For instance it has over the years developed a team of well-trained and highly motivated staff and has administered examinations that are both valid and relevant to the educational aspirations of member countries. Its certificates enjoy international recognition. WAEC has also been promoting the ideals of hard work and honesty in the youth through its awards for outstanding performance in its examinations.
The West African Examinations Council was established following the acceptance of the Jeffery Report by the colonial Government(s) in the Gold Coast (now Ghana ) Sierra Leone and The Gambia; who passed appropriate ordinances in their Legislative Assemblies in 1951. The ordinances charge the Council with the responsibility determining the examinations required in the public in West Africa , and empowered it to conduct such examination award appropriate certificates. The Jeffery Report had recommended the setting up of a West African Examinations in the then four British colonies of Nigeria , Gold Coast Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Liberia later joined the Council in 1974.The ordinances have now been replaced with the Convention which confers legal personality on the Council as an international organization.
CHAIRMEN OF COUNCIL
1952 - 1954 Mr A. N. Galsowrthy, C. M. G., M. A., Cheif Secretary, West African Inter-Territorial Secretariat (Deceased)
1954 - 1960 Dr. J. T. Saunders, C. M. G., M. K. A., Hon., D. C. L., Principal, University College, Ibadan (Deceased)
1960 - 1964 Sir John F. Lockwood, M. A., Ph.D., Hon. LL.D., Master of Birkbeck College, University of London (Deceased)
1964 - 1969 Dr. Davidson S. H. W Nicol, C. M. G., B.Sc., M. A., Ph. D., Vice-Chancellor, University of Sierra Leone & Principal, Fourah Bay College, Freetown (Deceased)
1969 - 1972 Prof. T. Adeoye Lambo, M. D., F. R. C. P. (Ed), Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan (Deceased)
1972 - 1977 Dr. S. T. Matturi, C. M. G., B.Sc., Ph.D., Principal Njala University College and Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Sierra Leone(Deceased)
1977 - 1985 Prof. E. A. Boateng, G. M., M. A. M. Litt., Hon. D.Litt., Executive Chairman, Ghana Environmental Protection Council, Accra, Ghana (Deceased)
1985 - 1988 Prof. M. O. Oyawoye, F. A. S. T. C., International Associates, Okin House, Bodija Road, Ibadan, Nigeria
1988 - 1991 Dr. Lenrie W. Peters, B.A. Hons., B. M. ed., B. Surgery, M. A., F. R. C. S., F. W. A. C. S., P.O. Box 142 Banjul, The Gambia(Deceased)
1991 - 1994 Dr. E. Evans-Anfom, M. B., Ch.B., F.R.C.S., D.T. M & H.(Edin), F.I.C.S., F.W.A.C.S., F.A.A.S., F.G.A., Hon. D.Sc. (Sal), Leonora Lodge, Accra, Ghana
1994 - 1997 Prof. J. A. Kamara, B.Vet. Med, MRCVS. D.T.V.M., Murray Town, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
1997 - 2000 Dr. Yahaya Hamza, mni, CON., GCOSA, B.Sc.(Ed.), D.Sc.,(FUTY), MNEA, LUPEN, FYCT, FBIM, NPMA, Kaduna, Nigeria
2000 - 2003 Dr. Frederick S. Gbegbe, GCOSA, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Monrovia, Liberia.
2003 - 2006 Mr. Ousman Alieu Ndow, Dip.Ed., M.Ed., Nat. Dip. Law., Banjul,The Gambia
2006 - 2009 Prof. Jerome S. Djangmah, B.SC., (London), Ph.D., (Wales), former Director General, Ghana Education Service, Accra, Ghana.
2009 - 2012 Prof. Jonas A. S. Redwood-Sawyer, B.ENG (USL),M.Sc (London),Ph.D. (Essex), MIET,CENG,FSLIE, c/o Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown.
2012 - 2015 Prof. Pius Augustine Ike Obanya, Dip, B.Ed. Ph.D (Ib), FCON, FNATT, FNAE,FNIM, Ibadan, Nigeria.
2015 - 2018 Dr. D. Evelyn S. Kandakai, Monrovia, Liberia.
REGISTRARS TO COUNCIL
1952- 1960 Kenneth Humphreys, M.A., M.Sc., A.M.I.E.E. (deceased)
1960 - 1965 John Deakin, B.Sc. (Econs) (deceased)
1965 - 1971 J. Ayite Cronjie, M.A. (deceased)
1971 - 1979 V. Chukwuemeka Ike, B.A., M.A., M.N.I.M. Hon., F.C.G.I.
1979 - 1980 Dr S A Akeju, B.Sc., Ph.D (Acting)
1980 - 1986 Dr J E Modupe Taylor-Pearce, B.A. (Gen), B.A. (Hons), M.Ed., Ph.D.
1986 - 1995 S A Esezobor, B.A., Dip. Ed.
1995 - 1995 A S Deen , B.A., Dip. Ed., M.Ed., A.M.B.I.M. (Acting)
1995 - 2000 Dr (Mrs) Sylvia A M Boye, B.A. (Hons), Hon. LL.D Ghana)
2000 - 2007 M P Ndure, B.A. ( Eng. ), M.Ed., Dip. Ed.
2007 - 2012 Alhaja (Mrs) Mulikat A. Bello
2012 - Date Dr Iyi J Uwadiae, MNIM