Number: 2001-086-1-021 (previous 021/17/97)
Title: CHEMRAWN XII - Chemistry, Sustainable Agriculture and
Human Well Being in Sub-Saharan Africa (revised title)
Chairmen: E. Buncel
and I. Onyido
Members: Stanley Langer, John Malin, Piet Steyn, and Leopoldt
Remarks: Collaborative venture with UNESCO, co-sponsored by
the American Chemical Society
Objective and Description:
- Installation of practical and affordable modern scientific sustainable
agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa as a long-term achievable goal for
ameliorating the festering food crisis and driving towards food self-sufficiency
and food security by increasing per capita food production.
- Attitudinal conditioning for responsible natural resource management
in the African continent as part of the strategy to protect the environment
for the benefit of future generations.
- Application of the stock of available chemical knowledge and technology
in the drive for the reduction of the poverty level and enhancement
of human well-being in the region.
- Enhancement of awareness by African governments, the private sector
and development agencies operating in the region of the technological
and policy options available for increasing food security and protecting
the natural base.
- Emphasis on technology transfer and adaptation for addressing evolving
problems of agricultural production and environmental preservation.
- Reversal of declining soil fertility in Africa.
- Enhancement of pest management strategies.
- Application of biotechnology in improving plant and animal germplasm
for the development of high-yielding and stress-resistant varieties.
- Reduction of post-harvest losses via improved storage/processing
- Promotion of informed usage of agrochemicals for increasing food
production through safe and environmentally-friendly practices.
- Intensification, diversification, and transformation of small-scale
African agriculture through high-value products.
- Enlistment of, and sustaining, the interest of the private sector
in promoting agricultural research in Africa.
- Promotion of collaboration between African scientists, and their
more experienced counterparts in the developed and emerging countries
with proven success stories in the scientific transformation of agriculture.
- Highlighting gender issues in African agriculture and strategies
for the economic empowerment of rural women.
- Installation of pilot development and relevant research projects
in the different sub-regions through the activities of the Future
Actions Committee of the Conference.
Originally, the conference titled "African Food Security and Resource
Management" was scheduled for 22-25 June 1999 in Nairobi, Kenya. Owing
to instability in the region and associated difficulties in raising
funds, it was decided to cancel the project. However, at the CHEMRAWN
meeting in Berlin (August 1999), Drs. Buncel and Onyido reiterated the
importance of the project, in view of the potential role chemistry can
play in enhancing food production in Sub-Saharan Africa in a sustainable
manner and the imperative of transferring proven chemistry-based technologies
to Africans as a long-tern strategy to assist in achieving food security
in the region. Their suggestions to refocus the conference program to
reflect enhanced chemistry content, reorganize the budget to a modest
and more easily realizable target, change the venue to a safer venue
(South Africa), and to seek a suitable conference on which to "piggyback"
CHEMRAWN XII, received the endorsement of the Committee.
The new title, emphasizing the compass of chemistry in enhancing sustainable
agriculture has been adopted as a consequence of the refocusing of the
conference program. The Conference coordinators have prepared a Conference
White Paper in which the objectives, sub-themes, range of participants,
expected outputs, follow-up actions, etc. are clearly spelt out.
Conference White Paper (pdf file - 19KB)
A major improvement in the conference plans is enhanced gender sensitivity,
since African women are known to provide much of the labor input in
food production. Potential speakers, including respected authorities
in the different sub-themes of the conference both from within and outside
the African continent, are being approached. As well, potential donors
and corporate participants are being approached. The South African Soil
Science Society is a collaborator on whose annual conference CHEMRAWN
XII can "piggyback". On the whole, the outlook is optimistic. While
fund raising remains the major challenge, the conference coordinators
feel that with sustained effort the project will be successfully realized
Conference Venue and First Circular
A decision shall soon be made between South Africa and Senegal as the
conference venue. The First Circular shall then be in circulation with
all the necessary details.
Call for Papers and Appeal for Support
In order to plan effectively for a conference that will meet the objectives
stated above in a functional and sustained manner, it is important for
scientists and professionals to be sensitized early enough to be ready
to contribute papers for oral and poster presentation. We would also
like to appeal to stakeholders and donor agencies for financial support
to tackle the problem of hunger, poverty and a high misery index by
engaging in a sustained effort to equip Africans to tackle an African
A number of international organizations have already given their endorsement
for the proposed Conference.
Stakeholders, donor agencies, and scientists who would like to be part
of this timely and worthwhile effort are invited to contact the Chairman
of the Conference Steering Committee at the following address:
Professor Ikenna Onyido
Director, Centre for Agrochemical Technology
University of Agriculture
P.M.B. 2373, Makurdi, Nigeria
A one-day workshop was convened as part of the program of the International
Chemistry Conference in Africa, which took place 27 August 2004
at the Arusha International Conference Center. The 34 participants who
attended the workshop were drawn from 12 African countries as well as
Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Bangladesh.
The workshop galvanized grassroots support for CHEMRAWN
XII by elucidating how the vast array of analytical and problem-solving
tools of the chemical sciences can contribute to the quest for food
security in sub-Saharan Africa.
> See full report published as a feature in Chemistry International
May 2005, p. 8 - "Exploring
Solutions to Africa's Food Crisis"
A second pre-conference workshop was held during the Annual Congress
of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia in February 2006 in Addis Ababa.
CHEMRAWN XII - 'The Role
of Chemistry in Sustainable Agriculture and Human Wellbeing in Africa'
is scheduled to be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa from
2-5 December 2007.
For more information, please contact Piet Steyn <PSST@sun.ac.za>,
Chair of the Organizing Committee.
> press release
(pdf 145 KB)
> Announcement - Chem. Int. 29(3), 2007
Last update: 11 April 2007
<project announcement published in
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