11th December 2018 – ARSO and the Kenya National Accreditation Cervices signs the ARSO-KENAS MoU to facilitate Cooperation in the Conformity Assessment Activities under the ARSO Conformity Assessment Programmes and Mutual Recognition arrangements.
13th December 2018 – ARSO and the African Electronic Commerce Development International (A-eCDI) signed a MoU in Cairo, Egypt in pursuit of their mutual interest to supporting African countries in their efforts to implement the Agreement on the AfCFTA.
15 December 2018 – ARSO Secretary General and ARSO President Joins African Standardisation Stakeholders in discussing on the priority sectors for harmonization of Standards by ARSO within AfCFTA on the sideline of Intra Africa Trade Forum held in Cairo, Egypt and organised by Afreximbank and the African Union.
25th January 2019 – ARSO President and ARSO Secretary General (left in the Picture) paid a courtesy call on the UNECA Secretary General, H.E. Vera Songwe (center, Right,) for a discussion on the TBT challenges for the AfCFTA and the role of ARSO in the mitigation process. UNECA is currently the ARSO Champion for the development of Regional Value Chains and the associated standardisation activities.
24th January 2019 – The ARSO President and the Secretary General joins the Pan African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI) Stakeholders (AFRIMETS, AFRAC, AFSEC, AUC) 13th PAQI Joint Committee Meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting discussed among other the ongoing SPS stocktaking exercise and the Cassava Regional Value Chain project which aims at enhancing the Cassava production, trade industrialization in Africa.
29-31 January 2019: The ARSO President, Dr. Eve Gadzikwa and the ARSO Secretary General, Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana joined other TBT Experts and Policy Makers in the in the WTO Regional Workshop on the TBT Agreement for English-speaking African Countries, held in Dar-es-Salaam , Tanzania and delivered ARSO contributions, through a short presentation on ARSO’s work to promote pan-African harmonization of national technical regulations, standards and Conformity Assessment, during the session on Session on “International Standards”: The ARSO officials also joined in the discussions on the Session on “Conformity Assessment and Quality Infrastructure” organized as a panel debate, giving comments and perspectives on how African regulators can draw upon the Quality Infrastructure to promote trade and facilitate approaches to conformity assessment. Ongoing Quality Infrastructure Development in Support of World Trade will continue to be critical especially in an increasingly complex global trading system, and as more African countries ratify the AfCFTA agreement, ARSO is already playing a strategic role and positioning itself to prepare Member States to be able to unpack Opportunities and Threats in trade.
6 February 2019 – Mr. Paul Walakira of Enabling Environment paid a courtesy call on the ARSO Secretary General at the ARSO Central Secretariat for discussions on the implementation of the a project on the Export Competitiveness of Women-Led PMEs and Standards Promotion in Cosmetology Sector in Africa. The project is being financed by the TradeCom II PMU under the European Development Fund, for implementation, in partnership with ARSO and the Global Share Alliance, to promote shea exports for cosmetics in regional and international markets, and the uptake of standards for cosmetology, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development, job creation and poverty reduction in Africa as the project promotes Cosmetology sector in Africa that include Baber shop, haircare stylists wellness spa and massage, manicurists and pedicurists.
8th February 2019 – Margareta Funder of the International Trade Centre paid a courtesy call on the ARSO Secretary General at the ARSO Central Secretariat Office and discussed ARSO-ITC cooperation in standardisation based on ARSO Programmes. Support to the Private sector in standards adoption to implementation of the AfCFTA.
14 February 2019 – The ARSO Secretary General joins in discussions with independent experts and other Experts from the African RECs and officials from African Union, UNECA and UNCTAD to provide concrete proposals for a practical method of implementing African Continental Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade (NTBs) Mechanism in an event organised by the African Union and UNCTAD in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.28th February 2019 – The ARSO Secretary General and the Officials of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) signed an MoU for cooperation in Standardisation and promotion of Quality Infrastructure in Africa for the implementation of the AfCFTA in Libreville, Gabon. The Regional Economic Communities (ECCAS, ECOWAS, EAC, AMU, CEN-SAD, COMESA, SADC, and IGAD) are the African Union’s building blocks for Africa’s Integration Agenda. ECCAS is currently implementing the Quality Infrastructure Programme for Central Africa (PIQAC) programme (which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in close collaboration with the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC)) which aims to reinforce the competitiveness and diversification of the productive sectors by providing support to regional and national quality infrastructure institutions. The programme will create a favourable business environment while ensuring compliance with international trade rules and technical regulations. https://www.unido.org/news/central-africa-one-step-closer-implementing-quality-infrastructure-strategy
11 March 2019: Participation of the ARSO President the 34th annual SADC TBT Cooperating Structures Meetings and the Open Day Workshop SADC TBT Week, Safari Conference Centre, Windhoek, Namibia,. Under the theme: “The Roles, Responsibilities and Readiness of the SADC TBT Structures in the Implementation of the AfCFTA. The ARSO President delivered a Keynote Address on the ARSO-RECs Cooperation in Standardisations, highlighting the Issue of Technical Barriers to Trade in Africa and the AfCFTA Opportunities under the AfCFTA Agreement Annexes 6 and 7 on TBT and SPS, respectively.
20th March 2019 – ARSO Secretary General joins the Kenya Stakeholders at the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) at the National Bureau of Standards Training for the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) in Nairobi, Kenya. The inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) was held on 26 September 2018 in Genève, Switzerland. The CSN is a platform for Commonwealth countries to exchange ideas, share best practice and impart knowledge. Its key aim will be to facilitate trade and foster innovation across the Commonwealth through the increased use of international standards. The network will be especially relevant to those members that are less economically developed, looking to boost their export capabilities through the use of standards. The programmes delivered in these countries will include training in the use of standards and onsite technical assistance programmes, through funding from the Department for International Development. A series of programmes will build the capacity of Commonwealth states to adopt international standards, while also increasing their role in international standards development. The programmes include extensive training and the delivery of a standards toolkit for all participating Commonwealth states. https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/media-centre/press-releases/2018/april/BSI-launches-Commonwealth-Standards-Network/