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Vol. 27 No. 3
May-June 2005

From the Editor

Due to some fortuitous coincidences, this issue of CI is focused on the role of chemistry in addressing the major challenges facing Africa. Some compelling perspectives are provided on how the continent's problems might be addressed by a concerned international community of chemists.

The issue starts with the reflections of our current past president, Piet Steyn, who reminds us of his own experience and the challenges of our changing world. From his home country of South Africa he considers what role IUPAC should play and what kind of rewards and challenges are faced by those involved in the business of the Union.

image of Fabienne MeyersNext, a feature on page 8 addresses the “food question.” Written by Ikenna Onyido, the article reports on the progress and development of CHEMRAWN XII, which will explore how to use chemistry to increase sustainable agriculture and human well-being. While CHEMRAWN XII will focus primarily on Sub-Saharan Africa, the “food question” constitutes a worldwide challenge. An important background paper on the subject was presented by Gbolagade Ayoola at a workshop held last August in Arusha, Tanzania, after the 9th Chemistry Conference in Africa. That paper, as Onyido describes it, is stimulating, very informative, and well researched. Ayoola discusses the roots of the food security problem and provides a framework for the proactive engagement of the scientific community. CI readers are encouraged to look behind these printed pages and review the CHEMRAWN project online. In order for the conference to tackle these pressing issues, support is needed from stakeholders and donor agencies. Interested parties should contact Professor Ikenna Onyido, chairman of the conference steering committee.

In the recently initiated series on emerging issues in developing countries, Nelson Torto discusses, from Botswana, the challenges of practicing analytical chemistry in Sub-Saharan Africa (see page 11). His pragmatic vision comes across with enthusiasm. He too welcomes your comments.

Fabienne Meyers
fabienne@iupac.org
www.iupac.org/publications/ci


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