4th OPCW Basic Course for African National Authorities Held in Ethiopia

9 September 2011

The National Authority of Ethiopia and the OPCW jointly organised a basic course for personnel of National Authorities in Africa who are involved in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The course was held in Addis Ababa from 5 to 9 September 2011 and attended by 29 participants from 25 States Parties*.

This year’s Basic Course was the fourth to be held by the OPCW for the Africa region and was organised under the auspices of the OPCW Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa (“Africa Programme”). The aim is to enhance the capacity of participating National Authorities to implement the CWC and to promote closer cooperation between National Authorities at the regional and sub-regional levels.

“I firmly believe that this training course will improve the work of National Authorities for the effective implementation of the Convention,” stated the Hon. Ato Tadesse Haile, State Minister for Industry at the Ethiopian Ministry of Industry, in opening remarks delivered on his behalf.  He commended the OPCW Technical Secretariat for the support it provides through programmes “which are directly relevant to our needs and priorities.” and stressed that the Basic Course helps to enhance the capacity of member states to implement the Convention.

The course covered the history of the development and use of chemical weapons; an overview of the CWC and the OPCW; the rights and obligations of States Parties; the establishment and effective functioning of National Authorities; the declarations and verification regimes of the CWC; the transfer provisions relating to import and export of Scheduled Chemicals; and the OPCW’s international cooperation and assistance programmes including promotion of the peaceful uses of chemistry.

It also offered an opportunity for bilateral consultations between the participants and Technical Secretariat staff, and for participants to share updates on the progress made and challenges encountered by their National Authorities in implementing the Convention. 

* Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sao Tome & Principe, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.