Science in Africa: Challenges and opportunities

30 July 2018, 12.00 PM - 30 July 2018, 1.00 PM

Professor Mike Davies-Coleman

Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RL

The continent of Africa is faced by many unique challenges (population growth and urbanization, climate change and food security, and disease) for which scientific research carried out in Africa in collaboration with international researchers can provide a number of solutions.

This presentation will provide an overview of science in Africa and will reflect on the difficulties faced by scientists at African universities and the resilience required to overcome these difficulties. In addition to recent successes by African scientists in the fight against malaria and HIV AIDS, examples of the exploitation of unique research opportunities and local beneficiation of Africa’s vast natural resources will be highlighted.

By 2030 nearly a billion Africans will be under the age of 18. The impact of this reality on under-resourced South African schools and universities is already being felt. Over the last decade the University of Western Cape, an historically disadvantaged tertiary institution opened in 1960 under the apartheid system, despite its limited resource base, has invested significantly in science both within the university and schools in poor rural and urban areas. The positive results emerging from this investment will be presented.

About the Speaker

Professor Mike Davies-Coleman, is a professor of chemistry and Dean of Natural Sciences at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. He is internationally recognized for his over three decades of research into the natural products chemistry of African marine invertebrates and terrestrial plants, which has resulted in over 100 research publications in this and related fields. Professor Davies-Coleman is a Fellow of the South African Chemical Institute and the Royal Society of South Africa and was the recipient of both the Rhodes University Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Research and Teaching Awards. A former Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at the US National Cancer Institute, Professor Davies-Coleman is currently a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol exploring, with Professor Dudley Shallcross, the volatile halocarbons in the marine boundary layer at Cape Point, South Africa.

Register online

This event is free to attend and open to all but you must register online.  Please book your tickets here.

Contact information

This event is being co-organised by the Cabot Institute and the Institute for Advanced Studies.


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