The programme supports the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Police to establish a framework for the development and operation of appropriate, relevant, effective and efficient quality infrastructure to facilitate intra-regional and international trade, protect the consumer and the environment and promote sustainable economic development.
According to Aka Jean Joseph; the Chief Technical Adviser of the West Africa Quality System Programme, WAQSP has implemented series of activities related to setting up of the database and the regional workshop is to finalize the process of setting up the database by training focal points on the use of the ECOQUIB application and promotion. He went further to state that without reliable data, decision-making is difficult, especially for economic operator or political decision-makers adding that amongst priorities, the establishment of a database covering both quality infrastructure and industry is key.
Available statistics from 2014 states that Africa’s share of global manufacturing value added is only about 1.6%, even when studies show that Africa industrial sector is the sector of activity that offers the greatest opportunities and this according to Mariatu Kargbo; the representative from UNIDO will change, with the availability of reliable and relevant data. She further added that UNIDO is pleased to note the endorsement at the highest level by ECOWAS member states of the need to designate quality and industrial officers, whose capacities will be strengthened during this workshop.
Delivering his keynote address, the Minister of Trade and Industry Edward Hinga Sandy thanked UNIDO for their continued support in addressing gaps in National Quality Infrastructure Services, Technical Barriers to Trade and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. He went further to state that as the Minister of Trade and Industry, he will continue to promote and prioritize policies which enhance national competitiveness and create the best possible environment for enterprise, innovation and investment across all regions in Sierra Leone.
The West Africa Quality System Programme will promote and develop a strong culture in the ECOWAS region including sustainability of the regional quality infrastructure and solve quality problems encountered in the export and import of certain products in order to effectively protect consumers.