Nearly 47 years of residence in its local office, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) headquarters now has its own office complex. It was inaugurated by President John Mahama in Accra. Work on the five-floor edifice, which dominates the skylines of Okponglo in Accra, started in 2009 and was completed in October last year, as the second phase of a bigger WAEC office complex.
Built by Tieso Ghana Limited, the complex boasts a guest house, conference centre and offices that would host the headquarters of Anglophone West Africa’s examinations body.
Prior to the completion of the project, the headquarters of the council had shared the same building with the Ghana National Office at Ridge in Accra since 1970.
That became grossly inadequate over the years, due to increased staff strength and expansion of functions of the council as an international organisation.
Before he unveiled a plaque and cut the tape to open the complex, President Mahama said he was happy that the building had been completed and was being handed over 19 years after work had started.
He said being the host of the headquarters of WAEC came with responsibilities that the government had to discharge. “Government has over the years continued to provide safe and suitable accommodation for the staff of the council in Accra.
“It is government’s foresight and concern for the future growth of WAEC that led to the allocation of this parcel of land as far back as 1997 for the construction of a permanent headquarters,” the President said.
The complex was originally scheduled to be completed in 2002 and inaugurated as part of the council’s golden jubilee celebration but it could not happen because of what President Mahama described as “many difficulties.”He said the decision to speed up the completion of the project during his tenure was in response to the council’s growing workforce and its responsibilities, including allowing private candidates to write the Basic Education Certificate Examination, (BECE) rolling out of information technology and establishing of a WAEC printing press to save cost and check examination leakages.
End to exam leakage
The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, also commended WAEC, saying, “WAEC has done well. In 2016, many people did not know that the BECE was taking place and WASSCE had ended. For the first time in many years, there was no leakage whatsoever.”
The Registrar of WAEC, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, who recalled the history of the project, said its completion demonstrated Ghana’s “capability to host the headquarters of WAEC and reaffirmed her commitment to the success and continuous existence of the council.”
Being the host of the headquarters, it is obligatory for the Ghana government to provide both residential and office accommodation for the WAEC headquarters.
This post was first seen in graphic.com.gh