Chemists from Africa Advance Expertise in Chemical Analysis

Thursday, 08 June 2017

Participants at an OPCW training on analysing chemicals related to the Chemical Weapons Convention in Pretoria, South Africa

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 8 June 2017 — Chemists from Africa expanded their expertise in analysing chemicals related to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) through the application of gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), during an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) training in Pretoria, South Africa, from 22 May-2 June 2017.

The course took place over two weeks and offered comprehensive theoretical and practical training in GC and GC-MS analysis - pre-eminent analytical techniques in separating, identifying and quantifying compounds in complex mixtures. 

The participants practiced preparing and handling samples, operating analytical instruments and applying various GC and MS techniques. Exercises were supported by lectures on the physical-chemical properties of chemical warfare agents, quality control, safety, health and environmental protection related to working in chemical labs, and the handling of toxic chemicals. 

Moreover, the course provided an overview of the CWC and developed participants understanding of the important role science plays in the effective implementation of the Convention.

“This is a much needed initiative, as there are no courses on chemical weapons in chemistry departments in Africa. I especially appreciated the practical aspect of the training, which allowed us to gain expertise in the complexities of GC and GC-MS analytical techniques,” one participant stated. Another attendee underlined the professional self-reliance that the course had granted him: “The lessons on troubleshooting and equipment maintenance were extremely useful; now we know how to deal with common equipment malfunctions without waiting for foreign expertise to fix them, saving us both time and money”. 

The course was co-organised by the OPCW and the Protechnik Laboratories from Pretoria, and was conducted under the OPCW’s Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa. 

This ninth edition of the training was attended equally by men and women from OPCW Member States from Africa. The 22 participants represented: Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

Background

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. 

To date, nearly 95 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.

More Information

Media Inquiries

OPCW Public Affairs
Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR
The Hague, The Netherlands
+ 31 70 416 32 42
public.affairs@opcw.org
www.opcw.org 

Follow OPCW on:  


Categories: International Cooperation

For further information, please contact OPCW Public Affairs. +31 (0) 70 416 3242, public.affairs@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

Follow OPCW on Facebook and Twitter.

More news

Latin American and Caribbean Industry Professionals Boost Skills on Chemical Disaster Risk Management

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 August 2017 — Chemistry professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean are better equipped to implement the industry-related provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) after a seminar on...04 August 2017Full story

H.E. Ms Christine Weil (Germany)

H.E. Ms Christine Weil, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW, presented her credentials to the Director-General on 2 August 2017.02 August 2017Full story

OPCW Launches 18th Edition of Associate Programme

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 28 July 2017 – The 18th edition of the Associate Programme, a flagship capacity-building programme of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), commenced today at the Organisation’s...28 July 2017Full story

OPCW Director-General Calls for Ethics to Keep Pace with Technological Progress During Visit to Indonesia

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 28 July 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü visited Indonesia on 27 and 28 July where he met with Minister of Foreign...28 July 2017Full story

National Authorities from Africa Review Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and Region’s Needs

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 27 July – Representatives of National Authorities from African States Parties convened at the 15th Regional Meeting in Banjul, The Gambia from 18 to 20 July, to review the achievements, explore the...27 July 2017Full story

OPCW Director-General Calls for Ethics in Science During Visit to Australia

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 26 July 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, visited Australia on 24 and 25 July. In Canberra, he met with the Secretary...26 July 2017Full story

H.E. Mr Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani (Qatar)

H.E. Mr Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 20 July 2017.20 July 2017Full story

Laboratories in Latin America and Spain Increase Analytical Capacity of Substances Relevant to Chemical Weapons Convention

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 13 July 2017 — Analytical chemists from Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain advanced their skills in the analysis of chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), at a course...13 July 2017Full story

First Responders from Asia Acquire Keystone Skills in Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 10 July 2017 — First responders from Asian countries acquired fundamental knowledge on emergency assistance and protection against chemical weapons at an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical...10 July 2017Full story

Medical Professionals Acquire Skills in Assistance for Victims of Chemical Emergencies

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 7 July 2017 – Medical first responders from around the world are better equipped to successfully handle emergency medical assistance for victims of chemical incidents and attacks after a training held in...07 July 2017Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1789
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>