Our history with Africa is intrinsically connected to the partnerships we’ve formed with leading universities, companies, international foundations and the public sector. By combining our efforts we can do even more to enhance the impact of our activities across the continent.
Since we established the PACN in 2008 with support from Syngenta, we have worked with other corporate partners including P&G and GSK, and joined forces with chemical societies, NGOs and local organisations. We have also partnered with African universities as hosts for our Hubs in Africa.
Our activities are many and varied, but all support our goal of enabling a self-sustaining science base in Africa.
What have we achieved so far?
Together with our partners, we’ve invested over £2m in African science since 2008. Click on the tabs below to explore our progress in four key areas.
Seven early career researchers in Kenya and Nigeria received funding and access to specialist equipment to undertake vital research into challenges such as water quality in slum communities. The additional knowledge and better equipped labs have enhanced research and individual career progression. This was supported by P&G.
An international congress uniting scientists and policy makers led to the World Water Day report, highlighting the actions that must be taken to improve water quality in Africa.
Project Splash with Unilever and local communities in South Africa and Kenya explored ways to recycle wastewater from laundries and develop cleaning products that use less water, enabling communities to be more sustainable.
Our meetings have inspired many successful collaborations, including one which led to WATERSPOUTT – a €3.6 million project funded by the EU which brings cheap clean water technology to rural communities in Africa.
Sustainability & food security
A series of funded research fellowships, in partnership with Syngenta, for African researchers to work towards sustainable food production are helping to build skills, experience and increase collaboration between industry and academia in Africa.
A conference series saw Syngenta and the international scientific community focus on the potential of Africa’s biodiversity as a benefit to agriculture, health, water, conservation and the environment. The published proceedings are available.
In 2016, we ran a UK-Ghana collaboration and international conference on materials chemistry and solar energy. In 2017, Ghana will host the PACN Congress: "Sustainable Agriculture; How the Chemical Sciences Can Contribute to Food Security for a Growing Population”.
Following our World Water Day report we established centres of excellence for analytical chemistry research and training at Hubs in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Ethiopia. With support and donations of analytical equipment, these Hubs now coordinate our work across the continent.
Volunteer-led GC-MS training led to more than 100 scientists from 16 African countries gaining key analytical chemistry knowledge and publishing more than 20 papers. In partnership with GSK, we’ve now expanded this programme to train a further 400 scientists in analytical techniques. We are also training Local Trainers to ensure long term benefit.
We support the annual Kenya Science and Engineering Fair, which gives school students the opportunity to share innovative ideas for improving Africa’s future. Over 1,000 students attend each year.
Teacher training workshops held in Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia helped to inspire a new generation of chemists.
Knowledge & collaboration
We partner with the Royal Society to fund International Exchange Awards, which provide up to £12,000 to enable research collaborations between scientists based in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.
We support the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC), who connect national chemical science communities across the continent. The new links have led to conferences, increased networking and a successful new journal – the African Journal of Chemical Education.
The PACN is helping to expand the strong network of Royal Society of Chemistry members in Africa. Currently, we have over 750 members in 21 countries, with Local Sections in South Africa, Nigeria and Tunisia, plus local representatives in Ethiopia, Cameroon, DR Congo, Mauritius and others, who coordinate networking opportunities, scientific meetings and outreach work.
Researchers across Africa have free online access to the Royal Society of Chemistry Journals Archive (1841–2007), plus access is available through Research4Life.
Researchers in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ghana can also access the complete eBook collection and The Merck Index*. Researchers in Africa access around 14,000 chapters per year.
*The name THE MERCK INDEX is owned by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., U.S.A., and is licensed to The Royal Society of Chemistry for use in the U.S.A. and Canada.
Below are some of the partners that we have worked with so far with the Pan Africa Chemistry Network. We are always keen to speak to new individuals and organisations who support our ambitions for Africa.