Jul 31, 2009, 2:32 AM
The project, proposed by The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, is funded by the Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC).
The project is called “Capacity building and institutional strengthening for the adaptation and implementation of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).”
Speaking at the forum held at the Governor’s Bantaba in Brikama, the deputy Governor, Musa Amul Nyassi, highlighted the significance of the forum, saying it would equip participants with the requisite knowledge on halal issues.
He urged them to take the forum seriously to be ambassadors of the project, as well as disseminate the knowledge gained from it.
The project director, Moro Krubally, said the overall objective of the project was to develop the capacity and skills of staff and stakeholders of the Bureau for the development of halal standards by adoption of the OIC/SMIIC Halal Standards in order to promote and facilitate trade among the OIC member countries, and the rest of the global halal community.
The project, he added, targets beneficiaries such as producers, traders, exporters and importers, the majority of whom are Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) operating within the informal economy.
Krubally said the project aims to help to integrate the Gambian economy into the OIC and the global halal market through the use of established and harmonised OIC/SMIIC standards.
Bai Doudou Jallow, who made a PowerPoint presentation, said the halal standards and associated certification services for the use of halal logo is expected to directly benefit the Gambian producers, food processors and exporters of agricultural and animal products, as well as processed products.
According to him, there was need for the halal ecosystem to develop strong quality infrastructures, advocacy and marketing and a unified Islamic Ummah, among others.
A representative of the Islamic Supreme Council, Imam Mohamad Lamin Kanteh, underscored the importance of the project, saying that halal refers to products and services that are permitted under Sharia law and fatwa.
He commended the TGSG for the initiative, adding that the project would help all those engaged in business once the country is in line with other OIC countries.