The West African Examinations Council, a non-profit-making organization, with its head-quarters in Accra, Ghana, was established in 1952 after the Governments of Ghana (then Gold Coast), Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia enacted the West African Examinations Council Ordinances in 1951. Liberia became the fifth member of the Council in 1974.

The enactment of the Ordinances was based on the Jeffrey Report, which strongly supported the proposal for the setting up of a regional examining board to harmonize and standardize pre-university assessment procedures in the then British West Africa.

The main objectives of the Council are:

  • To conduct examinations in the public interest
  • To award certificates, provided that the certificates did not represent lower standards of attainment than equivalent certificates of examining authorities in the United Kingdom .

Convention Establishing the Council

The Council celebrated its 30th anniversary in March 1982 in Monrovia , Liberia during which the Convention establishing the WAEC was signed. The Convention was subsequently ratified by member Governments and came into force in August 1984.

The Council under the Convention was inaugurated in March 1985. The Convention now gives uniform legal backing to the operations of Council in all the member countries, makes provision for significant changes in the structure of the Council and gives it legal personality as an international body. A Headquarters Agreement signed with the Government of Ghana in 1987 confers certain privileges and immunities on Council's Headquarters in Ghana. To take care of recent developments in the member countries, a process to revise the Convention was initiated at the turn of the century. The Revised Convention was signed in June 2003.

Structure of the Council

Part of the Council's strength is its well-developed committee structure. WAEC's committees and Council itself are made up of some of the best men and women in the various fields of human endeavour in the sub-region, particularly in education. There are about seventy committees working on various aspects of the Council's activities at the local and international levels. These are in addition to the over 100 subject panels that operate from time to time to review developments in the different subject examinations. All these ensure that the operations of the Council are meticulously performed and they make the Council an authority on educational issues.

Heads of National Office

1964 - 1965

Dr. Chris Modu M.Sc, Ph.D

1964 - 1966

Thomas Boatin B.A

1974 - 1982

Isaac Ayi Okine B.A (Hons), M.A. (Educ)

1982 - 1987

Dr. Badu Laryea B.Sc, Ph.D

1989 - 1989

Mr. Michael Bey B.Sc, M.Sc

1989 - 1995

Mrs. Sylvia Awo Mansa Boye B.A (Hons), HON.LLD (Ghana)

1995 - 2002

Mrs. Lydia Kpodo B.A (Hons)

2002 - 2005

Rev. J.A. Adotey B.Sc (Edu)

2005 - 2012 Mrs Patience G. A. Ayesu B. A Hons (Ed)
2012 - Date Rev. Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu B.Sc. (Hons) PGD (Public Administraton), MA. (Educational Measurement and Evaluation)


VisionTo be a world class examining body adding value to the educational goals of its numerous stakeholders.

MissionTo remain Africa 's foremost examining body providing qualitative and reliable educational assessment, encouraging academic and moral excellence and promoting sustainable human resource development and international co-operation.

Core Values

  • Integrity

  • Professionalism

  • Accountability

  • Transparency

  • Team work

  • Innovativeness

Current Head of National Office








 The Very Rev. Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu was born in Accra. He is a native of La. He had his basic education at the Accra New Town Experimental School and Kotobabi Middle School. From there, he gained admission to Labone Secondary School (a school he is very proud of) and had his Ordinary Level and Advanced Level education. He read Science. He then proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon. He also undertook courses at the University of Cape Coast and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).


The Very Rev. Ollennu holds the following degrees and certificate:

·    B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry-with-Mathematics from the University of Ghana, Legon

·    Master’s in Educational Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Cape Coast

·    Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)

·    Certificate in Estimates and Costing from the University of Art, London.

He has also participated in several International seminars and short courses in different fields including Corporate Governance.

Very Rev. Ollennu joined the Council in October 1984 after a 4-year teaching experience in St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Accra. He took office as the Head of the Ghana National Office on May 4, 2012. Earlier in his career in the Council, Rev. Ollennu had served in the following capacities:

·         Director of Administration

·         Head of Security Printing Department

·         Second-in-Command, School Examination Administration Department

·         Branch Controller, Koforidua Office

·         Second-in-Command, Private Candidates Examination Administration          


·         Second-in-Command, National Examination Administration Department

·         Subject Officer, Science Section, Test Development Division.

Very Rev. Ollennu doubles as an Ordained Minister of the Methodist Church Ghana and has authored three books entitled:

·         ONCE UPON A FRIDAY – meditations on the Seven Words of Jesus on the  cross.

·         PRAYERFULNESS – THE BENT KNEE – principles for cultivating a fruitful prayer life.

·         CANDIDATE FOR MARRIAGE – pre-marital counselling and issues for early marriage life.


He is married to Beatrix and blessed with four children. During his spare time he enjoys exploring computer software and watching wildlife and cartoons.



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