Three metrology laboratories of the Rwanda Standards Board have received international standards accreditation from by Germany Accreditation agency (DAkkS), one of the world’s leading accreditation bodies.
The metrology laboratories namely; mass, balance, and temperature calibration, were accredited yesterday in Kigali, in a move officials said will encourage exports out of the country to Europe.
The development comes after two years of cooperation between RSB’s national metrology division and the Germany Metrology Institute (PTB), from 2015 to 2017, aimed at strengthening metrological services in Rwanda with the objective of supporting economic growth through accurate and efficient measurements system in industries, trade transaction and safety.
The partnership, among other things, saw the training of RSB’s metrology staff, setting up quality management system, among others.
The Mass laboratory offers services of calibration of standards for industrial products, the Volume laboratory conducts calibration of laboratory glassware (Pipettes, Graduated cylinders, Burettes, Density bottles, volumetric flasks), while the Temperature laboratory conducts calibration of thermometers, laboratory ovens, incubators, cold rooms, autoclaves, fridges and freezers, coolers, among others.
According to Raymond Murenzi, the Director General of RSB, the laboratories are useful in measurements for industries as well as in health sector.
Speaking at a media interview, Murenzi said that the accreditation means that there will be no difference between measurements carried out in Rwanda with those carried out elsewhere in the developed world.
He added that it will help to enhance the Made-in-Rwanda policy as the country’s exports will be more trusted abroad.
According to Murenzi, RSB decided to work with Germany’s DAkkS because many Rwandan exports go to Europe.
Michel Sebera, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, recognised the achievement as one of the “many fruits of the great cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Sebera said that the accreditation will help lower technical barriers to trade between Rwanda and other countries.
“In the advent of globalisation, domestic and export trade have become vital to the development of any country’s economy and mostly Rwanda. There is a need to lower or to eliminate barriers to trade in order to facilitate trade among nations. The barriers can be in form of technical regulations and standards, usually referred to as technical barriers as established by countries,” he said.
“The lowering of technical barriers to trade can be achieved by harmonising technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures as laid down in the agreement of technical barriers of trade of the World Trade Organization,” he added.
Florian Paffenholz, the project coordinator for PTB’s technical cooperation with Sub Saharan Africa, congratulated RSB for the achievement. He said that both PTB and RSB invested a lot in the form of time as well as resources,
“In the end it worked and the result is great,” he said.
Isaie Akimana, an industrialist working with Africa Improved Food, said that the accreditation gives them confidence in the system, where they do calibration and expressed enthusiasm towards continuing to work with RSB.