EU Releases €1bn For Quality Standards In ECOWAS
The European Union on Monday said it had provided development assistance of over €1bn to support the standardisation of goods and services produced in the Economic Community of West African States countries.
It said the amount was specifically targeted at ensuring that goods produced within the sub-region met the global market standard, particularly for Europe and the Americas.
The EU Project Manager for the West Africa Quality Systems programme, Mr Frank Okafor, gave the amount at the extended meeting of the steering committee of the WAQSP.
The objective of the meeting was to assess the progress of countries for certification purposes.
Okafor explained that the support of the EU for the project was aimed at promoting and unifying trade within the ECOWAS sub-region as well as to the world markets.
The contribution, he added, had been for a period of about 17 years and also included EU’s coordinated efforts with other development partners such as the United States Agency for International Development, Germany among others.
Giving a highlight of some of the intervention, he said the EU provided €140m to support the West African Competitive Programme, €45m to support product quality and €60m to support trade facilitation programme in the ECOWAS region.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Director-General, Mr Li Yong, said the project would promote and accelerate the inclusive and sustainable industrial development of developing countries.
Yong who was represented by the UNIDO Project Officer, WAQSP, Mr Bernard Bau, said that UNIDO’s intervention in the programme was aimed at supporting the implementation of the ECOWAS quality adopted in 2013.
This, he noted, would help in strengthening a regional quality system and allow companies to increase their competitiveness and ensure conformity with international standards at limited cost.