Project Details IUPAC for Africa: Postgraduate Summer School on Green Chemistry

Project No.:
2018-017-1-041
Start Date:
01 August 2018
End Date:
Division Name:
Interdivisional Committee on Green Chemistry for Sustainable Development (ICGCSD)
Division No.:
041

Objective

Inspired by IUPAC Centenary Celebration and the International Year of the Periodic Year Celebration.

African development is one of IUPAC main objective as explicitly stated in its mission. The School will be an important step forward in programming the future activities in Africa. The School aims at teaching young graduate and post graduate chemists from all over the world, in particular from African countries.

The main objectives of the School are:

1) Dissemination of the culture of chemistry with particular attention to the role of communication understood as ensuring access to both IT resources and scientific knowledge in Africa where the enormous physical distances and the problematic economic and political conditions make it extremely difficult the provision of information and technology.
This has implications for the way chemistry is taught and communicated to African society, and how chemistry research is structured and integrated within African Universities.

2) Enhancing the awareness of how developments in chemistry are strictly connected with the economic and social development of a specific country.
Chemical manufacturing has changed over time, influenced by the social needs, but at the same time they have significantly contributed to social and economic development.
Particular attention needs to be given to microeconomics, that is, to economic activities of individuals/small groups and firms in making decisions regarding the allocation of African natural resources and the interaction among these individuals and firms.

3) Favoring research and teaching in the field of Green Chemistry in Africa where it is still at infancy and lagging behind that of Europe, the USA, and other developed countries.
Green Chemistry is needed for the design and attainment of sustainable development. A central driving force in this increasing awareness is that Green Chemistry accomplishes both economic and environmental goals simultaneously through the use of sound, fundamental scientific principles.

The lectures will cover various topics including but not limited to:
• Exploitation of Natural Resources
• Green Methodologies Chemistry
• Green Analysis
• Green Synthesis of materials
• Industrial Green Technologies

4) Reinforcing and improving the chemical research areas in which African countries already operate: Analytical and natural products chemistry, that is, green extraction of natural products.
Africa is vastly abundant in natural resources with exceptional biological diversity. This richness offers valuable opportunities for African countries to pursue novel routes to sustainable processes. Even though plants can enormously vary, analytical techniques in chemistry are the same. Therefore, it will be extremely advantageous for African countries to find a system of collaboration among them on these methods.

5) Offering scholarships for young talented chemists either from academia or industry from African countries.
This will promote the acquisition of new know-how within IUPAC, so giving fresh impetus to the Union, and opening the route for the future work.

6) The Summer School will gain wider consensus from some disadvantaged and scientifically emerging countries in Africa, not yet affiliated with IUPAC (NAO), by maximizing the participation of young talented chemists in the affairs of the Union in order to introduce the work of IUPAC to new countries and thus eventually lead to new NAOs, since it is clearly important to add to the number of IUPAC members.
All these chemists will be ambassadors of Green Chemistry in their institutions, in their countries, and to their peers in Africa.

7) Teaching how to approach pollution prevention and intervention from the perspective of Green Chemistry which has become a basic element of sustainable development that touches many aspects of the environment and human welfare, and relevant to the 17 UN Goals.
This is of pivotal importance in African countries.
To this end, ICGCSD recently participated with two contributions in the framework of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the upcoming Science, Technology and Innovation Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/forum/?forum=88
and https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/forum/?forum=89
Further contacts and directions is expected from the UN 17 SDGs.

Description

The Summer School will be hosted by the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) in collaboration with the Tanzania Chemical Society (TCS) in Tanzania. UDSM is a renown and highly ranked University in Africa, it stands as the most prestigious university in Tanzania offering a wide range of academic disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

It is expected that this Summer School will encourage young African talented researchers and chemists to create a new team of experts in Green Chemistry that would favor the future research, teaching and industrial production in this field in their countries, where chemistry is still at the beginning.
In a way, this is a bottom-up approach since it will provide the possibility to African countries, through their representatives at the School, to:
– identify areas in which Green Chemistry does, or could, offer solutions to their key issues;
– directly present their suggestions and ideas; and
– propose solutions, that would therefore come directly from those who research or operate in the sector.

On the other hand, IUPAC, and in particular ICGCSD will provide the interaction and collaboration with international networks and agencies like ISC, UNESCO, OPCW, OECD, UNEP, DAAD, ISO, that will be invited to participate in the Summer School, in compliance with the 17 UN SDGs.
This collaboration will further help African countries meet the challenges launched by the competitiveness of the globalized market and environment protection that strongly require research and technological innovations, green process intensification and energy saving.

Lectures will familiarize African scientists with the strategies behind designing “greener” synthetic routes in order to reduce the production and use of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products, lead to energy savings and a better environment and health, and to analytical techniques for analysis, isolation and purification of organic compounds of natural origin.

Instructors, giving priority to those coming from IUPAC bodies, will be selected based on the previous experiences and on their internationally recognized contribution to research and promotion of Green Chemistry from different nations. Scholars and researchers from African countries will be particularly welcomed to give their contributions.
A research policy session will be addressed to the issues which steer the Green Chemistry at the industrial, academic and governmental levels in Africa. It is also important to focus on the microeconomics of the microcredit that has been developed since the middle eighties, thanks to the economist Muhammad Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the concept of microcredit and microfinance in 2006. The creation of credit markets in poor countries in Africa is a crucial factor for their development. If well implemented, people are able to sell their products, pay a fair interest rate, and use the extra money to improve their quality of life. All this would create economic and social development.

A poster session will give scientists the possibility to present their research work and the most outstanding posters will be awarded and proposed for a publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry journal. Round tables, discussion groups and brain-storming sessions will be held as solution-finding methodologies.

It is expected that in this environment scientists and instructors will find an informal and relaxed atmosphere. This will give young African researchers and scientists the opportunity to establish new contacts and to exchange information about their research in Chemistry and in Green Chemistry in particular, which will stimulate discussions, questions, a profitable exchange of ideas, and the beginning of new scientific collaborations.
Admittance to the Summer School will be merit based and funding will be available for scholarships.

Progress

See announcement in the Events section.

Read about the 2018 School in project 2017-006-2-041 or in CI Oct 2018, p. 38; https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2018-0430

Page last updated 8 Nov 2018