New Multi-Stakeholder Project to Support African Countries in Chemicals Management

Brussels, Belgium (4 April 2022) – Four African countries – Kenya, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria – will benefit from a new pilot project to support their national implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS is one of the fundamental tools to achieve sound management of chemicals.

The four-year pilot project is a collaboration between the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the European Union, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), working as partners with each pilot country’s government.

“ICCA is a strong supporter and leading contributor to the SAICM goal to achieve the sound management of chemicals worldwide, and the GHS is a fundamental building block of that goal”, said Marco Mensink, Council Secretary of ICCA. “GHS legislation and enforcement can be a long and challenging process, needing several years until it is fully in place. This project will test and evaluate the benefits of a long-term approach to supporting countries through the implementation and adoption process with financial and technical assistance.”

The pilot project sets ambitious goals to make progress in the implementation of GHS in the proposed recipient countries. Key elements include legislation to implement GHS, as well as ensuring that the necessary training, guidance, and tools are in place to implement and enforce the legislation.

“Many multinational chemical companies are already implementing GHS globally, but further capacity building, training, and multi-stakeholder progress would support full implementation of GHS in all regions,” continued Mensink. “So far, only three African countries – Mauritius, South Africa, and Zambia – have implemented the GHS. Expanding implementation across the region is key to promote worker and consumer safe handling of chemicals.”

The pilot project emphasizes tailored, long-term support and capacity-building for the recipient countries based on the respective national development plans and priorities. The success of the project will depend on commitment of all project partners, including the national-level stakeholders and the supporting agencies, to maintain the momentum in implementing the GHS in the long-run.

International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA)

The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is an association of innovators, visionaries, solutions providers and product stewardship pioneers. Through ongoing innovation in chemistry and the constant improvement of safe chemicals management, the global chemical industry makes a significant contribution to a sustainable society: improving human health, protecting the environment, and delivering prosperity worldwide.