CHEMEX Africa 2023

CHEMEX Africa was the first ever OPCW large-scale chemical emergency response exercise for African countries. During this two-week capacity building programme, African instructors trained African first responders in a South-South collaboration.

CHEMEX Africa was unique in its approach, combining a comprehensive theoretical framework with hands-on experience, including a chemical emergency response simulation. OPCW Member States representatives and other key stakeholders attended the demonstration to witness how a chemical emergency can unfold.

Course content 

More than 80 first responders from 32 African countries learnt how to identify, manage, and mitigate threats posed by toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents.

Participants received rigorous training in:

  • identifying toxic industrial chemicals and chemical weapons agents
  • decontamination procedures
  • detection and sampling techniques
  • proper use of personal protective equipment
  • incident commands

The Czech Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, the European Union, and other regional and international organisations provided expert supervisors, evaluators, and observers for the exercise.

CHEMEX Africa allowed the OPCW and participating countries to evaluate and analyse existing gaps in chemical emergency response capabilities in Africa. The outcome of this analysis will be used as a basis to build up and improve national programmes for protective purposes. In addition, it will allow the OPCW to further fine-tune the capacity building support it provides to its Member States in Africa and beyond.

Chemex Africa 2023