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 - 2018 Rev. Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu B.Sc. (Hons) PGD (Public Administraton), MA. (Educational Measurement and Evaluation)
2018 - Date Mrs. Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey B.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture; Dip. Ed; PGD (Pub. Admin); M.Ed. (Meas. & Eval)


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

Mission: To 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




 Mrs. Wendy Enyonam Addy-Lamptey had her secondary education at Labone Secondary School and Mfantsiman Girls’ School.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Cape Coast; a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Agriculture and a Diploma in Education from that same university.  Mrs. Addy-Lamptey also has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

Mrs. W. E. Addy-Lamptey taught at the Accra Teachers Training College, currently known as the Accra College of Education before joining WAEC in 1993 as subject officer for Agriculture in the Test Development Division.  After spending a considerable number of years in the Test Development Division, she was posted to the Test Administration Division.  As an officer in the Test Administration Division, Mrs. Addy-Lamptey rose through the ranks to the position of Head, National Examination Administration Department (NEAD).  The NEAD is responsible for administering the Basic Education Certificate Examination, the examination with the largest candidature which currently has about half a million candidates.

Mrs. W. E. Addy-Lamptey has attended numerous courses in assessment including the International Study Programme on Public Examinations Development and Administration organised by Cambridge Assessment, UK and a Workshop in Educational Measurement and Evaluation held by the University of Benin, Nigeria.

She has written and presented a number of papers on assessment at international conferences.  Her area of interest is the provision of appropriate access arrangements for candidates with special needs.

Her vision is to, among others, position WAEC as an institution which maximizes the use of information technology to enhance service delivery and exceed the expectations of its stakeholders. She is determined to put in more structures to empower staff and other actors aimed at reducing examination malpractice to the barest minimum.  Zero tolerance for examination malpractice is her mantra.

Mrs. W. E. Addy-Lamptey is married with two children.  She spends her free times on internal decoration and reading.




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