Set up of the ECOWAS products-certification Mark: Experts validate draft documents

Set up of the ECOWAS products-certification Mark: Experts validate draft documents

The West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP), funded by the European Union in the turn of 12,000,000 Euros and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, held, from 31 May to 1 June, 2018, at Benin Royal Hotel in Cotonou (Benin), a Technical validation workshop of draft documents related to the setting up of ECOWAS products-certification system. At the end of the work, the participants, experts of products-certification bodies from ECOWAS member States and Mauritania, operational or in the process of being set up, proceeded to validate the said draft documents. It was in the presence of Dr. Kafui Codjo Kouassi, President of the Community Committee for Conformity Assessment (CCCA) and Mr. Marcel Gbaguidi, Director General of the West African Accreditation System (SOAC) and under the supervision of Mr. Aka Jean Joseph Kouassi, Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) of WAQSP and Mr. Mensan Hechelli Lawson, Director of Industry at the ECOWAS Commission.

These draft documents approved in this way concern: the project of the general rules of management of ECOWAS products-certification mark, the draft model of specific regulation of the ECOWAS conformity Mark to standards, the draft term of reference for the elaboration of the logo of the ECOWAS conformity Mark, and the draft list of the first priority products through which the products-certification will begin. And it was unanimously that the thirty participants have proceeded to their validation to give approval to the continuation of the ongoing process.

At the opening of the meeting, Mr. Kouassi, UNIDO representative, said that "Building a Quality Infrastructure in a region with more than 300 million inhabitants and 16 economies is a long-term process. UNIDO and its partners, the ECOWAS Commission and the European Union, have understood and collaborated on this project for twenty years". He also thanked the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission for their confidence in their organization, "especially for the implementation of quality projects in West Africa which also involves the creation of the ECOWAS products-certification Mark ". Mr. Rafal Lapkowski, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union (DEU) in Benin, said: "The European Union was proud to participate in this event, which marks the start of the ECOWAS regional products-certification system. This regional system of accreditation will, thanks to cooperation between ECOWAS member States, cover the needs of countries that do not yet have accreditation bodies. Thus, the system of product accreditation through the ECOWAS Standards Conformity Mark is one of the tools that will serve as a benchmark for consumers to identify products that meet the quality standards of the region". Mr. Hechelli Lawson informed that the ECOWAS Commission that he represents "deplores all the inadequacies of the control system, both for imported products and for local production, with the consequence that the presence on the market of poor quality products or dangerous products". The Cotonou workshop therefore starts, according to him, "the implementation of regulations governing the organization and functioning of the Community Committee for Conformity Assessment". Mr. Loukoumanou Osséni, Director General of the National Agency for Standardization and Metrology and Quality Control - ANM (Benin), representing Benin's Minister of Industry and Trade, said that "the results (of the workshop, Editor's note) will undoubtedly contribute to the promotion of quality and the facilitation of trade in the ECOWAS area, through the establishment of a framework for the development and operation of appropriate, relevant, efficient and effective Quality Infrastructure to facilitate intra-regional and international trade, protect the consumer and the environment and promote sustainable economic development ".quality infrastructure, relevant, effective and efficient to facilitate intra-regional and international trade, protect the consumer and the environment and promote sustainable economic development".

In the end, these validated documents, which will be submitted to the CCCA for approval and subsequently to the Council of Ministers in charge of Quality of the ECOWAS member States for adoption, will have the merit of devoting the creation of the ECOWAS products-certification Mark and the logo of the ECOWAS Conformity Mark.

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

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

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