The term Halal is an Arabic that refers to products and services that are permitted under Sharia Law and Fatwa.
The initiative is part of a project that was proposed by The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, and funded through the Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC).
Speaking at the forum held at Governor’s Bantaba, the deputy governor, Musa Amul Nyassi, underscored the significance of the forum, saying it would equip participants with the requisite knowledge on Halal matters. He called on participants to take the forum seriously so as to be ambassadors of the project, as well as disseminate the knowledge gained.
The project director, Moro Krubally informed that the overall objective of the project was to develop the capacity and skills of staff and stakeholders of the Bureau for the development on Halal standards by adopting the OIC/SMIIC Halal Standards in order to promote and facilitate trade among the OIC member countries and rest of the global Halal community.
The project, he added, targets beneficiaries such as the producers, traders, exporters and importers, the majority of whom are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating within the internal economy.
The implementation of the project Krubally further explained, aims to help integrate The Gambian economy into the OIC and the global Halal market through the use of established and harmonised OIC/SMIIC standards.
Bai Doudou Jallow of TGSB in presentation said the Halal standards and associated certification services for the use of Halal logo is expected to directly benefit The Gambian producers, food processors and exporters of agricultural and animal products as well as processed products.
According to him, there is need for the Halal ecosystem to develop strong quality infrastructure, advocacy and marketing and a unified Islamic Ummah among others.
A representative of the Supreme Islamic Council, Imam Mohamad Lamin Kanteh underscored the importance of the project, and commended the TGSG for the initiative.
Kanteh acknowledged that the project would help all those engaged in business once the country is in line with other OIC countries.