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Major breakthrough for Quality in West Africa: TMC/ECOSHAM validates 58 Draft Standards

From 13 to 16 June 2023, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), with the support of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) within the framework of the WACOMP/WACQIP programme, organized a regional meeting of TMC/ECOSHAM.

This strategy meeting brought together representatives of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the ECOWAS Commission, the UNIDO Regional Director in Nigeria, members of the ECOWAS Community Committee for Standardization – ECOSHAM, as well as the WACOMP/WACQIP project team based in Abuja.

During this meeting, Mr. Frank Okafor, the representative of the European Union (EU), highlighted the various EU supports to the WAEMU and ECOWAS Commissions through various quality and competitiveness programs. He congratulated both Commissions for their efficient management of EU funds. Mr. Okafor stressed the importance of operationalizing quality regional infrastructure to facilitate the implementation of programmes aimed at developing regional value chains. He reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to support inclusive and sustainable industrial development in West Africa, with a particular focus on quality infrastructure and value chain development for the benefit of ECOWAS businesses and citizens.

The UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS, Regional Director for the Central and West Africa regions, Mr. Jean Bakolé, also welcomed the significant progress made through UNIDO’s competitiveness and quality programmes. He stressed the importance of supporting these initiatives for the benefit of the region.

The highlight of the meeting was the validation of 58 draft standards by members of the TMC (Technical Management Committee). This critical step will help strengthen the region’s quality infrastructure, thereby promoting compliance with international standards and the competitiveness of West African companies in domestic and international markets.

The participants, representatives of ECOWAS member countries, concluded the meeting with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, aware that each validated draft standard represents a significant step towards a robust quality infrastructure in West Africa. This breakthrough strengthens the region’s position in the global context and creates opportunities for sustainable economic growth and improving the quality of life of ECOWAS citizens.