1.     Your Excellency, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Ghana
2.     The Honourable Minister of Education
3.     Regional Minister for the Greater Accra Region
4.     The Vice Chairperson of Council
5.     Chief Government Nominees of Council
6.     Other Members of Council
7.     The Registrar to Council and WAEC Secretariat
8.     Members of the Endowment Board of WAEC
9.     Your Worship, the Mayor of Accra
10.    Members of the Diplomatic Corps
11.    Distinguished Friends of Council
12.    Former Chairmen of Council
13.    Former Registrars to Council
14.    Heads of National Office
15.    Former Heads of National Office
16.    Staff of the Council
17.    Our Distinguished Honorees
18.    Esteemed Guests
19.    Members of the Fourth Estate
20.    Ladies and Gentlemen
All thanks belong to God. That this God is our God. He will guide us forever. Psalm 48:14.

It is with humility and immense pleasure that I welcome you on this august occasion of the formal opening of the 64th Annual Council Meeting of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). I welcome with special delight and profound appreciation His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Ghana, who has been invited as our Special Guest of Honour. Your Excellency, I cannot thank you enough for your representation. Your Excellency, we are indeed grateful to you for extending to us the rare privilege of your presence at this ceremony to formally open this meeting.

Council is the governing body of the West African Examinations Council. It meets annually to review the activities and operations which were undertaken the previous year by the five national offices in the member countries. Council receives and considers reports from its international committees on the various operations of WAEC, which include the conduct of examinations, staff discipline and other administrative and finance matters, and ratifies the decisions that were taken on its behalf by these committees in the preceding year. Council also deliberates on action plans presented by its committees and national offices and takes decisions to ensure the successful execution of WAEC’s mandate in the year ahead.
Your Excellency, the Annual Council Meeting is an event that pools together in March each year, delegates from the member nations made up of Government nominees, representatives of Universities, Conferences of Principals of Secondary Schools, and other interests. These are distinguished individuals and accomplished professionals who bring their rare attributes and wealth of experience to bear on the decision-making processes of Council.

This great country, Ghana, occupies a strategic position in the comity of West African nations, and her impact in the affairs of WAEC is immeasurable. Reading through the history of WAEC one could see that the founding of the organisaion in 1952 took place here, and up till now Ghana remains committed to its success and is doing everything necessary to ensure its continued existence. The location of the Headquarters of WAEC in Accra ascribed exclusively to Ghana the burden of providing office accommodation for the Headquarters and residential accommodation for its expatriate staff. The Government of Ghana has shouldered these and other responsibilities with relish for sixty-four years to the admiration of other member countries and stakeholders.

We are very confident that the Government of Ghana will facilitate the relocation of the Headquarters from the premises of the National Office at Ridge to its permanent site at Okponglo before the second quarter of 2016. Ghana also stands out, thankfully, as one member country where the Council has never experienced undue interference by political office holders in the affairs of the National Office.

Your Excellency, permit me as I gratefully recall the personal commitment of Mr. President and the role of Ghana in the brief but dangerous and expensive fight against the Ebola virus disease, which ravaged our people and crippled economies in our sub-region. On behalf of all citizens of the WAEC member countries, particularly Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, I wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the love, care, support and encouragement which we received from the President, government and people of Ghana in the course of that traumatic experience.

WAEC would also express our congratulations to His Excellency the President of Ghana on being selected by the UN System as a Chairman of the High Level Group on Sustainable Development. Kindly accept our CONGRATULATIONS!

At the 63rd Annual Council Meeting in March 2015, I was elected the Chairperson of this great organization by the representatives of the member countries, including Ghana. I wish to use this opportunity to express profound appreciation for the confidence reposed in me and to reaffirm my commitment to the repositioning of the Council as a shining example of success in regional cooperation and integration and an icon in educational assessment.

On the occasion of my inauguration as Chairperson, I put forth the following five areas that I would like to see prioritized during my tenure as Chairperson:
(1)    Concerted efforts for proportional increases by member states in performance on WAEC Examinations;
(2)    More transformation reference gender in the work of WAEC.

For example, at yesterday’s Endowment Lecture by Professor
Jonathan Fletcher of Ghana on Performance on Mathematics and Science: Breaking the Jinx, it was highlighted in the presentation that four out of the five honorees today are females who appear to have excelled in Mathematics and Science against all odds, against all

(3)    Implementation of some of the brilliant recommendations made by Endowment Fund Lecturers, to wit, the development of an International Civil Servants examination by WAEC for use in integrating the sub-region;
(4)    More commitment to financial breakthrough of WAEC through entrepreneurship;
(5)    The derivation of a WAEC motto to complement the Vision and Mission of WAEC.

To be able to cope with its steadily expanding clientele, the Council has continued to build the capacity of its staff, cultivate a culture of research and result orientation. It has also deployed modern technology extensively in its operations and service delivery in all of the member countries.

However, there are threats to the Council’s reputation and service delivery which include examination malpractice and dwindling revenue. The scourge of examination fraud is being tackled head on by the Council with support from a few other stakeholders in education. In this regard, Council appreciates Ghana as a member country where examination fraudsters have been successfully prosecuted.

The Council’s revenue has continued to dwindle precariously because some member governments owe the Council huge amounts as unpaid contribution and subvention. While I express special appreciation to the member governments, including the Government of Ghana, that have continued to remit varying proportions of the due subventions to the respective National Offices and apportioned contribution to the Headquarters, I wish to appeal for more dedication and commitment to these payments to enable the offices to survive in the years ahead.

WAEC monitors developments in the education sector of the Sub-region with a view to assuring quality in education service delivery in line with its vision of being a world-class examining body, adding value to the educational goals of its member countries. Council has found that there is urgent need for improved commitment to youth education as the veritable source of quality manpower production and succession in our sub-region. I therefore, appeal to member governments and relevant agencies to devote more funds to the education sector to avoid the dire consequences of the current situation where many youths are marginalized, in the years ahead.

The enduring peace and stability in this country over the years have made it possible for the Council to carry on its operations without distractions. I want to thank the Government of Ghana, through Your Excellency, for all the benefits that WAEC has continued to derive from its collaboration with this great nation. I also want to express appreciation for the typical African hospitality which members of country delegations to this meeting have been accorded since their arrival in Ghana.  The warmth and calmness as well as the orderliness and tranquility that we have experienced in the city of Accra are, no doubt, signs of good governance and public satisfaction.

Distinguished Guests, I congratulate most heartily all the Winners of the WAEC Excellence Awards. I am particularly elated because they have made me proud as a woman. Indeed they have set brilliant examples for all of the girls. I rejoice with their parents and other members of their families. I also felicitate with the family of our worthy recipient of the Distinguished Friend of Council Award. I welcome our own Prof. J. A. Fletcher to the eminent group of Guest Speakers of the WAEC Endowment Fund Lecture series. Let me add my personal gratitude to the WAEC Membership of five Countries: The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone for their commitment to WAEC’s Vision and Mission and the Secretariat, led by Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, for their sterling performance.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Council I once again thank the Government and people of Ghana for the grand hosting of the 64th Annual Council Meeting. I also thank all individuals, institutions and corporate organizations that have contributed in various ways towards the successful hosting of the meeting, most especially, the Ghana National Office of WAEC.

I wish Ghana and The Gambia peaceful and successful elections later this year. I admonish all of us to continue to pray for peace and tranquility in the sub-region.

I thank you all for your attention.


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