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Workshop on National Quality Policy ends

Oct 13, 2011, 2:37 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) last Tuesday organised a one-day sensitization seminar on the National Quality Policy (NQP) document for public sector decision and policymakers.

Held at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul, seminar was organised in collaboration with the United Nations’ Industrial Development Organization in the framework of the West Africa Quality Program (WAQP).

The programme assessed issues at stake such as the challenges and national priorities for the development of the NQP and the respective mandates of the institutions involved in the country.

In declaring the seminar open, the permanent secretary at the MOTIE, Mrs. Naffie Barry said her ministry had long realised the importance of a coherent and efficient national quality policy to implement The Gambia’s trade policy.

She pointed out that The Gambia Standards Bureau Act, which is administered by the minister of trade, also recognises the need for formulation of a national quality policy to guide development of quality infrastructure, which are the facilities and services in metrology standard conformity assessment and accreditation.

The objective of the WAQP, she added, is to support the upgrading of national and regional quality infrastructure of ECOWAS.

The permanent secretary revealed that MOTIE and the WAQP have been collaborating in this common objective since April 2011.

She said a mission to The Gambia by an international consultant in standards was commissioned to consult with key stakeholders and prepare a draft national quality policy document.

According her, MOTIE had been collecting views and contributions since the advent of the draft and would continue to do so until the document is finalised and validated.

Mrs Barry noted that the document is expected to be validated by the end of 2011 and introduced into cabinet early next year.

She asserted that the overall objective of the WAQP is to increase the export competitiveness of the entire West African region through the strengthening of national and regional quality infrastructure.

She added: “This in turn will foster the harmonization of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) requirements of the WAQP, which is in two components, was implemented since September 2007 and will end in December 2011.”