The OPCW and Protechnik Laboratories co-organised an Analytical Chemistry Course (ACC) for African Member States in Pretoria, South Africa from 4 to 15 May 2015. This course is held yearly since 2009 and is modelled along the lines of the Analytical Skills Development Courses (ASDC) held in VERIFIN, Finland. The course was hosted by the Protechnik Laboratories of Armscor (Armaments Corporation of South Africa).
The 2015 edition of the ACC was attended by 23 Participants from 16 countries* in the African region. The opening ceremony took place on 4 May in the presence of the Senior Manager of Protechnik Dr Shumane, Dr Reddiar and Dr Manakele from the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry – National Authority of South Africa to OPCW) and Mr Zinoviev from the Secretariat. Dr De Coning from Armscor welcomed participants on May 5.
The course offered an intensive hands-on training in the handling of different sample matrices for subsequent analysis by GC with element-selective detectors and by GC-MS. It also provided basic knowledge on the application GC and GC-MS for the analysis of samples of chemicals related to the Convention. The theoretical part of the course also included the basics of the GC and MS techniques, sample preparation, quality control, chemical safety and security, health and environmental issues related to toxic chemicals and physical chemical properties of chemical warfare agents. General aspects of implementation of the CWC at country level and related role of the OPCW were also covered in the programme.
* Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.