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Talks at RAAI- Ideas for Africa!

At RAAI, we understand and appreciate the importance of sharing knowledge. The more people are involved in our network, the better our possibilities to support African development and realise our vision – to improve the world by improving Africa. Collaboration is a key factor in RAAI’s strategy and we strive to build collective knowledge.

Therefore, we regularly invite young scientists and experts from all our fields of interest to share their research, knowledge, and ideas. During these sessions, we encourage active participation and discussions. By bringing people from different backgrounds together, everyone can gain a new point of view on their subject of interest. In this manner, we have been able to spark ideas for new projects and hope to continue this in the future to find solutions to address the unique problems facing Africa.

Talks are usually held quarterly. Each time, young people, who share our vision, living across the globe are invited to present. In this way, we deliberate on a variety of topics every year. All interested people are welcome to join in, listen and discuss with us. If you have a topic you want to present at one of our talks, please feel free to contact us, using the form at the bottom of the page, and tell us about your idea.

Past talks and Speakers:

Sickle Cell Disease in Africa: Preventing organ damage

Akua Annoh - 24/06/2022 [Passcode: 116027]

Sickle cell disease is one of the most common groups of hereditary disorders worldwide, that affects haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. Sickle cell disease causes significant morbidity and mortality and affects the economic and healthcare status of many African countries. 2% of births in sub-Saharan Africa are affected with sickle cell disease (SCD).

Bacteria-related deaths in SCD have reduced dramatically in children in the last 30 years in the West, and it is anticipated that a similar drop will occur in Africa once prevention and prompt management of infections becomes widely implemented on the continent. In 1949, the molecular nature of sickle cell was discovered. In 1958, the genetic basis of the disease and demonstrated that the disease originated from the substitution of a valine for glutamic acid at the sixth amino acid position of the haemoglobin beta chain was discovered.

Since the 1980s, novel approaches for the treatment of sickle cell disease have included the introduction of penicillin prophylaxis for children with sickle cell, also the institution of new-born screening programs, and the use of transcranial Doppler screening for detection of cerebral vasculopathy and stroke prevention. Currently, there are a group of African Scientists who are studying 7000 children and adults with SCD in Africa to identify genetic markers associated with the development of organ damage, with a special emphasis on the body’s defence against molecules released from damaged red blood cells that cause tissue injury.

The long-term goal of the network is to develop strategies to predict, prevent and treat organ damage in SCD.

Industry 4.0: challenges and prospects for African development

Adewale Adejimi - 24/06/2022 [Passcode: 116027]


The concept of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) emphasizes the growing utilization of new technologies such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, etc. It focuses on revolutionizing technology, industries, and patterns of the society to conform to the growing needs of 21 st century.

The topic encompasses political, social, and economic shifts from former centuries to a time of advanced automation and imagination. It aims to increase operational efficiency under four major themes -Interconnection, Information transparency, technical assistance, and Decentralizations. It is however discovered that Africa is lagging in taking action toward harnessing the prospects of these shifts.

This talk shall focus on answering questions on what actions African policymakers could put forward toward this new revolution, how best Africa can reposition herself for a successful digital revolution, and the strategies for overcoming key challenges facing Africa during the fourth revolution in the 21 st century.

Reskilling and Upskilling: A strategic path for Organisational Growth

Adaobi Ufondu - 24/06/2022 [Passcode: 116027]


As organizations attempt to navigate dynamic and complex times, the future survival of organizations depends on their ability to grow and adapt, while preserving their core values. Organizations can only grow and develop when the skillsets of their people grow and evolve. The concept of Reskilling & Upskilling will be one of the most important ways for companies to equip their loyal employees with the skills and competencies they need to be future-proof. How an organization decides to go about reskilling and upskilling its employees depends on the organization's specific needs. However, both organizations and employees have to make certain steps towards reskilling and upskilling.

This talk highlights a framework for developing strategic plans for reskilling and upskilling the workforce within an organization.

Social Entrepreneurship: Its role in sustainable development in Africa

Belinda Kolle - 24/06/2022 [Passcode: 116027]


Social Entrepreneurship has been found to be a driving force of economic growth and development in both the developing and developed countries around the world.

This talk considers the role of social entrepreneurship on social change in developing countries on the African continent such as Nigeria and South Africa. The talk highlights the role of innovation and technology adopted by Social Entrepreneurs, as well as the contribution of Social Entrepreneurs towards rural and community development and urbanization.

Within the scope of this talk, social, economic, and environmental considerations of the social entrepreneurs, as well as financing and crowdfunding patterns in social entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs (culture and religion), and corporate social responsibility are discussed.

Based on these observations, public policy recommendations are made for policy authorities in these jurisdictions to support social entrepreneurship within their jurisdictions to foster sustainable economic growth and development on the African continent.

Upcoming:

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RAAI's Quarterly Talks