On 4 June 2015, alongside the World Economic Forum in Africa in Cape Town, a panel will explore how investments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education will drive Africa's development forward and why the lack of such investment is perilous to the continent's future.
The speakers are Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS); Phillip Clay, former Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and member of The MasterCard Foundation Board of Directors; and Dr Tolu Oni, a 2015/16 Next Einstein Forum Fellow.
In the last decade, Africa has experienced unprecedented economic growth and some of the continent's industries - retailing, manufacturing, banking, telecommunications, construction and private investment - are booming.
Increasing need for skilled workers
However, as Africa undergoes unprecedented transformation and growth, challenges such as the impacts of climate change on economic sectors like agriculture, the spread of disease and the inequitable division of wealth remain.
To meet these challenges and to ensure Africa's continued growth, the continent needs well-trained engineers, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs, which makes investments in and access to quality STEM education an urgent imperative.
The MasterCard Foundation and AIMS will also discuss details of their new $25m partnership to educate talented, yet economically disadvantaged, young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Africa.
The panel discussion will last from 9-11am and is open to the media. Alan Kasujja of the BBC World Service Newsday radio programme will moderate it. Spaces are limited and journalists are encouraged to register at gro.ndfdracretsam@essat-tluaegruobi
. Journalists and the public can also follow the conversation through Twitter (#MCFScholars).