A week long intensive training workshop focusing on the effective use and maintenance of Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) technology attracting 17 participants mainly university scholars of chemistry drawn from seven sub-Saharan African countries commenced in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT) , Monday 22, 2011. The workshop was sponsored by Pan Africa Chemists Networks, an initiative supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and Syngenta International to promote scientific developments and education in the field of chemistry across Africa through a series of conferences, workshops, educational outreach and exchange programme.
In a brief welcoming speech to course participants, JKUAT Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga underscored the importance of the workshop reminding the scientists the fact that Africa was less endowed in sufficient scientific knowledge that remained a major obstacle to the continent’s economic progress. ‘The challenge to make Africa self sufficient in areas of weakness is so great that we cannot pretend to correct it with one effort as noble as this one. The continued support of such activities will see the realization of development. However the efforts that PACN Kenya is making towards the achievement of industrialization and protection environment will be a yardstick for judging the success of this event today’.
The workshop that will be jointly conducted by two prominent scientists in the field of chemistry, Prof. Mathias Schafer of the University of Cologne, Germany and Prof. Anthony Gachanja of JKUAT, the host University will take participants through a number of GC-MS techniques that would include its installation and maintenance, MS types, GC instrumentation and its basic theory, and basic spectral interpretation among others.