IOSH has inaugurated its first network in Africa, presenting “enormous possibilities” for the development of the health and safety profession in the region.
The IOSH West Africa Division will provide a natural home for safety and health professionals in Nigeria and Ghana and across West Africa, where there are already nearly 300 active members, as well as other countries in the region.
It will offer professional support to members and a forum to share knowledge, skills and experience. The IOSH West Africa Division will be connected directly to IOSH’s global membership network of over 47,000 safety and health professionals, and members will gain access to high-quality training which will advance their career development.
IOSH President, James Quinn, addressing the launch webinar on 13 November, said that the opening of the IOSH West Africa Division represented a major step forward in IOSH’s commitment to improving the working lives of millions of people worldwide.
He said: “This is a really exciting development for IOSH, the profession and the West Africa region. It presents enormous possibilities and will really enhance occupational safety and health standards. Professionals who join the network will have access to IOSH resources and be able to network with fellow professionals around the world, sharing good practice on protecting working people.”
Dapo Omolade [on the left], Chair of the West Africa Division, anticipated systematic growth through IOSH’s continuing professional development process, career guidance and counselling, mentoring and collaborations with other professions and organisations.
He said: “It’s an exciting day and a remarkable, historic day. We started five years ago as a small informal network. Now we have a formal identity we can do much more for the profession in Nigeria, Ghana and West Africa.”
The launch webinar was attended by over 250 safety and health professionals, with representation from five west African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Gabon) and a further 23 countries around the world.
IOSH has been working with the Federal Government of Nigeria to strengthen health and safety law and with the Lagos State Safety Commission to support regulation and inspection. Earlier in the year IOSH Chief Executive, Bev Messinger, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, to drive education and standards in the human resources and occupational safety and health professions. IOSH was a special sponsor in the 2020 AfriSAFE awards, marking individual and corporate excellence in health and safety practice in Africa.
The IOSH West Africa Division is the first emerging network that IOSH is developing as part of its five-year strategy, WORK 2022, to enhance the global safety and health profession.
Find out more about the new IOSH West Africa Division