The government is upbeat that promoting standards and quality of products and service will boost exports and the competitiveness of local firms.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Emmanuel Hategeka, said that ensuring Rwandan products meet international standards and quality gives confidence in the products and an uphill advantage to compete internationally.
“Markets like confidence and tend to fail where there is uncertainty or mistrust or lack of transparency,” he said, yesterday, while opening the conformity assessment workshop on product certification practices in Kigali.
Hategeka added that as consumers increasingly yearn for quality products, local industrialists and conformity assessment bodies alike should be fully equipped to compete in today’s volatile market place.
“One of the major stumbling blocks in trade is the attainment of demonstrable product quality demanded by authorities, as well as the major players in the market.”
The PS added that the workshop would help in promoting the underlying objectives of improving market access in international trade and addressing domestic challenges associated with standards and conformity assessment.
Iain Muir, an expert from Management System Facilitators based in South Africa, said that through CASCO—a conformity assessment toolbox , African countries would be able to harmonise sample testing, inspection, process evaluation, management systems and certification among others to build confidence in the products.
The Director General Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS), Mark Bagabe Cyubahiro, noted that there is need for East African member states to harmonise standards to promote doing business in the regional and further reduces delays in repeated testing and certification of products.
“While we are using the same international standards, we don’t have uniform standards in the region, so we want to see how we can use the same standards in terms of inspection, testing and certification so as to create confidence in the regional products,” he said
Adopting the same standards across the borders especially in the EAC is expected to boost product’s capacity to fetch more export receipts which will contribute to the economic development of the region.