March 29, 2023

Mr. Mamadou Traore, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion had disclosed at the ongoing 2nd 2020 Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament held from Abuja on Thursday the 23rd of July that it (ECOWAS) has concluded plans to certify products made in Africa to be competitive and meet international standards.

This it hopes to accomplish by way of training and provision of the necessary equipment to aid the process through the extension of support grant of Euro 121million to investors/member states.

Mr. Mamadou Traore in his statement yesterday said, “We need to produce competitive products. There will be certification, to make them safe, usable and tested in laboratories. We are going to support countries through training and equipment. We need to give information to general public.

“Some countries in the region are already using standardized ones. You must have the right dimensions, colourings, textiles, these indicators are already there. By the time it is validated, ownership to it becomes automatic”.

He further disclosed that, “most of our countries import over 85% of their health needs from India, China, Europe, US and this is a challenge. A lot of initiatives have been taken in the region and the COWAS through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is working with investors to produce indigenous products for us in the region”.

He also talked on the issue of producing natural herbs/medicine for Coronavirus and other ailments where he said that aspect is handled by a specialised agency of the commission (WAHO).

He said, “This is a Research & Development matter, having access to the market is a long process, there should be laboratory tests, real-time tests, it takes investments of seven years to commercialise the products. The process and approval is a long one before you get to commercialization. He concluded.

Priscilla Irems

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