Chem4Energy is a fantastic program run by Cardiff University with colleagues in Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia. The consortium has been running for a few years and is interested in graduating PhD students in African countries in the field of chemistry with an energy focus. Much of their work is computational and I have been welcomed into the fold in the latter part to help out with some of the materials chemistry.
It is a real pleasure to be included in this and will look forward to the arrival of 2 PhD students from Namibia to undertake some work in the labs at Swansea in due course.
The meeting was held in Botswana to update all parties and was accessed via an 11 hour flight to Joberg in South Africa, flight to Gaborone in Botswana and then a 3 hour trip to the hotel for the meetings. We had update meetings over the weekend and then a mini-conference a BIUST on the Monday where I gave a talk on the group activities and the HYENA network. Looking to see where I could add value and collaborate with the other participants.
The people are amazing and the meeting was fascinating to see the breadth and depth of the research being undertaken by all the students.
I even managed a cheeky tour of the labs at BIUST. Well kitted out on a new campus and looking like a vibrant and exciting community.
After 4 days near BIUST we moved back to Gaborone for a night before I fly home to the UK. Unfortunately, I cannot stay for the rest of the trip and the major chemistry conference run by the chemical society of Botswana but the term is about to start. I do however leave with a really warm feeling towards Botswana and it's people looking forward to a return visit and some fruitful collaboration.