INTERVIEW - Ernest GBAGUIDI, President of the NGO "Bénin Santé et Survie du Consommateur"

"This ECOWAS regulation will serve as a directive on the basis of which all States must be able to align to standardize the texts that protect consumers"

 

In Benin, he is one of the leading figures in defense and consumer protection. Having actively participated in the Ouagadougou Workshop on the Validation of a Community Regulatory Framework for Consumer Protection and a Mechanism for Consumer Representation in ECOWAS Quality Infrastructure Bodies, Mr. GBAGUIDI shared his appreciation of the progress of the work, the interest of the exchanges and his expectations.

 

WAQSP - What did the exchanges focus on?

Ernest GBAGUIDI: On the document that was submitted to us, I want to talk about this regulation that will harmonize consumer protection practices in the ECOWAS sub-region. It is a document that will serve as a long-term directive and on the basis of which all States must be able to align to standardize the texts that protect consumers.

The second activity allowed us to find a mechanism that helped us, before leaving the workshop, to designate our representatives who will sit on the Technical Committees of the Regional Quality Infrastructure (IRQ) of ECOWAS. I take this opportunity to welcome the facilitation of the WAQSP, the Quality Programme of the ECOWAS, which is supporting our various States in the establishment of a performing quality system to support companies.

 

WAQSP - Can you go back in detail on the raised points?

 

Ernest GBAGUIDI: When you take the first document that will serve as a guideline, there are litigation mechanisms, recourse mechanisms and organizations that will be set up to support the quality approach, the consumerism approach. In the second document, we had to choose between five approaches to allow us to designate our representatives at the level of these Technical Committees. We chose one, in a consensual way.

We also validated the sharing blog project between the region's consumer associations and its logo.

 

WAQSP - Overall, how do you appreciate the progress of the exchanges?

 

Ernest GBAGUIDI: The exchanges were democratic. There, we will take the opportunity to greet, once again, ECOWAS. Already at the Lomé meeting held in 2018, we expressed the desire to have a consensual community text and to have representatives in these IRQ Technical Committees. It's done today. It is a pragmatism that we liked very much; it will also galvanize us at the level of consumer organizations so that at the level of ECOWAS, we can bring all that is necessary for the development of consumerism and more security for the consumer.

 

WAQSP - What are your expectations after the workshop?

 

Ernest GBAGUIDI: It's mainly the application of all the decisions made during the workshop. We, once in the country, will be restoring everything that has been done here in Ouagadougou so that our constituents who are there can know what is happening for consumerism and for better quality products.

 

This program is funded by the European Union;

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

 This program is implemented by UNIDO

Copyright - 2016 - West Africa Quality System Programme