The draft revised National Quality Policy of The Gambia 2016 Action Matrix and Action Plan was recently validated at Khamsys Conference Centre, Bijilo. The forum was organised by The Gambia Standards Bureau.
The West Africa Quality System Programme is supporting the implementation of the ECOWAS Quality Policy (ECOQUAL) funded by the European Union and the objective of the activity is to finalise the draft revised quality policy and implementation plan for The Gambia.
The revised quality policy document will preserve the essential elements of the approved quality policy for The Gambia 2014 and implementation plan will identify the objectives to be attained under each thematic area, the activities, cost and timelines for delivering them as well as responsible parties.
Joseph Ndenn, National Technical Coordinator of the West Africa System Programme in The Gambia, said the programme aims at implementing the ECOWAS Quality Policy, adding that this phase of the programme is focusing on implementing the ECOAWS Quality Policy.
Ndenn said they are now undertaking the third activity of the programme, which is the validation workshop of the draft revised of the quality policy of The Gambia.
“In 2014, a quality policy was developed and approved, and in this process the previous phase of the West African Quality Programme supported the work with the Ministry of Trade to develop that policy.” he added
Nimo Ahinkorah, International Expert in Quality Infrastructure, disclosed that the contract came from ECOWAS to develop a regional quality policy for ECOWAS and what makes it an important document is that it has the signature of head of states in ECOWAS.
He continued: “I am happy to see that finally we have been able to come to The Gambia as the last country to have the policy.”
Dr Omar Touray, Chairman, National Monitoring Committee of West African Quality System Programme, said he has been engaged in assisting the country and all stakeholders within the national quality infrastructure to put in place building blocks for a robust inter-link and coherent national quality policy.
“In Africa we are talking about integration at both continental and sub-regional levels and is clear to everyone at ECOWAS have been making great strides in that area.”
Papa Secka, Director General, The Gambia Standards Bureau, said their mandate has given them the responsibilities of three out of major four pillars of the national quality infrastructure; that is to coordinate, facilitate and to deliver on their various requirements.
“These are the areas of standardisation, conformity assessment; however, accreditation for its very nature cannot be handled because of conflict of interest.”
Secka said in many parts of the world there is quality in the products that are produced and used by their citizens, and ºthere is quality in the delivery of services by their various public intuitions. “The reason they are able to achieve that is because the public and consumers are aware enough to drive that process and demand for it and make sure it happens.”
by Omar Wally