Advancing accreditation in West Africa

The West African Quality System Program (WAQSP) and the Nigerian Quality Infrastructure Program (NQIP), implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) support African accreditation bodies to receive regional and international recognition. Through these programmes, African consumers are assured of the quality of their products, as they are tested and certified by accredited institutions. The Ghana National Accreditation System (GhaNAS), the Nigeria National Accreditation System (NiNAS), the West African Accreditation System (SOAC) and the ECOWAS Regional Accreditation System (ECORAS) have received recognition thanks to the WAQSP and NQIP.


At the 9th General Assembly of the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC), September 2018, significant progress by these bodies was highlighted. For instance, NiNAS and SOAC were awarded and became full members of AFRAC, which includes full voting rights at the General Assembly. The ECORAS and ECOWAS commission further received the status of AFRAC stakeholder member. SOAC will host the 10th AFRAC General Assembly in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.


The President of ECORAS and DG of NiNAS, Mr. Celestine Okanya commented that ‘all of these results are proof that West Africa is resolutely committed to catch up in accreditation. They also reward the efforts made by the region over the last fifteen years for the development of quality infrastructure in general and accreditation in particular.’


UNIDO possesses substantial expertise in capacity building and institutional strengthening within quality programming. As a result of the advances in accreditation, these bodies can continue their work of ensuring healthy and quality products are delivered to African consumers. Accreditation is one step in the chain of enhancing African countries’ competitiveness and access to markets.


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