The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) says the country is on course in enhancing its capacity in standardization, quality assurance and metrology services to deal with challenges traders face on the international market due to lack of accreditation.
MBS board chairperson Action Amos made the remarks last Friday during commemorations marking the 2015 World Standards Day. .
Amos said the bureau is training its staff and recruiting over 200 personnel to help in the implementation of the Standardization Quality Assurance Accreditation and Metrology infrastructure for Malawi (Sqam) and the Market Access and Trade Capacity Building Support for Agro-industrial products (MATCB) projects.
“Implementation of these projects would ensure that conformity assessment is done locally and cheaply thereby improving competitiveness on the international market,” he said.
MBS director general Davlin Chokazinga urged the business community and consumers in the country to seriously embrace standardisation in recognition of its contribution to improving healthy living, communication and technology enhancement, trade facilitation as well as economic growth.
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) is providing technical support in the implementation of Sqam and MATCB with funding from European Union, United Nations Development Programme and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
UNIDO programme manager Otto Loesener expressed satisfaction with Malawi’s efforts towards achieving and sustaining international standards to meet international accreditation requirements.
“I am also excited that Malawi is making positive strides, it is now coming closer to the accreditation of laboratories and this is good news in as far as achieving goal number 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals is concerned,” he said.
The goal calls on governments to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
MSB plans to construct a heavy mass and large volume laboratory facility with storage space for mobile equipment used in verification activities behind the trade fair grounds in Blantyre. Construction works are set to commence by December this year.
World Standards Day began as a celebration of the birth of the International Organisation for Standardisation in 1946 to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers on the importance of standardisation to the global economy.
The day, which falls on October 14 every year, was commemorated in the country on the 16th, under the theme, Standardisation: the world’s common language.