Regional Bureaus of Standards have stressed the need to adopt and implement international practices in different countries to promote trade within and outside the Continent.
This was, last week, during-three day training for technical standard experts from 17 African countries including; South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Tanzania, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo and the host country, Rwanda.
In an interview with Business Times yesterday, Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the Director General of Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS),said that the training is part of ISO action plan adopted in 2005 to support Least Developed Countries to access international market.
“Our business depends on standards both imports and exports and the training will help us (Rwanda) widen our market access,” Bagabe said.
Bagabe noted that while the institution has developed about 600 standards since 2000, the challenge remains benchmarking them with ISO and International Electro technical commission.
“The biggest challenge is technical experts and laboratories to assist in implementing these standards,” he said.
The technical experts observed that many African standards bureaus have limited capacity to actively participate in the dynamic international market.
According to Anastasia Mukeshiyaremye, Director of Standards at RBS, the institution intends to organize a workshop for managers, regulators and technical experts involved in standard development to train them about setting standards.
Mukeshiyaremye also said RBS will continue to play a key role in elimination of trade barriers through issuance of quality marks and certificates as a proof of conformity and inspections and surveillances for fair trade.
Recently RBS launched quality marks, a move that is expected to boost the country’s export sector.