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WAQP shares information with media practitioners

Jul 23, 2010, 2:35 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Media practitioners and consumers on Tuesday attended a one-day biannual update on the six months implementation and activities of the West African Quality Programme (WAQP), at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

During his presentation, Mr. Ousman Sillah, the Communications Assistant for WAQP informed the participants that EU provides funding for WAQP's eight West African countries, including The Gambia.

Dilating on the activities of the past six months, Mr. Sillah said in November 2009, a workshop on findings of food safety management consultant's mission was convened. In the same month, he added, information sharing seminar for media practitioners and consumers interest groups on the work of WAQP, National Codex/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee (NCSPSC) and the 3rd draft standards on edible fats and oils, food labelling and food safety and food advertising code were also held.

The objectives of those findings were to inform a cross section of national stakeholders of the findings and recommendations of the assessment and ensure that the views are taken into consideration.

He said in October 2009, a diagnostic assessment of the food safety system was carried out and a national stakeholder workshop was also held to present and discuss the findings and recommendations.

According to Mr. Sillah, as part of the work to support the involvement and participation of all relevant stakeholders in its efforts to strengthen food safety, animals and plant health in The Gambia, WAQP held a one-day seminar for media practitioners and consumers, meant to raise awareness on the activities of the programme and issues relating to food safety and quality infrastructure.

He also dilated on the following issues undertaken within the six months, stakeholders consultative workshop on the Weights and Measures Act, visit of the UNIDO Director- General to The Gambia to meet with WAQP and government officials, validation workshop on the Draft Food Safety Bill 2010, publication of the maiden issue of WAQP-the Gambia Newsletter, called Quality Info, information sharing seminar to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), validation of The Gambia Standards Bureau Bill 2010, WAQP's National Steering Committee (NSC) meetings, 3rd WAQP's Regional Steering Meeting in Banjul and inauguration of Weights & Measures Revitalisation Committee and validation of the Consultancy Report on the Review of the Weights and Measures Act 1977 and Rules 1979.

Others who spoke at the ceremony were Dr. Omar Touray Chairman of WAQP, who gave a brief review of WAQP, Malang Fofana and Amadou Bah of the GRTS.