The Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) developed 83 new standards during the last financial year 2012/13.
Dr. Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the RBS director general, said the standards body focused on development of safety standards, which included 24 fire safety standards and four services sector standards.
Bagabe said they develop new standards to boost local products’ competitiveness and to safeguard consumers from sub-standard products.
He, however, noted that stakeholders in the services industry were not supportive.
“Hopefully, things will change and we have all of them on board since we are now working with the hotels association,” he said during a media breakfast in Kigali last week.
The standards body also sold 837 standards to the public. Bagabe said they sell standards to the general public to enable stakeholders use them in their businesses and also encourage consumption of high quality standard goods.
RBS also harmonised 165 standards with those of the East Africa Community member states to facilitate access to the regional market.
Fifty-four new products were also certified, 14 recertified, resulting into a total of 119 certified products in the country. These were in the areas of milk and its products, wheat, maize, cassava and sosoma flours, coffee in various forms, tea, cement, cosmetics, water and juices.
Over the year, the standards body inspected 50,255 consignments of which 18 consisted of human medicines, clothes, electrical and electronics were rejected and 14 consignment destroyed.
Bagabe said the standards body still faced a huge challenge of sub-standard goods on the market over the year under review. “Traders are seeking quick profits at the expense of safety. Worse still, consumers also go for cheap goods without thinking about safety.
“Our effort to curtail this problem are frustrated by the porous borders, demand for cheap goods and greed of some traders.”
Bagabe appealed on the public to support RBS’s efforts aimed at improving the quality of local goods and services, saying it is everyone’s responsibility.