The objective of the West Africa Quality System Program (WAQSP) is to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Quality Policy - ECOQUAL. It is funded by the European Union to the tune of 12 million Euros and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The WAQSP is the third phase of a project supporting the development of quality infrastructures in West Africa that began in 2001, funded by the EU and executed by UNIDO. Indeed, after a successful first phase of the program which lasted 5 years (2001-2005), the EU funded a second phase (2007-2012) that produced tangible and rewarding results: the adoption of a regional quality policy and national quality policies, the definition of a regional quality infrastructure chart, the adoption of regional standards, the accreditation of 21 testing / calibration laboratories according to ISO / IEC 17025 and ISO 15189, the certification of 20 companies according to ISO 9001 / ISO 22000, the equipment of metrology laboratories and training of more than 4,000 members of the laboratories staff, etc.

The WAQSP started in August 2014, with the main objective to strengthen regional trade and economic integration in West Africa through the creation of an enabling environment for the respect of international trade rules and technical regulations. This involves the following 4 specific objectives:

  • Specific objective 1:  Relevant actors in countries covered by the program make use of the regional quality infrastructure and harmonized legal framework. 
  • Specific objective 2: Private sector has access to strategically prioritized and harmonized standards for facilitated regional and international trade.
  • Specific objective 3: Private and public sectors have access to a network of accredited and competitive conformity assessment services provided in the region.
  • Specific objective 4:  A culture of quality is entrenched in private sector operators.

The program mainly supports the ECOWAS Commission, its Member States and Mauritania to strengthen their quality infrastructure for higher efficiency, improved competitiveness and greater participation in intra- and interregional trade. Finally, the WAQSP will help to create quality excellence centers and specialized quality institutions networks such as: laboratories and conformity assessment bodies in order to provide effective services to local businesses and exporters and ensure the protection of consumers and the environment.   

The West Africa Quality System Program (WAQSP) thus contributes to sustainable economic development of the region.

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

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