Important event on risk management

Managing risks in hazardous environments in Africa

By Claire Marchand

Africa is rich in natural resources such as oil and gas, minerals and ores but their extraction is sometimes carried out under conditions that do not meet the strictest safety requirements. Observation of safe practices in hazardous areas is a must. When equipment is not installed, maintained, inspected or repaired by competent persons and according to strict Ex standards, the results can be devastating. What may be acceptable in non-explosive atmospheres can, in a different environment, lead directly to explosions that not only destroy property but can cost human lives or cause severe injuries.

Black-Star Gate.11-January 2013, Accra-Ghana ...with the Independence Arch, also known as the Black Gate (Photo: Blake Maybank)

Learn to identify risks

Recognizing the need to raise awareness on explosive (Ex) atmospheres and liabilities in Africa, the African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission (AFSEC) and IECEx (IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres), in collaboration with the African Energy Commission (AFREC) and the National Electrotechnical Committee of Ghana, organize an international seminar in Accra, Ghana on 20 July 2015.

The objective of the event is to provide a general introduction to IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, with special emphasis on IECEx and the Affiliate Conformity Assessment Status (ACAS) and to develop capacity building for African experts in the electrotechnical sector. An update on IEC work in Renewable Energies is also on the agenda.

Who should attend?

The event is for experts, senior staff and professionals from all electrotechnical sectors in African countries, including stakeholders, regulators and policy-makers, who are involved in the standardization, manufacture, inspection, repair, exploitation, maintenance and overhaul of equipment.

The seminar will provide a unique opportunity to learn about IECEx and the benefits of using the System.

Networking opportunity

The seminar will be conducted by IECEx expert Michel Brénon and by Thomas Robertson, IEC Project Coordinator Affiliate Country Programme & International Liaison for Developing Countries, who will share their experience and knowledge, answer questions and provide advice, information and background material.

As was done in previous AFSEC-IECEx seminars, the sessions will be in English and in French.

The seminar is a further opportunity for African professionals to make contacts, network and learn from IEC experience in the entire global Ex field.

Practical information

The AFSEC-IECEx event will take place in the Engineers Centre (the Ghana Institution of Engineers) in Accra, Ghana on 20 July 2015.

To apply to register for the seminar, send an email to, with your full name, indicating if you would prefer to attend the French or English language seminar.

Since space is limited, please make sure you register as soon as possible.

Ghana Aerial view of Independence Square in Accra, Ghana...
Black-Star Gate.11-January 2013, Accra-Ghana ...with the Independence Arch, also known as the Black Gate (Photo: Blake Maybank)
Mining truck loading Truck loading at a mine