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Chemical Sciences in Development

What We Do: Uganda Project Description

Technical Assistance To Commodity-Testing Laboratories In Uganda
Uganda wishes to develop a robust program to export commodity crops to the USA, EU, and Japan. For these markets, chemical analyses of commodities must have sufficient accuracy and reliability to comply with international standards. To help these laboratories operate to international standards, an IOCD team of four scientists visited Kampala, Uganda, from 19 to 26 October 2005, where they toured laboratories selected by the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (MTTI). The IOCD scientists met with the analytical chemists in these laboratories to discuss the difficulties they experience in attaining test results with the required level of accuracy and reliability.
Project Recommendations
The team summarized its findings in a report to MTTI. The report recommended remedial measures for upgrading the capacity of the laboratories. Among these measures were the following:
  1. Awarding of short- or long-term fellowships for staff scientists or laboratory managers to spend time in laboratories in Europe, USA, and Africa (in particular, South Africa and Botswana).
  2. Arranging short- or long-term visits by foreign consultants to the African laboratories to help local staff scientists learn specific disciplines or techniques.
  3. Organizing a laboratory’s participation in a proficiency testing exercise with an accredited laboratory.
  4. Organizing workshops at African laboratories on topics such as up-to-date laboratory methods of analysis, good laboratory practice, pesticide analysis, etc.
  5. Upgrading laboratory facilities to bring them closer to international standards.
Follow-up Actions
MTTI requested that IOCD focus its follow-up efforts on one laboratory, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). Accordingly, the IOCD Working Group is now working with UNBS to determine the priorities for the collaboration. Since the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has allocated funds for its cooperation with IOCD in implementing the follow-up phase of this project, IOCD is discussing with IUPAC the possibility of utilizing the funds in actions designed to remedy specific problems and needs of UNBS. This may include arranging for IUPAC scientists to visit the UNBS as consultants on specific problems or for African scientists to go to IUPAC laboratories on short-term visits.
IOCD Scientists On The 2005 Visit To Uganda
  • Dr. Walter R. Benson, Project Coordinator and Contact Person
    Tel/Fax: +1-301-229-3913
  • Dr. Albert Pohland, Director, International Programs
    AOAC International, Bethesda, MD (USA)
  • Dr. Patrick Wilson
    Office of the Commissioner, Office of International Programs
    United States Food and Drug Administration
    Washington, DC (USA)
  • Dr. Geoffrey Kamau
    Chemistry Department, University of Nairobi (Kenya)
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