SMEs urged to make use of government support

Winners of the African Day of Standardization essay competition (standing) in a photo with TBS Director General, Prof. Egid Mubofu (centre, seated), the Chief Judge Dr. Eugenia Kafanabo (left) and the Director of Standards Development, Ms Edna Ndumbaro.

Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has challenged small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) to take advantage of the support provided by the government and have their products certified.

The challenge was posed by TBS Director General, Prof. Egid Mubofu during a ceremony to grant awards to winners of an essay competition organized by the Bureau as part of the commemoration of African Day of Standardization for 2017 and held at TBS headquarters, Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Prof. Mubofu said the government, through TBS has set aside funds to facilitate certification of SMEs products, thus enabling SMEs to access free certification cervices for three years with the aim of improving the quality of local products and enabling them to enter local, regional and international markets, while contributing to the national socioeconomic development. He thus called upon SMEs to grab the opportunity and have their products certified.

He further urged the business community and manufacturers to abide by standards in their production so as to win local and international markets.

On the issue of essay competition, the DG noted that the competition was aimed at building a foundation among students on standardization and quality assurance matters. He commended the participating students for taking the challenge and applauded those who managed to enter the top five stage.

During the event, five students from various higher learning institutions were awarded for their outstanding performance in essay writing. The students are Evarist Medard Tairo from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) who was the overall winner, Julius Focus from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) who was the first runner-up and Kazoba Albinus also from MUHAS, who was the second runner-up.

Other winners were Kalulu Jonathan Mathias from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and Andrea Usipa from the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE).

Speaking during the presentation of awards, the Chief Judge of the competition, Dr. Eugenia Kafanabo said essay writing competitions on themes linked with standards not only bring to students awareness about the importance of standardization to the global economy, but also brings out their potential on writing styles and skills, creativity and research skills. She commended TBS for organizing the competition.

Overall, the competition, whose theme was “The role of standardization in facilitating human rights with a particular focus on the rights of women”, attracted 39 participants from 14 higher learning institutions namely UDSM, MUHAS, the Institute of Finance Management (IFM), SUA, the University of Dodoma (UDOM), the Learnit Institute of Business and Technology and Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU).

Other institutions were the Mbeya University of Science and Technology, Mzumbe University, Archbishop James University College (SAUT), DUCE, Mwenge Catholic University, the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS) and Ruaha University (SAUT).

Nine judges took part in the evaluation process, namely Dr. Kafanabo and Dr. Lulu Mahai (both from UDSM), Ms Helen Ikuyumba (a school teacher) and Mr. Yona Afrika, Mr. Anectus Ndunguru, Mr. Henry Massawe, Mr Harry Kisiwa, Ms Gladness Kaseka and Ms Neema Mtemvu, all from TBS.