Continental standards bodies told to harness strategies
In what is believed to be a spring board of economic growth through trade facilitation and open borders across the Africa continent, experts say there is need for standards bodies to harness strategies.
This means that countries will come together to share priorities in their national standardization plans to incorporate the needs in each of the countries, which on the other hand will help in having uniformÂ standards.
â€œThis will help to increase the use of standards in various countries, so that one needs to meet requirements in one country and be able to export to another country,â€ said Reinhard Weissinger, Senior Export research and education at International standard Organization-ISO.
Through the national standardization strategy at a country level, a standards body can look at theÂ Â standards that would be required in other countries and set its requirements which then help to facilitate trade.
â€œThere is need to identify relevant international, regional or other standards or ongoing standardization projects, where they exist, and to decide on the adoption of existing standards,â€™ he added
Weissinger, who was speaking at a three day continental workshop on setting National Standardization Strategies in Kigali on Monday, says there is need to ascertain methodically national priorities, taking into account economic, trade, social and environmental aspects of the country.
This meeting helps every country to look back and see the standards it is and has implemented in relation to other standards on the continent,â€ said Dr. Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, director general at Rwanda Standards Board-RSB.
Bagabe notes that the meeting aims at consolidating standardization priorities together with concrete actions towards their implementation into a national strategic standardization plan that can be used to guide actions of the standards boards for the next three years.
The workshop facilitated by International Standards organization â€“ISO and organized by Rwanda standards body will see continental bodies learning from each as one way of fighting substandard products.