A regional training workshop has been organized on 11th and 12th of April 2018 in Lomé, Togo. The focus of this workshop was to inform 40 participants from 15 West African countries on good practices in the field of consumer protection, with a view to raising awareness on quality matters and ultimately increasing demand for products that are safe and healthy. To this end, UNIDO partnered with UNCTAD to deliver this two days’ training on the United Nations Guide for Consumer Protection. This workshop brought together national consumer protection associations and governmental bodies. It was in line with the strategic positioning of UNIDO and contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through SDG 9 and SDG 12. According to Mamadou TRAORE, ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, this is also part of the regional vision of ECOWAS.
As a main outcome of the workshop, a draft work plan has been established for the implementation of the main recommendations of the guide at regional and national level; notably for updating or adopting legal texts on information and consumer protection. The Chief Technical Adviser of the WAQSP recalled that the consumer associations should be part of the decision-making bodies of the ECOWAS Quality Infrastructure, set up during the Dakar Forum. However, these associations should speak with the same voice and nominate consensual representatives. They agreed to work on creating this framework that did not exist before; UNIDO will provide under the WAQSP the necessary technical support to ECOWAS for the implementation of this framework.
The workshop has been carried out in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), within the framework of the West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP), funded by the European Union and implemented by UNIDO.