Global role for Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

first_imgMauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been named the vice-chairman and trustee of the Planet Earth Institute (PEI). The organisation is striving for the scientific independence of Africa. South Africa is also actively engaging young people to take up careers in the Stem fields. Newly appointed vice-chairman of the Planet Earth Institute, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, gives a keynote address at the London headquarters of the institute on 1 July 2015. South African Minister of Science Naledi Pandor is in the background. (Image: Facebook) • Meet the new president of Mauritius  • New push for careers in science and innovation  • Infographic: Africa’s best brands  • Enactus promotes entrepreneurship, innovation  • Social assistance & your taxes: how many people do you support?  Priya PitamberScientist, biologist and president of Mauritius – now Ameenah Gurib-Fakim can add another role to her list: she has been appointed vice-chairman and trustee of the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) striving for the scientific independence of Africa.“Mauritius has a proud track record of investing in scientific excellence and developing research,” she said. “In the future, science, technology and innovation will be vital in creating jobs and prosperity for our citizens in Mauritius and across the mainland African continent.“I look forward to helping lead the PEI’s work as vice-chairman and trustee, and in turn to contributing to our continent’s increasing scientific and technological excellence, as the underlying foundations of our sustainable development.”PEI will also open an office in Mauritius to run science, technology and innovation programmes. The organisation’s headquarters is in London; it also has an office in Luanda, Angola.The Mauritian office will open on 23 November. There will also be a high level meeting with African government ministries, international institutions, private businesses, local and pan-African universities, and civil society. A policy roundtable will focus on “Mauritius and Africa’s scientific independence: the role of business”.A huge privilege to welcome @aguribfakim to @PlanetEarthInst & a fantastic step forward for our work #scienceAfrica — Alvaro Sobrinho (@Alvaro_Sobrinho) October 22, 2015Soon after becoming president, Gurib-Fakim opened up in an interview with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), the global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation. She said as a female biologist, she had been through the glass ceiling but would like to set a positive example for young people, especially girls. “I hope to be a role model to promote the learning of science, to make it interesting and sexy.”President of Mauritius & scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim joins @PlanetEarthInst. Hear our Q&A on science, devp &gender— SciDev.Net (@SciDevNet) October 22, 2015Stats and figuresAccording to the PEI, Africa’s scientific output is among the lowest globally. “As a continent of over a billion people and more than 50 nations, it has been producing roughly the same amount of scientific research as the Netherlands for the last 20 years,” the institution’s website reads.The continent also has one of the world’s lowest tertiary enrolment rates – of 7% compared to a world average of 30% – and “science is often further underrepresented and overlooked by students, with only around one in 10 choosing Stem (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects at university”. As a result, Africa continues to look elsewhere for scientific knowledge and expertise. Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of Stem subjects, but progress is being made. (Image: Screengrab via PEI)The PEI wants to change that. “Scientific independence is not and could never be scientific isolation – collaboration and co-operation is at the heart of scientific progression – but scientific independence for Africa means ultimately Africa can take better control of its resources, its people and its future,” the organisation said.It would like Stem subjects to be part of governments’ policies and priorities, to have the continent train and retain African scientists, and inspire the next generation into the field. “Ultimately, we believe scientific independence means that African problems can be solved by African-led solutions. Yes, supported by working in partnership with others around the globe, but with Africa independent and empowered to design and deliver its own sustainable future.”Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the chairman of the PEI, said while Africa had sustained economic growth over the past decade, scientific and technological output had not kept pace. “Yet, if we want to ensure that sustainable development is a reality for all, we must make greater investments in science and technology, and equip our next generations with the skills they need to compete in a globalised, 21st century workplace.”South Africa’s progressThe country’s National Development Plan (NDP) aims to promote initiatives that offer young people access to higher education, skills development and training opportunities. It would also like to improve South Africa’s and Africa’s place in the world.There are numerous projects running to encourage young people to tackle Stem subjects, from school into university.National Science Week is held annually in South Africa to celebrate the Stem subjects, including innovation. It is led by the Department of Science and Technology and it brings together various stakeholders, role players and interest groups to promote awareness of the value of Stem to people’s daily lives.“We have an unfortunate legacy inherited from the former education system of our country, which discouraged black learners from taking mathematics and science for matric,” said Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor at the opening of the Unesco Africa Engineering Week at the University of Johannesburg in 2014. She called on children at the event to reverse the legacy and take up those subjects.“Our desperate need is for you, as the future of this country, to take the decision from Grade 10 right through to Grade 12, to study maths and science at school, and to persevere with these subjects, right up to university,” the minister said. “If you stick with this decision, in 20 years’ time our country will be transformed.”Bayanda Madi, an Ncube High School student, was inspired. “By studying maths and science, young people will be able to help South Africa develop,” she said. “I have learned that engineering makes life easy; engineers build bridges and roads to improve movement and create a healthy environment in communities to reduce overcrowding which often brings diseases like TB, for example,” said the aspiring mechanical engineer.Mzansi for ScienceThe Department of Science and Technology was also behind the launch of the online information hub, Mzansi for Science. It contains career and bursary information, and information about funding in the sector.“We are on a mission in Mzansi to make all South Africans realise that the gold of our tomorrow does not lie underground but in the minds of our current and future technologists, scientists, engineers, and innovators,” reads the website. “Our beautiful country is a gold mine of ideas and new inventions just waiting to happen.” The career opportunities in the fields of science and technology are endless. What are you currently studying or hoping to study in the near future? Posted by Mzansi For Science on Tuesday, September 1, 2015The site was also created to raise awareness about the role of science, technology and innovation. It also celebrates unsung South African heroes and encourages South Africans to study, support and invest in the sciences.We have started a movement to get all South Africans to use #science, #technology and #innovation — Mzansi For Science (@Mzansi4Science) August 28, 2015 South Africa’s riches don’t lie underground, but in the minds of scientists and innovators. Together we can achieve great things! Posted by Mzansi For Science on Friday, August 28, 2015The department partnered with the South African National Space Agency, the Technology Innovation Agency, the Mineral and Metallurgical Innovation (Mintek), the Academy of Science of South Africa, and the National Research Foundation to create the portal.last_img read more

New library to be opened in Northern Cape

first_imgKwaito star and Play Your Part ambassador, Kabelo Mabalane, will be in the Northern Cape to unveil a new school library Shout SA had built. (Image: Shout SA)Play Your Part, the Brand South Africa campaign that promotes active citizenship, will be in the Northern Cape next week to open up a library in an underprivileged school.TT Lekalake Primary School in the village of Bathlaros near Kuruman will receive the library, which was built by non-governmental organisation Shout SA. The activation comes in time for the new school year. Play Your Part aims to motivate and inspire learners by creating excitement around reading and the importance of education.Shout SA was founded in 2007 by singer Danny K and kwaito star Kabelo Mabalane, both of whom will be in Kuruman for the library opening, to find ways of making the country safer for all. Now, the NGO is focusing on education for children.The new Shout SA song, Smile, encourages children to get educated, and particularly to read. The campaign, centred on the song, is looking to build up to 10 libraries in schools around the country. Funds for the libraries come from the online sales of the song. So far, the NGO has garnered enough money to build three school libraries.Watch the music video:Smile was written by Mi Casa, Mabalane and Danny K and produced by Danny K. It features a host of top local musicians, celebrities and influencers lending their talents to the track and accompanying music video.Brand South Africa has worked with Shout SA previously and the calibre of its artists has helped drive awareness of Play Your Part.The activation is part of Play Your Part’s second phase of its awareness campaign, which aims to bring the programme to the attention of all South Africans. The first phase was the television series, which ran on SABC 2 in 2014. Mabalane is a Play Your Part ambassador and hosted the series.ABOUT SHOUT SOUTH AFRICAShout SA is known for bringing South Africans together to play their part in moving the country forward since its launch in 2007. For the past eight years the organisation has been hard at work using the funds raised from its first two tracks, Shout and You’re the Voice, to help fight crime by donating to a variety of crime-focused NGOs and initiatives.Smile is available as a full track download. SMS the word “Smile” to 40388 to donate R20 to get the track.Take a look behind the scenes at the video shoot:For more information, visit the Shout SA website or visit Shout’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.Join Shout SA co-founder and Play Your Part ambassador Danny K @dannykmusic for a live Twitter chat about how we can all play our part to boost education in South Africa on Wednesday 27 January at 11am. #EducateSA #PlayYourPartAre you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Diversified Agri-Services Inc. partners with Axis Seed

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Blake and Nicki Rossel, owners of Diversified Agri-Services Inc. are excited to announce they have become a distributor for Axis Seed.“After careful consideration we feel the unique business model that AXIS provides will be a huge benefit to our customers. We realize there are a lot of seed companies vying for your business, however very few of them are willing to make the effort to understand each operation” Blake said.Similar to Diversified Ag, Axis Seed is independently owned and counter culture to the trend of consolidation in the agricultural industry. Diversified Agri-Services Inc. has been family owned since it was founded in 1978 by David and Linda Karcher.“Ohio is different than other areas of the country. What works in Illinois and Iowa may not be the best solution for growers here in Ohio. Blake and his team at Diversified Ag have built a solid business with this same belief. This local commitment makes them a perfect partner for Axis Seed” said Nathan Louiso, Axis Ohio owner.As an independent regional company for Axis Seed, Axis Ohio has access to all current traits and technologies. Complete information about the varieties that Axis Ohio carries are available on its web site at .Axis Ohio identifies the best soybeans and hybrid corn that will work on individual growers’ farms — matching genetics and traits with farmers’ specific growing conditions and production strategies. As a family owned company, Axis Ohio strives to build long, mutually rewarding relationships with their customers while supporting the local community.last_img read more

May 31 2010 image The Lean Linear City designe

first_imgMay 31, 2010 [image: The Lean Linear City. designed by Paolo Soleri, 3D rendering by Young Soo Kim. A postcard of this image is now available at the Cosanti and Arcosanti Visitors Centers]. Previous reports on the LEAN LINEAR CITY can be viewed on 4/20/05, 2/6 – 2/8/06, 8/5 – 8/14/09, 11/27 – 12/14/09. This updated and recently completed series of new 3D images will be in this weeks reports, 5/31 – 6/4/10. [3D Rendering: Young Soo Kim & text from WHAT IF? QUADERNO 9, SOLARE: LEAN LINEAR CITY] [image: The Lean Linear City proposal, as shown at the Beijing Center of the Arts exhibition during the exhibition 3 DIMENSIONAL CITY – FUTURE CHINA, Nov. 2009 – Feb. 2010] The text throughout these three reports consists of excerpts from “QUADERNO 9, SOLARE: LEAN LINEAR CITY”, written by Paolo Soleri, 2005. “SOLARE proposes a continuous urban ribbon, designed to intercept wind patterns of the region. It will also be sensitized to the sun’s radiation, both photovoltaic and greenhouse. Thus, energy-wise it is best suited for breezy and sunny regions.” [3D Rendering: Young Soo Kim & text from WHAT IF? QUADERNO 9, SOLARE: LEAN LINEAR CITY] [image: The Lean Linear City proposal, seen here as an extension from an existing city] “Briefly stated, its main characteristics are: A series of continuous sub-ribbons extend as the Lean Linear City develops with time: [A] Two main parallel structures of thirty or more stories extending several kilometers to hundreds of kilometers. [B] A climate-controlled volume constituting the inner park defined by the two structures delineated above, featuring greenhouse in winter and parasol in summer. [C] Two wind generator continua [D] Two photovoltaic continua [E] One greenhouse apron continuum [F] One orchard apron continuum [G] Several logistical bands for local, regional, and continental trains (rail and maglev) [H] Moving walkways, shuttles, and “fast down and out” slides at appropriate locations [I] One water “stream” for the needs of residents and travelers and for recreation. [J] Two delivery and pick up networks [K] Two liquid and solid waste networks.” [3D Rendering: Young Soo Kim & text from WHAT IF? QUADERNO 9, SOLARE: LEAN LINEAR CITY] [image: View of the Lean Linear City proposal with the two linear ribbons connected to a major node] “Following nature’s example, the design and display of the lean urban ribbon connects existing large and small habitats and helps salvage the land from diaspora while in a sustainable fashion reducing waste, pollution, and social and cultural impoverishment. At the lower ends of the greenhouse aprons the short skirt of suburbia develops. The ballerina, the orchestra, and the spectators know the skirt must be a tutu; the shorter it is, the better it allows nature’s grace into its brief proximity. Rigorously contained suburban spread could develop on a fascia no wider than one kilometer, so as to accommodate travel by public transportation, bicycle, and foot. The private automobile would be rigorously confined to auxiliary functions (outings, research, etc.).” [3D Rendering: Young Soo Kim & text from WHAT IF? QUADERNO 9, SOLARE: LEAN LINEAR CITY] [image: In the foreground we see NUDGING SPACE Arcology with the Lean Linear City in the background] “One thing we should label correctly is time pollution, i.e., the daily waste of time due to moving things and people from here to there. The time wasted commuting, for instance, is one of the main time pollutions of affluence and hyper-consumption. Motion implies energy spent, thus commuting is a double slam of time pollution and energy waste, and also threatens the physical and biological well-being of moving organisms. It offers a less than rosy picture of Homo sapiens as “controller of its own destiny.” This report continues on 6/2/10. [3D Rendering: Young Soo Kim & text from WHAT IF? QUADERNO 9, SOLARE: LEAN LINEAR CITY]last_img read more

Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is to be sold

first_imgIsraeli satellite operator Spacecom is to be sold to China’s Beijing Xinwei Technology Group for US$285 million (€253 million) in a deal that values the operator of the Amos satellites at a significant premium to its average stock price for the last month.Under the terms of the deal, the Chinese conglomerate will reportedly take on ILS1.478 billion in debt (€347 million). Spacecom’s majority owner is Eurocom, Israel’s largest privately owned communications group.Under the agreement, which reportedly could face regulatory hurdles in Israel, Spacecom will be under the control of Israel-domiciled company Big Bird, led by a former head of the communications arm of the Israel Defence Force. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing Xinwei-owned, Luxembourg-based Luxembourg Space Telecommunications.Telecom group Beijing Xinwei is led, as chairman and CEO, by Chinese billionaire Wang Jing. The group is known to have close ties to Great Wall Industry, China’s main space industry group, and is involved in plans to launch a group of low-Earth orbit satellites to enable mobile communications in China following a move in 2014 by the Chinese State council to open the country’s telecommunication infrastructure to private investors. It has also reportedly been involved in satellite plans in a number of international markets, including in Latin America.“The global market for communications satellites is undergoing a consolidation process, enabling the merging companies to improve their competitiveness,” said Spacecom CEO David Pollack in a statement.“Beijing Xinwei is a strategic partner, expert in the field of telecommunication, planning to expand its business the communication satellites field, The merger will provide the company with financial strength and will enable further development and growth.”Major General (Res.) Ami Shafran, representative of Beijing Xinwei Group said: “The impressive accomplishments and capabilities of Space Communication is well known in the industry. The merger perfectly fits the Group’s moves to expand its operations in the worldwide communications market. At the same time, the transaction will provide to Space Communication financial stability and will boost its growth”.last_img read more