Prof Simiso Dube
In February 2002 I had the privilege of attending the first SEANAC workshop where the network was formally established by founding member countries. As a young PhD graduate then, I felt that the network was formed at the right time for me considering that I had landed into a working environment in Zimbabwe where the institution was struggling to source chemicals for practical chemicals for undergraduate students, let alone capacitate laboratories with sophisticated research equipment. SEANAC created for me a platform to continue with my research ideas and to grow within the research and academic field. Through collaborating with colleagues at the University of Botswana I managed to have access to the equipment and library facilities that were not available at my institution. One of my research visits was supported by SEANAC through the three month staff visits programme while others were from other organization of similar objectives like USHEPIA and the Common Wealth Universities. Such visits resulted with a research output in a form of a peer reviewed journal. As much as there was no formal mentorship programme I believe that I did benefited from the network by working with some of the great chemists in the region. Even after relocating from Zimbabwe to UNISA in RSA I have had the privilege to access equipment and facilities at institutions such as Rhodes University and University of Johannesburg where some of my colleagues that I met through SEANAC were working. My postgraduate students have also been able to visit various institutions through such collaboration. SEANAC has made it possible for me and my postgraduate students to attend conferences that otherwise we would not have missed. I believe the network is growing to greater heights and in certainly does impact on lives of young analytical chemists in the continent.