INTERVIEW - Dr. Seydou Sako, Program Officer Competition and Trade at ECOWAS

"The designated representatives of the consumer associations at the level of the Technical Committees of the ECOWAS Quality Community Council (QCC) will be able to exploit the specificities of each of them to defend the consumers of the region"


Dr. Seydou Sako, Program Officer Competition and Trade at ECOWAS level, was one of the mainstays of satisfactory results recorded at the end of the regional workshop for validation of a Community regulatory framework for consumer protection, held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 19 to 21 November 2018. Elected democratically to conduct the work, he knew how to imprint his touch with his knowledge of the sector, especially by ensuring that the representatives of consumer associations designated to sit in the various technical committees of the QCC have the prerequisites to ensure the load.


WAQSP: Could you give us the context and the expected results of the workshop?


Dr. Seydou Sako: The workshop was a big challenge for us. It follows a training workshop organized on 11 and 12 April 2018 in Lomé by the WAQSP, the Quality Program of ECOWAS housed in the Department for Industry and the Private Sector promotion, in liaison with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

It was then necessary to strengthen the capacities of consumer associations and structures in charge of consumers for better protection of consumers. At this workshop, the consumer associations of the ECOWAS member States present, strongly recommended, in view of the legal gap that exists at the regional level, the possibility of setting up a harmonized regulation for the protection of consumers in the West Africa region. For greater efficiency, it was therefore important for these actors to be represented in the various technical committees of the QCC. It was then necessary to find a mechanism for the designation of consumer associations.


WAQSP: For having moderated the discussions, you are very well placed to return on the highlights of the work, especially in connection with the regulatory framework of ECOWAS?


Dr. Seydou Sako: It must already be said that this workshop has fully achieved the desired results. First and foremost, the ECOWAS Quality Program has been able to find consultants who have quickly developed a draft regulation on consumer protection at the regional level, drawing on success stories. In addition, the workshop made it possible to choose a consensual mechanism for the representation of consumer protection associations and structures in ECOWAS quality Infrastructure bodies.

So we can say that the satisfaction was full after the workshop. Especially since we have benefited from the notable bail of the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Industry and the promotion of the Private Sector, Mamadou TRAORE accompanied by his counterpart at UEMOA, in the  presence of the representative of the Minister of Industry of Burkina Faso which opened the workshop. And to come back on the document essentially, it must be said that it was reviewed, point by point, by the participants. Substantive work was therefore done by one and the other. Today, we are moving towards a directive at regional level in the context of consumer protection as it is done at the level of the other Regional Economic Committees.


WAQSP: How do you value the quality of the exchanges throughout the works, especially between the consumer associations?


Dr. Seydou Sako: I am fully satisfied. The workshop recorded the presence of very committed consumer associations. We know that intervening as a consumer association at the member State level is not an easy task. So the exchanges have been sufficiently responsible, very fruitful and based on this result, we are quite aware that the representatives of the consumer associations that will sit in the various technical committees of the QCC will play their full roles. All those who are designated in relation to the specificities of each Technical Committee will be able to defend the consumer associations knowingly and knowing the theme in a specialized way.

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