In a bid to establish a collaborative partnership between the two institutions in the field of quality management, the University of Sierra Leone and the University of West of Scotland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Quality Management Systems.
The signing ceremony was held at the Institute of Public Administration and Management Campus at AJ Momoh Street on Tower Hill in Freetown.
According to the two institutions the partnership presents significant benefits not only for the sustainability of WACOMP’s objective of creating a quality culture in the country but also for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the economy of Sierra Leone and the Quality Management Systems Training Hub will be based at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM).
Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Public Administration and Management, Associate Professor, Miriam Conteh-Morgan, expressed appreciation for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Sierra Leone and the University of West of Scotland which she said is aimed at providing training and capacity-building programmes in quality management systems as per international standards.
She added that the Institute of Public Administration and Management as a business school with a long history of and expertise in training in many areas of business and management, and with a Short Course and Consultancy Unit that has experience in delivering training courses for local, sub-regional, and regional organizations, it is but logical that the Hub will be domiciled at Institute of Public Administration and Management.
Giving a background and benefit to the USL-UWS partnership, the Chief Technical Advisor at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Dr. Shaukat H. Malik, said the partnership would open up and expand opportunities for capacity building in Quality Management Systems.
He said that the European Union-funded United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) West Africa Competitiveness Project started in 2019 in the country.
The Chief Technical Advisor noted that by offering ISO9001 courses, through the partnership, the University of Sierra Leone will be able to provide its students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a competitive and ever-changing job market.
He added that the benefits of ISO9001 are not limited to university students, but small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can also benefit from IS09001 by improving their processes, enhancing customer satisfaction, and gaining a competitive advantage and that the University of Sierra Leone will be able to help SMEs in the country improve their quality management systems and become more competitive in the global market.
The Country Representative for United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Mariatu Swaray said the signing of the MoU marks the start of a new and exciting partnership that will benefit both institutions and, most importantly, their students and the wider economy that will enable the University of Sierra Leone to offer ISO9001 courses in partnership with the University of West of Scotland.
She maintained that ISO9001 is a globally recognized standard for quality management systems, which has been adopted by many organizations around the world to improve their processes, products, and services, adding that offering ISO9001 courses, the University of Sierra Leone will be able to provide its students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a competitive and ever-changing job market.
Mariatu Swaray stated that the signing of the MoU is a testament to the commitment of both institutions to providing quality education and promoting economic development and she is confident that the ISO9001 courses offered through this partnership will benefit the students, SMEs, and economy of Sierra Leone and beyond.
In her keynote address, the Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industries, Ngnya Massaquoi, expressed appreciation to the leadership of the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education and the University of Sierra Leone for this laudable initiative. She said incorporating ISO9001 in the University Curriculum at the Institute of Public Administration and Management will greatly help the country, the people and Business Groups to grow and understand the importance of Standards in the discharge of their daily chores.
She maintained that as the country has the Management System Certification Body for the first time at the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB), the first internationally accredited certification body in the Mano River Union on Food and Beverages that was launched by the Honorable Minister of Trade and Industry on 4thMay2023, the move is indeed timely.
“As a nation, we are proud of the significant achievement in the National Quality Assurance infrastructure and trade governance architecture. Boosting competitiveness through an accredited certification service products certified for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Large Manufacturing Companies are now globally accepted,” Ngnya Massaquoi disclosed.
Other stakeholders, including the Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, the Programme Officer-Private Sector Development and Trade Cooperation Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone, Nikola Kutin, Representative of the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone, Representative of Tertiary Education Commission also made statements at the ceremony.
Closing the ceremony was the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Sierra Leone and the University of West of Scotland.