Title: Standardization of analytical approaches and analytical
capacity-building in Africa
Chairman: Walter R.
J. B. Åkerblom, Jan
Åke Jönsson, Geoffrey
Kamau, David Moore,
Albert E. Pohland,
and Nelson Torto
This project seeks to upgrade selected laboratories in Africa, thereby
enabling them to produce reliable and internationally accepted analytical
results for farmers and enterprises in the private sector that seek
to export commodities to markets in the USA, EU, and Japan, where compliance
with international standards is required.
The recent World Bank book Standards and Global Trade states
that "trade is a crucial driver of growth." The book reveals,
however, that farmers and firms in African countries, including Kenya
and Uganda, are unable to reap the potential income for the growth of
their economies from trade on foreign markets, for their governments
fail to provide them the services of a well developed regulatory infrastructure
with competent laboratories that can ensure their commodities comply
with international standards.
Our project will addresses these constraints that block desired gains
from trade by carrying out a pilot activity that first evaluates local
needs and then brings appropriate remedial measures to bear on selected
laboratories in Kenya and Uganda. Through these two phases, we seek
to raise the capability of these laboratories to the level where they
produce reliable and internationally acceptable analytical results in
testing commodities and thereby facilitate the effort of the farmers
and enterprises in the private sector to export their commodities on
Phase I: Investigation of Requirements and Capabilities
The first phase of the project will involve seeking information not
only about the regulatory systems and analytical laboratories in these
countries, but also about the specific export interests and possibilities
among the farmers and entrepreneurs in the private sector of both countries.
Hence, we will seek information about each country's current policy
on promoting trade, its existing regulatory infrastructure, the relations
between its trade development agencies and farmers groups or small and
medium enterprises, etc., as well as the capabilities of a country's
analytical laboratories and their understanding of international standards.
These and other pertinent issues requiring our attention exist on three
levels. First, on the policy level, our concern is the country's commitment
to trade development and hence the degree to which it considers our
intervention with the selected laboratories of importance to its economy.
Second, on the strategic level, there are a number of substantive issues
that pertain to our work with the laboratories. We will need to contact
authoritative sources in each country, whether these be government organs,
commercial firms, associations of small and medium enterprises, or collectivities
of farmers regarding these issues and seek answers to identify key export
commodities and markets, relevant international standards, responsible
regulatory authorities, and laboratory expectations.
Third, at the operational level, we will consider the following crucial
issues during the concluding stage of project preparation, when our
scientists travel to Africa to meet the manager and scientists of each
laboratory: outlining the specific trade-related responsibilities expected
of the laboratory; diagnosing the inadequacies of a laboratory; selecting
the appropriate remedial measures; and scheduling over the life of the
project (2 to 3 years) the implementation of these measures.
Phase II: Remediation of Analytical Capacity
Our pilot project will implement the various remedial measures by collaboration
between scientists from IOCD, IUPAC, and other partners with the managers
and scientists of the selected laboratories. This collaborative approach
will be aimed at applying the appropriate remedial measures to raise
the laboratory's level of performance.
Remedial measures to be implemented in the second phase will both include
human capacity building (e.g., short- or long-term fellowships for African
staff scientists at laboratories in developed countries, visiting lecturers
to work with laboratory staff, and organization of workshops) and laboratory
up-grading (e.g., repair and maintenance, procurement of new equipment,
adaptation and adoption of standardized methods and approaches to local
conditions). The support and involvement of IUPAC will be particularly
critical in the following remediation activities:
a) Human capacity building
- i). Awarding of short- or long-term fellowships for staff scientists
or managers of a laboratory in relevant specializations at laboratories
in Europe, USA, and Africa (in particular, South Africa and Botswana).
- ii). Arranging short- or long-term visits by foreign consultants
to the African laboratories to assist local staff scientists learn
specific disciplines or techniques.
- iii). organization of workshops at the African laboratories on topics
such as up-to-date laboratory methods of analysis, good laboratory
practice, pesticide analysis, etc.
b) Laboratory up-grading
- i). laboratory investigations by the African laboratory's scientists
so as to implement and adapt internationally harmonized approaches
and analytical methods within the context of local conditions.
- ii). Organizing a laboratory's participation in a proficiency testing
exercise with an accredited laboratory.The specific set of trade commodities
to be analyzed (e.g., fruits and vegetables, processed oils) and analytes
(e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins) will be identified as
part of Phase I of the project.
> Nov 2004 report update (pdf
file - 13KB)
> May 2006 report update (pdf
file - 16KB)
> Update/review published in Chem.
Last Update: 8 November 2006
<project announcement published in