By Patience Loum
The Gambia Standards Bureau together with students from the University of The Gambia, last Thursday observed World Standards Day.
It was celebrated at the Bureau’s offices in Kotu under the theme video Standards created global stage.
The day is celebrated globally on every 14 October to shed light on the importance of standards for imported and locally produced goods.
Key topics on standardization were discussed including the establishment and promulgation of standards for imported and locally produced goods.
Muhammed Njie, standardisation officer, explained the importance of standards and why it is important for industries to make sure their goods and services meet the requirements of the Gambia Standards Bureau.
“Think of it in terms of business. Let’s say you are trying to make screws. So the screw itself has to fit in the bulb, so it means that the customer has a specification that this is what I want the size to be, so if that size is bigger than the requirement it won’t fit. The mode of the sample is to show that there needs to be requirement and that you need to follow requirements in order to provide what the customer wants,” he explained.
According to Njie, the bureau works with various international organisations including International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) which focuses on international standards on products, services, and management systems. “We also work in what’s called national quality infrastructure. What it entails is that it is a technical mix that allows quality to be emplaced nationally,” he said.
Awa Jeng, conformity assessment officer highlighted the importance of certification and accreditation of products by the Standards bureau explaining how and why conformity assessment is of great importance to businesses.
When asked how the bureau undergoes testing of products and services to see if they meet the requirements, she replied: “We have labs, but even with that they are necessarily not up to standards. So what we do is that we go all the way to Dakar, well it depends on what we want to test. But apparently, the testings we are dealing with, they have very good labs in Dakar that are doing it so the Bureau subcontracts these labs.”