Industry, Trade and Tourism has said the accreditation of Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) as an internationally recognised certification bureau by the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (Sadcas) in Aflotoxins stands to benefit the country economically.
Speaking on the sidelines of a handover ceremony a certificate of accreditation to MBS, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism director of planning Francis Zhuwawo said the accreditation is in line with government policies and strategies on transforming Malawi from a predominantly consuming and importing country to a producing and exporting one.
“We are very happy to receive this certificate as Malawi. What this means is that our products in Malawi are internationally recognised compared to what was happening in the past whereby samples were taken outside the country for testing because we did not have a laboratory facility that was internationally recognized.
“This was retarding the economy of the country as exporters were incurring huge costs and in the process losing our limited forex reserves. I am very delighted that from now on Malawi has embarked on the road to prosperity since products tested once here in Malawi will be accepted everywhere in the world courtesy of the Malawi Bureau of Standards testing laboratory,” he said.
MBS board chairperson Action Amosi urged businesses to take advantage of this accreditation saying it will reduce costs to accredit outside the country and also bring reputation to products produced here in Malawi.
The journey towards MBS accreditation process started with the establishment of the quality management systems. In 2012, the process was heightened with the introduction of Standardisation Quality Assurance and Metrology (SQAM) project.
The project attracted a funding of $12.7 million which the Bureau under the umbrella of Malawi government and developing partners such as European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) contributed towards the project.
Speaking during the handover ceremony of the certificate to the Bureau, Sadcas chief executive officer Maureen Mutasa said accreditation helps governments meet their responsibilities in safeguarding the public and protecting the environment as well as promoting trade.
During the occasion, MBS also received two checks equipment used in testing Vitamin A and Iron from Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain) of Malawi programme on food fortification.