PEI’s Work


PEI hosted dozens of events around the world. Ranging from private breakfast meetings to all-day conference, all PEI events identified key development challenges facing African countries, showcased cutting-edge science and featured contributions from world-leading experts from business, academia and government.

PEIs ability to convene diverse audiences from a range of backgrounds and specialisms was testament to the strength of the charity’s global network. Guided by a strong belief that incorporating diverse perspectives and opinions leads to better outcomes and more impactful solutions, PEI always endeavoured to tackle tough issues openly.

Our 2017 #ScienceAfrica UnConference!

On Thursday 20th July, the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) was delighted to welcome over 250 people for the 2017 #ScienceAfrica UnConference. The exciting day saw guests from a diverse range of backgrounds come together to celebrate ‘Big Ideas for Africa’. The UnConference also highlighted the individuals, research groups, academic institutions and commercial organisations making great scientific and technological advancements on the continent. Our Chairman and Trustee, the Rt Hon Lord

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Spotlight Seminar: The Future of Public Health in Africa

Africa confronts the world’s most dramatic health crisis. Accounting for 24% of the global disease burden, the challenges the continent faces are many and complex, with growing inequities in access to health services and health outcomes across the region. Whilst significant progress has been made in the treatment and prevention of many infectious diseases, Africa still accounts for 90% of malaria deaths, 70% of all people living with HIV and

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The UK-Africa Trading Relationship, post-Brexit

On the 29th March, the PEI held an Africa Breakfast Club meeting, which focused on the UK-Africa Trade Relationship, post-Brexit. Featuring a keynote presentation from the Rt Hon Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, our guests included African Heads of Mission, senior diplomats, and high-level representatives from the private sector and UK government. The Rt Hon Greg Hands provided an overview of the UK’s current approach to

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Higher Education

Africa’s scientific research output is the lowest in the world. The continent also has the lowest tertiary enrolment rate – just 7% compared with a global average of 30% – with science further underrepresented with only one in ten African students choosing STEM subjects at university. All of which contributes to the risk that Africa will continue to lag behind in the global race for science and depend on others for it’s scientific knowledge and expertise.

PEI sought to end this dependency, promoting and investing in higher education across the continent. This included our PEI PhD Scholarship at Newcastle University (UK), the delivery of a Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme for academics based at Agostinho Neto University in Angola and, most recently, the PEI PhD Scholarship in Mauritius.

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

African Governments and business leaders join to launch Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund

A ‘Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund’ for Africa was launched on 13th June 2015. The launch event was led by the President of the Republic of Senegal HE Macky Sall, and representatives of the Heads of States of Ethiopia and Rwanda. The Fund will contribute to the World Bank ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)’ programme, which seeks to award 10,000 African PhD scholarships over ten

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Village-level food security in Ethiopia

Food is one of the most fundamental human needs. It provides people with a sense of security and improves their quality of life and increases their well-being. The recent global food crisis 2007-2013 left many people chronically hungry, food insecure and reduced their quality of life. For instance, in the year 2010-2011 the number of food insecure and chronically hungry people in the world was estimated to be between 870

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PEI Partners Forum

The PEI Partners Forum helped to build a movement for science, technology and innovation in Africa. It provided businesses and other organisations with an engaging and valuable platform to collaborate, share work, build networks and explore key issues related to scientific, technological and commercial development in Africa. As a charity, we were committed to finding new ways to better connect the many brilliant organisations out there and that is exactly what the PEI Partners Forum was designed to do.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the former forum members. The PEI Partners were an integral part of PEIs global network, helping to shape discussion and whose financial support made possible this part of the charity’s work.

PEI Spotlight Seminar: The Future of Agriculture in Africa

Agriculture is fundamental to development on the continent. It employs more than 65% of the continent’s populations and contributes 32% of Africa’s GDP. Yet the continent’s smallholder farmers, who comprise 80% of its agricultural labour forces, continue to face challenges from plant disease, unproductive soil, pests and droughts to gender disparities, unreliable markets, poor pricing information and a lack of appropriate financing. Yesterday, the PEI hosted the first in a

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Financing Renewable Energy in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

On the 25th October, the PEI held a successful Africa Breakfast Club meeting focused on Financing Renewable Energy in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. Featuring a keynote presentation from Yvonne Ike, Managing Director, Sub-Saharan (Ex-RSA), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, our guests included African Heads of Mission, senior diplomats, academics, and high-level representatives from the private sector. First, Ms Ike provided a comprehensive overview of Africa’s energy landscape, and the varied access

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How Do We Innovate to Create ‘New Collar’ Jobs in Africa?

On Tuesday 27th February, we held our first Partners Forum event of 2018: an Africa Breakfast Club meeting held in collaboration with longstanding Partner, IBM Research-Africa. Featuring a presentation from Rashik Parmar, IBM Distinguished Engineer, the ABC focused on the possibilities created by ‘new collar’ work. This refers to jobs in emerging technologies such as cloud computing and data science that require specific skills and knowledge, but don’t necessarily require a four-year

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PEIs campaigns were focused on pushing science, technology and innovation higher up the developmental agenda, and promoting investment in the next generation of Africa’s scientific leaders. Working with governments in Africa and beyond, as well as businesses, NGOs and the academic community, we promoted and championed the role of science. Our campaign included taking delegations across Africa, as well as to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, working in partnership with the African Union and many others.

We worked hard to identify and spotlight great individuals and organisations pioneering scientific and technological advancement in Africa, providing a platform for the celebration world-leading innovation coming from the continent.

Five questions with Professor Hesham El-Askary

Prof. Hesham El-Askary This week, we interviewed Professor Hesham El-Askary, Professor of Remote Earth Sensing and Earth Systems Science at Chapman University, and a speaker at last November’s Spotlight Seminar on Renewable Energy in Africa. Professor El-Askary spoke passionately about harnessing North Africa’s solar energy resources and GEO-CRADLE, a new project that coordinates earth observation activities in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. 1) What are the key challenges in

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Five questions with HE Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

HE Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. This week, as part of our interview series with the shortlisted candidates for Director General of the World Health Organisation, we were fortunate to speak to HE Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia’s candidate. Dr. Tedros spoke articulately about his desire of achieving universal health care, his experience addressing a chronic shortage of health workers when he was Minister of Health

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#scienceAfrica campaign

Our #scienceAfrica campaign is focused on pushing science, technology and innovation higher up the developmental agenda. Working with governments in Africa and beyond, as well as businesses, NGOs and the academic community, we are committed to promoting and championing the role of science. Our campaign has seen us take delegations across Africa, as well as to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, working in partnership with the African

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