South Sudan and Rwanda have signed an agreement that aims at ensuring product standardisation, quality assurance and product testing for the next three years.
The agreement was signed last week, in Kigali, between the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) and the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS).
The goal is to provide a framework for exchanging scientific and technical knowledge to foster the harmonisation of accreditation, certification and import inspection procedures, among other things.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Dr. Mark Cyubahiro, the Director General of RBS, said the bilateral ties will boost facilitation between Rwanda and South Sudan, remove technical barriers to trade and increase business opportunities for both countries.
“RBS is best placed to partner with SSNBS since both institutions are relatively young and have a common history. We have registered good progress in promoting trade, public safety through the promotion of quality standards and I believe that our counterparts from South Sudan can learn from us,” Dr. Cyubahiro said.
His SSNBS counterpart, Dr. Mary Gordon Mourtat, acknowledged that South Sudan seeks to align its market procedures with those of East Africa and believes that Rwanda can offer some lessons in fostering quality standards for South Sudanese imports and exports.
“We have learnt of the tremendous success registered by RBS over the past ten years in developing and enforcing standards and technology advances. We would like to see these standards adopted in the South Sudan market to improve the quality of products,” Mourtat said.
Meanwhile, Mark Priestly, the Country Director of Trademark East Africa (TMEA), a multi-donor body that supports EAC integration, said that although South Sudan is welcome to join EAC, it must first ensure that its economic structures are at par with those of the region.
“TMEA has opened up a bureau in South Sudan to show our commitment to help South Sudan join EAC. We are proud of the move made by the country’s bureau of standards because they will definitely learn a lot of East African procedures from Rwanda.”
Priestly believes that the Rwandan private sector is also set to benefit directly through increased import and export of quality products with South Sudan through this understanding.