees owe him their thanks.”


“For all of us involved in the PEI, including the Board and our hard-working staff, the mission to strive for Africa’s scientific growth will continue in other ways in the years to come. We can be deeply proud of the part the PEI played in bringing us to this point, with far greater optimism and energy than was found in 2010. A heartfelt thanks to all our partners who made it possible.”

The PEI would also like to specifically throw support behind a new organisation, Bobab, founded under the leadership of the outgoing Chief Operating Officer, Nick Staite. Bobab is a new social enterprise dedicated to connecting science and technology professionals working in and for Africa, hosting innovative live events, promoting exciting projects and enhancing collaboration via an online community platform. If you would like to find out more about Bobab please visit or email


The sister organisation of the PEI (UK), the Planet Earth Institute Foundation in Mauritius, will remain open in order to deliver the final programme of academic scholarships awarded in 2016. For further information, please email: