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October 14th every year has been set aside as World Standards Day (WSD) to raise awareness on the importance of this day. The theme for this year is: “Standards for Sustainable Development

 Goals” In Sierra Leone this year celebration was  preceeded by series of Radio and TV engagements to  on the significance and benefits of  Standards. It was climaxed by a convergence of key stakeholders  at the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau’s Headquarters in Freetown wherelectures were delivered by the Executive Director Prof Thomas Yormah, technical or professional staff and other key stakeholders. In his lectures Prof Yormah described Standardsas a set of prescriptions  formulated by experts with inputs from  stakeholders and agreed way of doing things by implementing best practices in manufacturing products to ensure fitness for purpose. He  said there could be no quality without Standards stating that with Standards and quality  consumer  satisfaction are assured.


 Standards and quality he went on enables Small Medium Enterprises SMEs to improve on productivity and quality so as to compete at both national and international levels and hence contribute towards national revenue and improve  Standard of living. Given the rundown of contributions by Small  Medium Enterprises to National Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) he explained that Sierra Leone contributes 3%, Nigeria 36% and Ghana 48%. 


Unlike Sierra Leone Prof.  Maintained,  in advance economies were Standards and qualities are  prioritized, the labour or work force depends heavily on SMEs and the private sector to generate employment for  the working age.

In Sierra Leone  huge proportion of the work force looks up to Government for jobs. The Sierra
Leone Standards Bureau is expected to empower SMEs and
manufacturing industries through Standards compliance  and quality infrastructure. 

On compliance and conformity assessment laboratory tests are required based on agreed standards to  justify quality of goods and services . Sierra Leone Standards Bureau according to Prof Thomas Yormah certification and inspection are key to  his institution in determining qualities of goods coming in and out the country with the aimed of protecting and safeguarding citizens against contamination. 

In  line with conformity assessment  he talked about plans to decentralise Standards Bureau operations in the provincial towns and cities to adequately monitor and surveillance all goods coming in and out of the country through our  borders to their qualities base on storage temperature and expiration date.


Laboratory testings are on going in both food and Micro Biology Labs but heavy metal and pesticides tests are yet to be fully operationalized due to  resource and  logistics 
On the establishment of Management System Certification Body MSCB with support  from UNIDO and Government the Bureau has put a number of mechanisms in place  such as applying for accreditation and training of Auditors on quality management . 

The Standards Manager Mohamed Osman Bah elaborating on the significance and benefits of Standards maintained that with the exemption of only 35 mandatory Standards all the others are voluntary, stating Sierra Leone Standards Bureau has developed close to 180 Standards to ensure customers satisfaction and to reduce technical barriers to trade.

The head of laboratory Yusif Sesay explained that testing is  a component of conformity assessment which is based on Standards.

 There are food Chemistry, Micro Biology and Petroleum labs but they are confronted with infrastructural, machinery and chemical challenges.

Quality Manager Mohamed Fofana pointed out that quality culture in the country is lacking but noted that with the setting up of Management System Certification Body industries and companies will be accredited. The  Manager of Metrology Franklyn Martin confirmed that metrication in Petroleum sector has scaled up while the rollout of general trade and commerce has got stuck due unavailability of funds and  resources he therefore appealed for private sector investment to import more scales.

The  Executive Director Consumer Protection Agency  Commissioner Ibrahim Kabia re-echoed  the need for resuscitation ofSierra Leone Standards Bureau with funds and logistical supports  to address under delivery and contaminant issues  so that our people will stop dying from curable diseases.

The occasion was witnessed by the Chairman of Council Sierra Leone StandardsBureau Prof. Andrew Baimba and Representative of Parliamentary oversight  Committee on Trade Hon.
Hindolo Sandy both of whom lauded the awareness raisingprocess on Standards.


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