Observe Standards: Kigoda tells Tanzanians

TBS Board Chairman, Prof. Cuthbert Mhilu presents an award to one of the winners of the World Standards Day 2013 Essay Competition, Ms Karen Katabwa..

Tanzanians have been warned that their society cannot excel in any sector if standards are ignored.

The warning was issued by the Minister for Industry and Trade, Hon. Dr. Abdallah Kigoda, when addressing stakeholders in standardization during an event to commemorate the World Standards Day 2013, which was held in Dar es Salaam on 28th October, 2013.

In a speech that was read on his behalf by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) Board Chairman, Prof. Cuthbert Mhilu, Hon. Kigoda said the government is determined to realize the national vision 2025, which sees the country graduating from a least developed country to a middle income country, with a high level of human development. However, he warned that this dream cannot be realized by ignoring standards.

“By ignoring standards we (Tanzania) are set to remain bystanders. We must adopt standards in our processes. Standards are a sure means for technology transfer, trade facilitation and economic growth,” said Hon. Kigoda. He added that currently the government is implementing the Big Results Now programme and that standards are expected to play a pivotal role in the realization of the programme.

During the event, two papers were presented, namely “The role of standards in facilitating entrepreneurship and innovations for national economic social transformation” and “Standards ensure positive change” which was an elaboration of this year’s World Standards Day message. The presentations were followed by a discussion which raised various issues, including a call for Tanzanians, especially those in production and service sectors to change their attitudes and voluntarily go for certification for their own benefit.

Responding to some of the issues raised, the Acting TBS Director General, Mr. Joseph Masikitiko said small and medium scale manufacturers are certified freely under government support and that the Bureau is currently implementing a programme of sensitizing SMEs on quality matters.

On the need to ensure that all products entering the country are inspected for conformity, the Acting Director General said the Bureau is in the process of opening new entry point offices at Tunduma, Kasumulo, Mutukula, the J K Nyerere International Airport and the Kilimanjaro International Airport. Currently the Bureau operates at six entry points namely Dar es Salaam Port, Tanga Port, Holili, Horohoro, Namanga and Sirari.

Meanwhile, 20 students from secondary schools and higher learning institutions were awarded different prizes after winning the World Standards Day 2013 Essay Competition.  The prizes ranged from laptops, tablets and cellphone handsets for winners, first runners-up and second runners-up respectively in the secondary schools and higher learning institutions categories, to cash prizes of 50,000 TZS for the rest in the best 10.

The World Standards Day is usually commemorated on 14th October each year, to honor efforts of the thousands of experts who develop standards within standards development organizations worldwide. The aim of the World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.