THE latest in the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's series of 'Inspiring People' talks takes place in Helensburgh this week when Professor John Briggs talks about some of the economic, health and environmental challenges facing countries in Africa.

With a research career spent working collaboratively with colleagues in Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Botswana and beyond, Professor Briggs has plenty of stories to share.

As part of this RSGS event, which is one of 90 Inspiring People talks taking place across Scotland this season, John will dazzle the audience with images of vibrant African communities and geographical success stories from the continent.

READ MORE: Inspiring speakers set to bring the world to Helensburgh

But he’ll also look at some of the complex issues Africa is facing and question whether more radical action ought to be taken, and by whom. Where are we now with the HIV/AIDS epidemic? What about the failure of small-scale agriculture? What about the inability of aid to transform lives?

Additionally, with reference to his more recent research, John will discuss the use and management of natural resources and how these could be implemented in a more sustainable manner – particularly given the low-income resources available across many of his study areas.

Commenting on the upcoming talk, Mike Robinson, the chief executive of the RSGS, said: “John’s talk is set to be both thought-provoking and insightful, and I hope our audiences take away a better, more informed understanding of Africa at the small and large scales, both in terms of its physical landscapes and human geographies.

“John is a well-regarded academic expert in this arena, so we’re delighted to provide him with such a platform to communicate his years of research to a wider group of people.”

Professor Briggs is vice-president of the RSGS and a recently retired professor of geography at the University of Glasgow.

Throughout his research career, he has worked on development problems in Africa and has published extensively in a range of internationally renowned scientific journals.

John will talk at the Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh on Thursday, January 31; the talk begins at 7.30pm.

Tickets for John’s talk will be available on the door or online via Eventbrite until noon the day before.

Please see for links and further details.

Full price tickets are £10; they are £8 for Tiso Outdoor Experience Cardholders and free for RSGS members, students and U18s.

And if you can’t make it along next Thursday, don’t fret too much - because there are still two further chances to catch up with some more Inspiring People in the remaining talks in this winter’s Helensburgh series.

Explorer Beth Christie will speak about the sustainability lessons she learned on her journey to Antarctica when she visits the town on Thursday, February 28, and geology expert Professor Iain Stewart, well known for his TV appearances on series such as the BAFTA-nominated ‘Earth: The Power Of The Planet’ and ‘Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered The World’, takes ‘Planet Oil: A History of Addiction’ as his theme on Thursday, March 28.