Prof Cheikh Mbow

Prof Cheikh Mbow

South Africa

University of Pretoria

Future Africa

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Work and Research

Prof Cheikh Mbow is the Director of Future Africa. Prior to joining Future Africa, he was the Executive Director of START-International in Washington DC. He served for a decade as Associate Professor on remote sensing-GIS and climate change at the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Science Faculty; and Laboratoire d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Géomatique (LERG), Polytechnic Faculty of the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD), where he was leading the research team called CAREX (Climate Change, Adaptation and Environmental Risks). With more than 120 publications on various environmental sustainability fields, Mbow has proven transdisciplinary skills and expertise on land use, disturbances of natural vegetative systems and sustainability of agricultural systems.

Fields Of Expertise

Sustainability Transformation
Remote Sensing
Climate Change

My Vision for Future Africa

I believe that Africa’s research output to the global public goods has been to the least very insignificant. The continent is undergoing many positive trends in terms of high education, acceleration of the use of modern technologies, new visions for capacity building and connecting research to policy and business.

These trends will not be consolidated and sustained if there is no space for collaboration where linking people to knowledge becomes the main drive for development as it opens up opportunities for the youth and vulnerable groups. Addressing challenges in a context of poverty, rapid demographic growth, social challenges and severe human security cannot be carried with the negative image of Africa. While most of these challenges are true, Africa hosts a great deal of opportunities that can only be unlocked through developing local solutions using the best scientific outputs.

My vision for Future Africa is that the institute will serve as a seedbed for sustainable transformation of the continent and will be a new model for tertiary education’s approach to address the challenges of the 21st century.

The culture I would like to create at Future Africa and beyond is one of reconnection. A culture of trust and reliance to African scientists to create a bottom-up momentum for development using the knowledge generated by our universities is essential for our vision to be realised.