English news Promotion of consumers’ rights in Togo

Journalists equipped on consumer protection

Publié le mardi 6 novembre 2012, par Gabinho

A training workshop was held Thursday, October 25, 2012 at CESAL Tokoin for media professionals on consumer protection and quality culture. The training was organized by the ATC (Association of Togolese Consumers) and the objective of the training was to create a permanent and effective partnership between the association and journalists on issues related to protection of consumer rights.

According to the president of ATC, journalists are selected for the training, because, for ATC, "it has become imperative to explore ways and means through which the media professionals will be able to focus not only on political and economic affairs, but also on consumers’ rights". On his part Augustine Sinzing, president of the OTM (Togolese Media Observatory), this training is a good opportunity. He stressed that it is important for journalists to monitor the QMS (quality management system) introduced by some companies in order to ensure these companies comply with quality standards.

The training was divided into two sub-themes. The first was "United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNDP-PC) and 8 fundamental rights" presented by Professor Adossou, legal consultant on consumer’s protection legislation. The second : was "Culture of Quality", presented by Dr. Seraphin Kazia, a quality auditor from UEMOA.

For the first sub-theme, Professor Adossou emphasized on the importance of the eight basic consumers’ rights. He made it clear that in Togo apart from the general principles of the United Nations, in terms of consumer protection, there is no law devoted exclusively to the protection of consumers. However, he pointed out that there are various legislations that contain clauses referring to consumer protection including legislation N ° 99-011 of 28 December 1999 on competition in trade. According to him, the law takes into account certain consumer rights, among others, consumer safety through the rights to be informed and to choose. Professor Adossou concluded by saying that these pieces of legislations had inherent weaknesses that have resulted into creation of monopolies and excessive competitions in the market hence the need for enacting a specific law on consumption and consumer protection.

With regard to the second sub-theme, the presenter Dr Kazia explained that "Quality is the set of characteristics of a product that gives the ability to satisfy explicit and implicit needs of users." Thus, a product is said to be of good quality when it meets the three conditions defined quality, namely performance, acceptable taste and availability. In addition, he drew the attention to the role of the State in quality control. According to him, the State should establish a national quality control infrastructure through national or international standards in order to control businesses.
R.A, Lomé (Telegramme228)