No compromise on standards — Prof. Mkenda

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Prof Adolf Mkenda (centre), listens to a small scale entrepreneur (left) when he visited small and medium entrepreneurs’ pavilions during the commemoration of the African Standards Day held at national level in Dar es Salaam over the weekend. With him are Chairman of the TBS Board of Directors Prof Cuthbert Mhilu (second left), TBS Director General Mr. Joseph Masikitiko (second right) and TBS Director of Standards Development, Mrs Agnes Mneney.

Producers and importers of various products in the country have been urged to invest in the production and importation of quality products since there is no compromise on issues related to adherence of standards’ requirements.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Prof Adolf Mkenda made the remark during the celebrations to mark the African Standards Day (ARSO Day) held at the national level in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

In his remarks, Prof Mkenda said that the government promotes the growth of the industrial sector in the country but it was a must for producers to make sure that they produce quality products as prescribed by the standard of the respective product.

On that basis, he called on the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to maintain professionalism while defending decisions that carry wide interests of the nation.

“Perform your standardization and quality assurance tasks professionally … TBS is a professional institution that has been entrusted to carry out standardization and quality assurance activities, don’t work under either individual interests or political pressure,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary also reminded TBS on the importance of efficiency in carrying out its tasks including the timely delivery of test results as delay of the results can affect the country’s economy.

Reacting to complaints raised by Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) concerning the challenges they face during the establishment of businesses, Prof Mkenda said that the government was going through all institutions to streamline the establishment of business in the country, but without compromising the importance of the institutions.

He however, encouraged SMEs in the country to certify their products with TBS in order to secure markets in and outside the country as customers are much confident and attracted by the TBS certified products.

Earlier on, TBS Director General Joseph Masikitiko said that in order to cement a closer relationship with the private sector in the country, the standards watchdog in collaboration with the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) organized a local expo where industrial producers could showcase their products. He said at least 45 producers whose products are certified by TBS participated in the expo.

Apart from the local expo, the Bureau also organized an essay competition for higher leaning institutions which attracted a total of 63 students from 17 higher learning institutions, with the aim of creating awareness and understanding on standards issues among youths. The students were required to write on this year’s theme, “How standards contribute to women empowerment and development”.

The African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) is Africa’s intergovernmental standards body formed by OAU (currently AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1977 in Accra Ghana. The fundamental mandate of ARSO is to develop tools for standards development, standards harmonization and implementation of these systems to enhance Africa’s internal trading capacity, increased Africa’s product and service competitiveness globally and uplift of the welfare of African consumers as well as standardization forum for future prospects in international trade referencing.