Your Excellency, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of The Gambia
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
Honourable Minister of Education
Vice Chairman of Council
Leaders of Delegation and Chief Government Nominees on Council
Members of Council
The Registrar to Council
Former Chairmen of Council
Former Registrars to Council
Distinguished Friends of Council
Staff of the Council
Members of the Fourth Estate
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the Formal Opening of the 61st Annual Meeting of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). On behalf of Management and the entire staff of WAEC in The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, I present to you all warm greetings and sincere appreciation for honouring our invitation. We are highly delighted that the Chief Host of the 61st Council Meeting, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh (GMRG), has graciously accepted to set aside many pressing state engagements to be in our midst at the opening of this Council Meeting. We thank you so very much for your presence, Mr. President.
We appreciate your Government for the impeccable arrangement and functional facilities put in place for the comfort of delegates and for the successful hosting of the various events. I want to also appreciate the people of The Gambia for the first class hospitality we have been accorded since our arrival in Banjul. Delegates have noted all the places in and around Banjul, where they must find time to visit and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the Gambian people. They will also find time enjoy the special African dishes and delicacies, which are available in this great country.
Your Excellency, hosting of the Annual Council Meeting among member countries is based on a well-defined rotational arrangement agreed upon by the member governments. In line with the rotational order of hosting, we were last gathered in this great City for the 56th Annual Council Meeting in March 2008. After that memorable occasion, the meeting shifted to Sierra Leone in 2009, Liberia in 2010, Ghana in 2011, Nigeria in 2012, and we are here again. The only time this principle of rotation has had a break was in 1996 when Liberia was unable to host Council due to the raging civil strife in the country at that time, and which was why the 44th Annual Council Meeting was hosted by Ghana.
The pleasant experience we had in our interactions with the highly hospitable people of The Gambia and the nostalgia we felt concerning the sandy beaches at the end of our stay in Banjul six years ago, still linger in our memories. I am confident that this time we shall also have such a wonderful stay in this country that departing Banjul after the Meeting may be a difficult decision to make.
THE COUNCIL’S EXAMINATIONS
Your Excellency, I am pleased to inform this august gathering that all the scheduled examinations of the Council – national and international – were conducted hitch-free and leakage-free in 2012. The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone presented candidates for the May/June and November/December 2012 editions of the Council’s international examination, the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), while The Gambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone also presented candidates for various national examinations. The Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) was conducted for candidates in The Gambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.
In addition, the General Business Certificate Examination (GBCE) and the Advanced Business Certificate Examination (ABCE) were conducted for candidates in Ghana; the National Primary School Examination (NPSE) was conducted for candidates in Sierra Leone; while the National Assessment Test (NAT) was conducted for candidates in The Gambia. Liberia presented candidates for the Junior and Senior High School Certificate examinations.
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