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African Air Pollution Professionals Meet in Algeria to Strengthen Monitoring Capacities


Participants of the Mid-Term Coordination Meeting pose for a group photo. (Photo: CRNA/Algeria)

As part of an ongoing, regional technical cooperation (TC) project[1] to strengthen air quality in Africa by improving monitoring and analytical capacities, the IAEA organized a coordination meeting in Algiers, Algeria from 1 to 5 October. Hosted by the Algerian Nuclear Research Centre (CRNA), the meeting provided a valuable opportunity to review the achievements realized through the project to date, to identify persisting challenges and to finalize activities to be implemented before the expected closure of the project in December 2019.

Launched in 2016, the project builds on the progress previously achieved in this area through the TC programme and is expected to improve air quality management in Africa by further strengthening regional capacities for systematic air pollution monitoring.

Representatives from 15 of the 23 Member States participating in the regional project attended the meeting: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

In his opening remarks, delivered through a video message, Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the Division for Africa in the Technical Cooperation Department, stressed that air pollution today is considered “Africa’s invisible, silent killer.” Mr Abdulrazak highlighted that, with growing industrialization and accelerating urbanization on the African continent, air pollution has dramatically increased in urban areas, causing health risks for the population in large agglomerations and affecting the region’s most vulnerable populations, including women and children. He urged participants to use knowledge and expertise already available in the continent and to further expand their capacities in the monitoring and analytical characterization of air pollutants.

During the coordination meeting, the attendees reviewed the outcome of the four regional training courses conducted as part of the project and agreed on a comprehensive action plan for the remaining duration of the project. The need to ensure ownership and sustainability beyond the project’s conclusion was a central theme in the participants’ discussions. This is expected to be achieved by raising awareness of air pollutants and by partnering with other United Nations and regional stakeholders. 


[1] RAF/7/016 ‘Establishing and Improving Air Pollution Monitoring’


Last update: 27 Nov 2018

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