Consumer protection and market inspection: West Africa strengthens its mechanism thanks to support from the WAQSP

 The French Accreditation body (COFRAC) has just awarded accreditation to two laboratories in Senegal (scope extension), to the analysis of highly strategic products for the region: the CERES Locustox laboratory on May 28, 2018 and the National Analysis and Control Laboratory (LANAC), this September 19, 2018. They were supported by the WAQSP, implemented by UNIDO and financed by the European Union. LANAC has seen its scope of accreditation extended to two other analyzes: • Histamine analysis in fishery products; • The analysis of iodine in fortified salt. The LANAC thus becomes the first laboratory in the region whose competence is recognized for quality control of iodized salt and the 3rd laboratory of the region competent in the field of quality control of fishery products (the first two laboratories are ONISPA -Mauritania and GSA Mycotoxin & Histamine - Ghana). Recall that LANAC was initially accredited to perform the vitamin A test in enriched oils, with the support of the Quality program (previous phases). WAQSP also helped to extend CERES Locustox's scope of accreditation in the field of pesticide residue research on: • Vegetable products rich in water and chlorophyll; example: onion, garlic, shallot, cabbage, broccoli, leek, celery, asparagus, apple, pear, melon, mango, tomato, pepper, peach, cucumber, chanterelle, salad, spinach, basil, pea, green bean, leaves sugar beet and fodder, fresh grape leaves, Beetroot roots and sugar, carrot, potato, sweet potato. • Vegetable products rich in oil (oilseeds): example: peanut, rapeseed, sunflower, cottonseed, soybean, sesame, oil etc. In addition, the Programme had already extended the scope of accreditation, in June this year, of ATS and LERGC laboratories in Benin, the only accredited civil engineering laboratories in the region to test building materials and for soils’ analysis. The extension focused on compressibility, swelling, shear and resistance to fragmentation of building materials. This means that the competence of these laboratories is globally recognized in these fields to control products in circulation or in operation in the region and those intended for export. Therefore, authorities and economic operators in the region now have a control instrument but also the certification of the quality of these products to better protect the consumer, and also to enter the international market. These accreditations are therefore a huge step forward. To maintain the trend, eight other laboratories are being supported by the Program and will be presented for accreditation in the coming months: - National Laboratory of Public Health (Ivory Coast); - ENVAL laboratory (Côte d’Ivoire), - GSA-Mycotoxin & Histamine laboratory (Ghana) - GSA-Pesticide Residue Laboratory (Ghana) - GSA-Metallic Contaminants Laboratory (Ghana) - Laboratory of the Food Research Institute (Ghana) - Physico-Chemistry laboratory of the National Office of Sanitary Inspection of Fish and Aquaculture Products - ONISPA (Mauritania). In the area of product certification, the Programme has established and accredited four product certification services, namely: - The Senegalese Association for Standardization (ASN) - Senegal, accredited for drinking water; - The National Association of Metrology (ANM) - Benin, accredited for soft drinks; - The Ivorian Association of Standardization (CODINORM) - Côte d'Ivoire, accredited for electric cables; - Nigerian Conformity Verification Agency (AVCN) - Niger, accredited for dried meat (Kilichi). In the field of pharmaceutical inspection, WAQSP currently supports four national drug regulatory agencies in four countries in the region: - Gambia: The Medicine Control Agency (MCA) - Sierra Leone: The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone (PBSL) - Liberia: Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LHMRA) - Nigeria: National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)

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