Manufacturers should embrace self-regulation to ensure standards and enhance competitiveness, Dr Mark Bagabe Cyubahiro, the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) director general, has said.
“You don’t have to wait for RSB to remind you to implement quality guidelines. That’s why you monitor each other as a group and ensure no member engages in production that will put the manufacturing sector in disrepute,” he said.
Besides, this could help you reduce costs, enhance quality and efficiency.
Bagabe was speaking at the Rwanda Manufactures Association ‘connect’ meeting in Kigali on Friday.
Bagabe assured industrialists that RSB will continue to involve all stakeholders whenever they are developing new standards.
He said working closely together will enhance their competencies and enable them to grow their businesses.
He noted that there many international and regional standards in place, adding that local industrialists are not using even 10 per cent of these “despite the fact that 80 per cent trade is governed by standards”.
Alphonsine Rubangura, the chairperson of the Chamber of Industries at the Private Sector Federation, urged manufacturers to work with Switzerland-based Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), which handles Imports Products Conformity Assessment to Standards scheme on behalf of RSB, to benefit from economies of scale.
In a related development, manufacturers have asked RSB to avail international companies that trade with Rwanda a list of standards to guard against importation of sub-standard goods.
“It’s important for RSB to work closely with companies that export to Rwanda to reduce fake goods because Chinese firms, don’t know what standards are applicable in Rwanda,” a manufacturer said.
Manufacturers also want the standards watchdog to hold SGS accountable whenever fake goods are imported into the country.
The industrialists said besides putting people’s lives at risk, fake goods create unfair competition with locally-made goods.
Anne Rwigara, the Rwanda Manufacturers Association secretary general, said the association will continue advocating for a conducive business environment through public private sector dialogue.
Rwanda’s manufacturing sector grew by 5 per cent during the second quarter of this year, contributing 14 per cent to the national GDP.