Minister Kah presides over World Standards Day celebration
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Yusupha Kah, the minister of Trade, Industry and Employment, yesterday presided over the celebration of the World Standards Day at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.
The celebration was organised by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment in collaboration with the National Assembly codes/sanitary and phytosanitary committee.The celebration focused on the theme, "Standardization for enhancing participation in the international trading system". This is the first time it is celebrated in The Gambia.
In his opening remarks, Yusupha Kah, the minister of Trade, Industry and Employment, said that standardization is an excellent tool to facilitate international trade. He said that a national standardization infrastructure can be a leverage for economic development, trading capacity and support for consumer, social and environmental protection. According to him, standards, metrology, and conformity assessment are three interdependent and interlinked components necessary for building an efficient and quality infrastructure that facilitates trade through increased market access and ensures adequate protection of consumers and of the environment.
The date, he said, which is October 14th, was chosen because it was on that day in 1946 that a delegation from 25 countries first gathered in London, United Kingdom and consequently decided to create a non international organization dedicated to the coordination and unification of standards week. "World standards Day therefore embodies a spirit of collaboration, with its celebrations expanding to a unique varsity of activities throughout the world," he added.Minister Kah noted that the ultimate goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of international standardization to the world's economy and to promote its role in helping to meet the needs of all business sectors.
He said that the celebration in The Gambia have been planned to raise awareness on the importance of trade, industry, government and consumers. He then informed the gathering that his ministry has just sanitized a road map for the establishment of The Gambia Bureau of Standards in early 2011. "I wish to assure you that The Gambia government is committed to upgrade the quality of infrastructure being fully aware that sustainable development in a developing country like ours depends on our participation in international trade which can only be effective and beneficial when we build a strong quality infrastructure, particularly for our exports," Minister Kah told the participants.
"With the assistance of the EU and UNIDO, under the West African quality programme, we are currently contracting and equipping a metrology laboratory to strengthen metrology under the Weights and Measures Department of my ministry,'' he concluded. For his part, Joseph Ndenn, the coordinator of the West Africa Quality Programmes(WAQP), noted that the (WAQP) is a technical assistance programme with the purpose of strengthening competitiveness and insuring compliance with trade rules and regulations, in particular the WTO, TBT and SPS agreements, by upgrading existing regional and national quality infrastructures.
He added that the various elements that constitute the totality of the NQI are, standards, metrology, accreditation, inspection, testing and certification. He said that these elements are interrelated and in most cases more than one will be required to provide the required information and confidence that a product, process or organisation meets expectations and requirements.
Author: by Mam Dagen Secka