Syngenta and the Royal Society of Chemistry announced the creation of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network to help promote the economic and social development of the continent. The Network, which will eventually span the whole continent, is being established initially in Kenya. Its purpose is to connect African chemists more effectively and to enable them to achieve greater levels of innovation and scientific development.
Syngenta is supporting the launch with a GBP 1 million grant. A prime focus of the Network will be agricultural development including food security and sustainability, clean water and disease prevention. Academics will meet through a programme of seminars, conferences and workshops. Fellowships and grants will be awarded to enable active participation in these events and to further enhance networking, technology transfer and skills development by facilitating international mobility of key scientists.
An essential platform of the Network will be an educational outreach programme, encouraging children and their teachers to learn first hand about practical applications of chemistry through an annual schools science competition.
Dr Simon Campbell, Immediate Past-President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: "The RSC is delighted that Syngenta has embraced so enthusiastically and generously our vision for the Pan Africa Chemistry Network that will help build the chemical science capacity that is vital for social and economic development across the Continent. We are looking forward to partnering with Syngenta and our African colleagues to build a network of local and national chemical science communities that will address such fundamental challenges as food security, disease control and biodiversity."