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Syngenta and The Royal Society of Chemistry Launch African Science Initiative
Date:11/21/2007

LONDON, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Syngenta and the Royal Society of Chemistry today 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 program 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 program, encouraging children and their teachers to learn first hand about practical applications of chemistry through an annual schools science competition.

Professor Calestous Juma of Harvard University, a lead author on the United Nations Millennium Project, will launch the Network. Dr Temechegn Engida, President of the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry will also attend the launch.

Syngenta Chief Executive Michael Pragnell said: "Agriculture is an essential stepping stone to economic development and improving livelihoods in rural African communities and the eradication of poverty, one of the millennium development goals. Building networks based upon science and innovation is essential to this process. We are delighted to be partnering the Royal Society of Chemistry in the creation of the first hub."

Dr Simon Campbell, Immediate Past-President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said
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SOURCE Syngenta
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