African Welding Initiatives

First formulated in 2002, the AFNDT, an informal, voluntary association representing countries involved in AFRA/IAEA group NDT projects was formalised by organisations from eight countries at a meeting held in Johannesburg in early April 2014. The eight countries forming the AFNDT signed a constitution document which will be used to develop the organisation to be an effective regional body.

The main objectives of AFNDT include promoting collaboration amongst African countries in matters of common interest in NDT, holding regional conferences on the technology and application of NDT methods, acting as the regional representative for Africa in the leading international body – the International Committee for Non Destructive Testing (ICNDT) – and encouraging the formation of NDT societies in countries where these do not exist.

The eight founding organisations of AFNDT are: Coalend-CSC, Algeria; CTN, Angola; Hydrac, Cameroon; GAEC, Ghana; KEBS, Kenya; SAIW, South Africa; SAEC, Sudan; and Cetime, Tunisia.

Two new categories of membership have been introduced, namely “associate member” and “liaison member”. This will allow countries to have more than just a single member organisation and encourage wider participation.

Mourad Zergoug from the Centre for Scientific and Technical Research on Welding and Control has been appointed as the President of AFNDT and will lead the organisation through to its next regional conference which will be held in Algiers in April/May 2015. A new position of Executive Secretary has been created and Harold Jansen of SAIW has been appointed to the post. He will be responsible for managing the day-to- day affairs of AFNDT including arranging meetings and promotional and information communications.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the SAIW, which have worked together in NDT training for several years, are now considering a wider relationship and possible joint venture.

In this context Samuel Njoroge, KEBS Head of Engineering Workshops, came in May 2014 to the SAIW for an orientation visit where he spent time with the SAIW team learning about training in both welding and NDT.

Kenya is expected to get a significant boost from industrial development over the next decade with significant construction projects and the availability of suitably trained, qualified and certified personnel will be essential for maximum localisation of the workforce.

Training and certification of welders and NDT personnel is one of the areas of special interest for Mr Njoroge and his time spent with Harold Jansen and Frans Vorster of the SAIW will help him gain a thorough understanding of the resources and expertise needed for these activities.