Officials have touted the accreditation of Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) by Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (Sadcas) in the management system certification as a move that will help enhance trade and quality of services.
The scheme under which MBS has been accredited is internationally recognised, meaning that MBS is now competent to certify any organisation.
Speaking in Blantyre on Thursday, Sadcas chief executive officer Maureen Mutasa said the accreditation of MBS has come at an opportune time with African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) set to unlock a market of about 1.3 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion.
She said: “Through this accreditation, Malawi is now exposed to compete equally in this market.
“Other than that, Malawi also benefits from the recently launched global database portal for internationally recognised certifications.”
Mutasa said with this accreditation, Malawi will now be able to showcase its certified organisations internationally and the database will be used for validations for procurement purposes; hence, opening up the local market.
On his part, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Salim Bagus said the accreditation supports government’s policy of transforming Malawi to be a producing and exporting nation.
He said: “With this accreditation certificate, MBS will certify all products made in Malawi and even outside Malawi. With this accreditation, Malawi will also have an upper hand to ably compete in the AfCFTA.”
Bagus said local firms have been spending extra costs in foreign exchange to undertake tests abroad.
MBS board chairperson Dalitso Kafumbata asked the private sector to take advantage of the accreditation, saying it will reduce costs incurred when sourcing the same services abroad.
He said: “We will now have our products internationally recognised and this means increased imports volumes. This is a big achievement that should support our foreign exchange reserves as prior to this accreditation, it meant that most companies had to seek accreditation outside Malawi.” Recently, MBS also attained the testing laboratory accreditation of general requirements for the competencies of testing and calibration laboratory in aflatoxin chemical analysis in cereals, pulses and related products in 2018 and microbiography testing of water last year.