The Government has expressed its appreciation on the initiative taken by Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to adopt the International Standard on social responsibility and welcomed the implementation of the standard among local organizations.

Joyce Mapunjo

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ms Joyce Mapunjo said this during the official opening of a one-day seminar organized by TBS, aimed at creating awareness on ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility among various stakeholders in Tanzania.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Director of Marketing from the Ministry of Industry and Trade Mr. Odilo Majengo, Ms Mapunjo said the Government is making a close follow-up of the initiative so as to ensure that organisations in Tanzania realize the benefits of the standard.

“It is time for local organizations to improve social responsibility behaviour through the application of ISO 26000. By so doing they will promote and achieve mutual benefits with communities and the government,” she said.

She added that this can be reached through improving competitive advantage, building better reputation, establishing sensible working conditions for workers, clients and users, strengthening relationships with companies, governments, the media, suppliers, peers, customers and the community at large – all of which are advocated by the standard.

The Permanent Secretary said organizations in Tanzania are not isolated entities but form part of the society, thus it is in their interest to be embedded in a stable and peaceful society and that voluntary socio, cultural and ecological engagement can go a long way in supporting such interests.

On his part, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Mr. Hans Koeppel reiterated the continued interest of the Government of Germany to support Tanzania in raising awareness and implementation of standards in the country.

“German Cooperation is strongly supporting the development and uptake of international standards,” he said, adding that the German Government’s goal is to promote responsible business practice, business ethics, integrity and anti-corruption practices in business undertaking.

Earlier in his welcome speech, the TBS Director of Standards Development Mr. Leandri Kinabo said the objective of the seminar was to create awareness in implementing the standard. He went ahead to outline the importance of the standard to the development of a country, saying it advocates better working environment for employees.

“ISO 26000: 2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to unlike some other well-known ISO standards. Instead, it helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practice relating to social responsibility, globally,” he added.

The ISO 26000 was adopted as TZS 1363:2010 in Tanzania, and was harmonized at the East African Community level in November 2010. Tanzania has joined other 53 countries of the world to implement this standard.