Accreditation Bodies in West Africa: SOAC to become internationally recognized through affiliate membership of ILAC and full membership of AFRAC

Accreditation Bodies in West Africa: SOAC to become internationally recognized through affiliate membership of ILAC and full membership of AFRAC

SOAC, the West African Accreditation Body has been accepted as affiliate member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) on 16th August 2018 and as full member of the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) on 27th August 2018.

Through the ILAC affiliate membership, SOAC can more easily deliver accreditation services in accordance with relevant international standards, such as ISO/IEC guides & standards, as well as ILAC policies relating to accreditation of inspection bodies and laboratories. The AFRAC full membership is the recognition that SOAC has been appointed as the accreditation body of eight Member States in West Africa and ready to operate in accordance with international standards. This membership offers various advantages to SOAC, notably it authorizes SOAC to participate at AFRAC strategic meetings with the necessary voting rights.

The next step for SOAC is the issuance of the first accreditation certificates as well as the preparing of the international acceptance of these certificates in order to strengthening the ECOWAS Regional Accreditation System (ECORAS).

The achievements of SOAC have been supported so far by the West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP) which is funded by the European Union in the tune of 12 Million Euros and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

For more information:  Mr. Bernard Bau (B.Bau [at] unido.org)