National Quality Policy

Currently, with globalization on the rise, empirical evidence suggests that standardization has a very important role in technological progress, productivity, trade and industrial development. Progressively, global purchasers demand products and services that meet rigorous and advanced standards of quality and rules of origin, not only to ensure that such products and services integrate flawlessly with others in the supply chain, but also to satisfy customer expectations and to comply with a maze of technical regulations in importing countries.

 

The Gambia has consistently maintained a liberal trade regime since the 1980s, and continues to pursue policy objectives of improving trade-related services in order to enhance trade performance. Thus, the Government commits itself to re-engineer, strengthen, and maintain the national regulatory, standardization, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment institutions that make up the National Quality Infrastructure. The National Quality Policy 2013 is therefore set within the context of The Gambia’s long-term strategic vision of achieving a middle-income status by 2020. It forms a natural extension to The Gambia Trade Policy 2011.

 

The National Quality Policy provides the framework for the development of conformity assessment services by both public and private institutions that would be acceptable to the trading partners of The Gambia; conformity assessment services that will support industries in their efforts to access markets, and the regulatory authorities at home to ensure the safety and health of the people and the environment. In addition, the policy seeks to integrate seamlessly with the emerging regional obligations of The Gambia, such as the ECOWAS Quality Policy, with regard to standardization and technical regulation regimes to foster intra-regional trade, ultimately leading to a free trade area within ECOWAS. The specific objectives of the National Quality Policy are to:

 

  • Strengthen the national metrology system and in particular raise the profile of metrology as a significant component in the country’s overall activities;
  • Establish the appropriate framework for the development and publication of national standards, clearly defining the role of the national standards organization as the pinnacle of all standardization work, and the involvement of all stakeholders in the process;
  • Include the use of accreditation in the national regulatory activities;
  • Provide a framework for the establishment of conformity assessment service providers in both the public and private domain, that are, technically competent;
  • Provide a mechanism for coordinating the development of technical regulation and SPS measures to ensure clear mandates and proper division of work;
  • Provide a framework for quality promotion.

 

The strategies include:

  • Upgrade some public laboratories to address the serious challenges faced by The Gambia with respect to internationally acceptable inspection, testing and certification for the targeted export markets.
  • Promote quality awareness campaigns,
  • Establish national calibration service
  • Establish an Accreditation Focal Point
  • Establish appropriate programmes on different education levels including specialised adult training programmes to improve the quality culture,
  • Develop training programmes for auditors and consultants in quality and environmental management systems, health and safety in the workplace, and other relevant certification activities as defined in international requirements.
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