Aboubacry BARO, President of the Board committee of SOAC

“I thank the European Union and UNIDO "

Indeed the role played by technical and financial partners such as the EU and UNIDO in the development of accreditation in the region has been decisive. In fact since 2001, the European Union (EU) has been supporting West Africa in formulating commonly called Quality Programmes executed by UNIDO.First dedicated to the UEMOA region from 2001 to 2005, with a budget of 14 million €, this support was extended to ECOWAS and Mauritania from 2007 to 2012 with a budget of 16.9 million €. In 2014, based on the success of previous phases, the EU renewed its financial commitment, through the West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP), with a total of 12 million €. The ECOWAS Commission provides leadership for the whole region. The main objective of the WAQSP is to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Quality Policy and Infrastructure.I would like to take the opportunity of this interview to express our gratitude anew to these two long-standing strategic partners for quality in the region.One of the flagship results of phases 1 and 2 of the quality programmes is beyond any doubt the creation of SOAC (phase 1) and the assistance provided in its operationalization (phase 2). Indeed, a number of concrete actions were taken, including the development of a business plan and draft statutes, as well as the training of candidate assessors at regional level and in member states. Another major result was the identification and training of resource persons for the implementation of accreditation committees in order to establish a decision-making process for granting accreditation consistent with international best practices, etc. It is also important to note that accreditation covers multiple and varied areas of activities; therefore, it was necessary to identify priority sectors. This is what the UEMOA Commission did by selecting the food industry and medical biology field.

This program is funded by the European Union with the technical support of UNIDO

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Commision of the European Union