The next ECOCONF meeting is scheduled for February 16, 2021

Next ECOCONF meeting scheduled for February 16, 2021 

MEETING OF MEMBERS OF ECOWAS COMMUNITY COMMITTEE FOR CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT (ECOCONF)

1.   Context and rationale

The WACOMP program aims to promote processing, better access to regional and international markets in four (04) regional value chains, notably cassava and its derivatives, mango, textiles and clothing, and information and communication technologies. communication as a facilitator of the three (03) regional value chains.

The Quality component of WACOMP is the Competitiveness and Quality Infrastructure Project in West Africa (WACQIP), executed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and funded to the tune of 5.5 million. euros by the European Union (EU).

Through the competitiveness of regional value chains, WACQIP aims to facilitate the operationalization of the structures of the regional ECOWAS Quality Infrastructure in particular the Community Committee for the Assessment of ECOWAS Conformity (ECOCONF) set up in accordance with Regulation C / REG. / 11/06/17 of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.

It should be recalled that within the framework of the previous Quality Program, the West African Quality System Program (WAQSP), ECOCONF implemented its action plan 2017 - 2019 with a satisfactory implementation of the activities of ECOCONF:

  • at the institutional level, the Committee adopted its rules of procedure; an office chaired by Togo (Presidency) and Sierra Leone (Vice-Presidency) was elected. The three Sub - Committees provided for by the Internal Regulations have also been set up, in particular the "Laboratories", "Certification" and "Inspection" sub - committees.
  • at the technical level, we must retain the support of eleven (11) testing laboratories for ISO / IEC 17025 accreditation, the establishment and ISO / IEC 17065 accreditation of four (04) product certification bodies, the ISO 9001 certification of four (04) national pharmaceutical inspection bodies, ISO 9001 certification of a (01) Quality Management training center; the organization of two inter-laboratory comparison campaigns for the benefit of sixty-five (65) food analysis laboratories, etc.

Despite these encouraging results, several challenges remain to be taken up, in particular the densification of the network of accredited laboratories in the region, the contribution of certification to the safety of goods and services, including foodstuffs placed on the market; harmonization of the border inspection procedures of the Member States. It is therefore necessary to plan new actions to be implemented in the field of conformity assessment.

Some of these challenges can be addressed under the current program whose activities are focused on four regional value chains (mango, cassava and derived products, textiles and clothing, and information and communication technology).

These terms of reference relate to the organization of a virtual meeting of ECOCONF following the referral of the ECOWAS Industry and Private Sector Promotion Commissioner communicating the results of the study on Quality Infrastructure in support of chains of regional values ​​and inviting ECOCONF to take into account the actions proposed as part of its program of activities.

2.   objectives

The objectives of the meeting are:

  1. Inform the members of ECOCONF on the results of the study to identify the needs for strengthening the Quality Infrastructures and the inclusion in the action plan of ECOCONF;
  2. Validate the priority actions identified by the study then examine and adopt the Committee's new action plan.

3.   EXPECTED RESULTS

At the end of the meeting,

  • ECOCONF members are informed of the results of the study;
  • The priority actions proposed are examined and validated;
  • The 2021 - 2022 action plan is enriched and adopted.

 

4.   PARTICIPANTS

The meeting will bring together:

  • Representatives of the ECOWAS Commission;
  • Representative of the UEMOA Commission;
  • Members of ECOCONF representing ECOWAS Member States, representatives of private sector organizations (FEWACCI and FOPAO), representative of consumer rights protection associations;
  • Representative of the European Union
  • Representative of the UNIDO Regional Office.
  • Representatives of the WACQIP regional coordination technical unit.

Thirty people will participate in the meeting according to the list of participants annexed to these terms of reference (Annex 1).

6.   METHODOLOGY

The meeting will be led by the President of ECOCONF with technical support from the Regional Technical Coordination Unit of the WACQIP combining presentations with discussions (Annex 2).

7.  Date & place 

This virtual meeting will be held on February 16, 2021 by ZOOM.

9.   Languages ​​of work

The working languages ​​are English, Portuguese and French. A simultaneous translation service will be offered.

10.       Report AND MONITORING

At the end of the meeting, the appointed rapporteurs will propose a meeting report with the support of the Regional Technical Coordination Unit (RTCU) of the WACQIP. This report will be adopted at the end of the meeting and distributed to participants.

The RTCU will follow up on the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the meeting.

11.      Funding

The costs inherent in this meeting concern the provision of the ZOOM application and translation services for three (03) official languages ​​of ECOWAS.

Funding will be provided by the WACQIP.

 

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