As Rwanda moves towards full integration with other East African Community (EAC) member states, it has become more urgent for local manufacturers to adhere to the set standards for goods produced locally.
Integration offers a perfect platform for Rwanda to raise the bar on its production standards, including labelling and packaging.
Soon, with the coming into effect of the economic partnership agreement between the European Union and EAC, Rwandan goods will be treated in the same manner as other EAC goods.
The issue of competitiveness of locally produced goods is one that needs urgent attention. The government created the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) to ensure that locally produced goods meet or even surpass set quality standards, regionally and internationally.
The private sector needs to rally its members to embrace such a noble practise that is critical to boosting the competitiveness of local products.
Countries and consumers are becoming more demanding with each passing day. In order to meet such high standards and quality assurance parameters, there is need for local producers to raise the bar, by striving to have their products certified as fit to meet the conditions for entry into foreign markets.
While it is reassuring that a number of local large scale manufacturers meet international standards, it is equally important for the Small and Medium Enterprises(SME) sector to be brought on board as one of the strategies for boosting exports.