SEANAC has three main objectives and the first aims to promote analytical chemistry in the region through collaboration, research, research training, teaching and information sharing.
SEANAC recognises this to be the most efficient and cost effective way of maintaining, developing and diversifying capacity within the region.
Promotion of analytical chemistry will facilitate recognition of the role of this branch of chemistry such that it may be able to attract support within the continent for its development.
Collaboration in research, research training and teaching is considered to be of paramount importance.
African chemists will be able to share the limited resources particularly as there are universities that have a proper support system.
Utilisation of the state of the art equipment found in some African Universities will give these instruments a longer function life as well as value for money.
Activities involving teaching will help also in sharing of the human resource and facilitate the development of curricula that will sufficiently address some of the teething problems in Africa.
The second objective is to facilitate inventory, access, operation, maintenance and repairs of analytical equipment. A complete data-base of available instrumentation in the region will facilitate sharing of facilities.
Members of SEANAC will be able to identify a University or institute that can meet their needs and hence be able to carry out research at the host institute.
Proper maintenance of the available instrumentation is very necessary and thus sharing of experiences as well as technical personnel will help achieve this goal.
The third objective is to collaborate with organisations of similar aims. It is recognised that many organisations have put aside funds and establish support systems to promote basic sciences amongst women or youth, research to enhance food security or to protect the environment.
SEANAC will try to identify such organisations and seek assistance or collaboration from them such that the Analytical chemists in the region will not be disadvantaged.
SEANAC will achieve its objectives by encouraging dissemination of information through workshops, conferences and other available sources such as the internet.
It will also encourage articulation of the role of analytical chemistry in society, gender equality in analytical chemistry, interdisciplinary research activities, good laboratory practise, industry and academic relations, green chemistry, safe laboratory practise and colloquia among youth.
The network will also play a role in health and environmental issues, facilitate the academic and technical exchange and establish a communication forum for analytical chemists.
SEANAC’S Short term objectives
In order to meet its main objective, SEANAC realises the need to embark on:
Therefore SEANAC realises the need to seek support in order to carry out the following activities:
In order to develop a research capacity as well as a human resource capacity, it is necessary that SEANAC members be involved in research projects that will lead to the award of postgraduate degrees, i.e., MSc and PhD. Fellowships can be made available that give priority to those already working in learning institutions so that a sandwich program of study can be employed. Sandwich programs will allow those institutes with no research capacity to build their capacity during the training program.
Collaborative projects amongst partner institutes
SEANAC will coordinate partnerships between the SEANAC member institutes. This will involve identification of projects that represent common thematic areas for the region. Already some areas were identified during the SEANAC workshop as those dealing with, but not limited to aspects of: Health, Food Security and Environmental monitoring
Collaboration with support institutions
SEANAC will seek to identify institutions that can offer their facilities particularly for the purpose of carrying out a comprehensive literature survey and teaching some modern and essential courses in analytical chemistry. Such a link with the support institute will involve a trip by the SEANAC delegate for a short time to allow them access to library facilities. Members from support institutes can conduct short courses designed for trainers as well as graduate students. Such a course will be given in the region to enhance accessibility by member countries in the SEANAC.
The SEANAC inaugural conference is the first of its kind in the African continent. It is hoped that the conference will provide a platform for the interaction of African Analytical Chemists. The conference will also serve as a forum where African chemists can listen to international analytical chemists who are experts in priority research fields for Africa. The inaugural conference will facilitate both the recognition of research efforts in Africa and the linkage of analytical chemists in the region and abroad. Such a conference will also meet the objectives of SEANAC.
Workshops will be held annually for specific research areas so those that scientists involved in a particular field can share their knowledge as a small group. These workshops will also be characterised by the inclusion of beneficiaries of the research carried out so that any further advancement takes the needs into account. It is also the aim of SEANAC to have workshops that will upgrade/train technical staff as well as those conducting the training in specific subject areas.