For us in Tanzania we have come a long way in our search for quality and standardization, and we still have many kilometres to go in our journey towards attaining excellence.
The issue of product quality and international standards was hitherto taken lightly and casually not only in Tanzania but also in many other developed and developing nations. The trend is rapidly changing to give way to a new dispensation of intentional standards awareness and quality consciousness.
Now Tanzanians have been awakened by the reality of how international standards could determine the fate of their country’s economy.
With a heart burning with the desire to contribute further in the industrial world by taking the country’s products to a greater number of people through participating in international trade fairs, the government through TBS has embarked on an unprecedented scale of activities targeted at achieving this goal.
As we realized that the more we tried to succeed in international bids, the more we became aware of an underlying challenge which was not yet known to us. We realized that the quality of our products, though of very high and internationally competitive standard, was not all that we needed to become successful players in the international market.
Our production facilities, and by extension the products, had to be certified to meet the guidelines of the international market.
In response, TBS built modern laboratories, with the aim of equipping them with the necessary infrastructure needed for international standards to be met. This landmark achievement is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.
This achievement provided TBS with the opportunity to learn a new requirement and a new way of doing bigger business. The principal requirement for international trade had been revealed: International standards was the watch word.
Today, manufactured products tested in Tanzania are accepted everywhere. To a large extent and to the best of our knowledge, we boast of accredited laboratories in the country.
International standards enhance environmental sustainability. These benefits and many more, attest to this year’s World Standards Day theme which is `International Standards Ensure Positive Change.’
The adoption and customization of the theme to reflect the critical needs of the Tanzanian economy, led to a supporting theme, which is, “International Standards: A Wheel of Transformation”. Every sector in Tanzania has a uniform challenge in the area of standards.
Under this realization, TBS has successfully brought down the level of sub-standard goods in the Tanzania market.
With the active support of the government (Ministry of Industry and Trade), TBS is ensuring that accreditation of products is done based on global standards by facilitating persistent monitoring of the market to ensure adherence to global best practices.
TBS aims to nurture and grow the practice of standards as a way of national life. With a clear definition of government’s commitment to create the environment that promotes best quality practices in all sectors of the economy, and an obligation to develop strong quality infrastructure through strengthening and upgrading metrology, standardization, testing and conformity assessment, formulation and effective enforcement of technical regulations, TBS lies strategically in the development of a quality creed in the country.
All stakeholders will collectively work to ensure the entrenchment of true standards in every area of human activity so as to facilitate Tanzania’s ability to fully benefit from international bilateral agreements and trade relations.
TBS has plans for many awesome projects as a direct response to a long-standing key requirement of direct participation in international trade, as it is endowed with five modern laboratories comprising testing rooms and facilities for support staff.
Such infrastructure will put an end to samples of products imported into Tanzania being taken out for testing in laboratories in other countries.
The laboratories ensure that goods produced in Tanzania are within the borders of the country tested once, certified once and accepted everywhere in the world. Imported goods will also be tested and in a reverse of current practice, testing services will be rendered here in the country to other nations that do not have such testing facilities.