OMCL networks were established to provide a forum for sharing practices on medicines quality issues at regional and national levels. Learning from a successful laboratory network established in Latin America, the External Quality Control Program, in 2009 several laboratories in Africa formed a similar coalition that evolved to become the Network of Official Medicines Control Laboratories–Africa (NOMCoL-Africa). Initially, NOMCoL-Africa consisted of the OMCLs from five countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, and Uganda. Due to the growing value of inter-laboratory collaboration, the network expanded in 2014 to include 16 countries from the sub-Saharan Africa region.
The mission of NOMCoL-Africa is to protect public health in Sub-Saharan Africa by strengthening the capacity of the Official Medicines Control Laboratories to conduct quality control testing of essential medicines.