By Aminata Ceesay & Samsideen Ceesay
The Gambia Standards Bureau in collaboration with West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP), has recently launched the national quality award in the Gambia.
The aim of the award is to promote a quality culture within the public and private enterprises, and to encourage the embracement of quality performance among these enterprises.
Speaking at the launching, held at a local hotel, the director of the Gambia Standards Bureau, Mr Papa Secka said the National Award is in line with their policy and they intend to do it annually.
“The Gambia quality award, like all such awards is a mark of recognition conferred on organisations that have performed excellently,” Mr Secka said.
“Quality awards are made based on assessment of the applicant’s performance against set criteria. They measure the result of quality activities including consistency of product quality, customer focus, and conformity to relevant standard requirements.”
The deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of Trade, Lamin Dampha, said the country has been faced with challenges of weak national quality infrastructure, which makes it difficult to fully realise the benefits of participating in global trade.
“Furthermore,” Mr Dampha went on, “this deficit has impeded industrial growth and expansion, and has made it difficult for the state to fully protect consumer health and safety, and ensure fair trade and value for money, for goods and services.”
He said the ECOWAS will for the first time organise Quality Awards in June 2017.
“The Gambia is expected to participate in the ECOWAS Quality Award but must organise its own Quality Award first, to select its winners that will be presented to compete at ECOWAS level.”
Ricardo Veldo, UNIDO Consultant, who gave a presentation on the ECOWAS Quality Award, said that any national organisation wishing to participate in the ECOWAS Award must also participate at the National Quality Award.