African Organisation for Standardisation

History of ARSO

The African Organization for Standardisation, formerly the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) traces its genesis to the unfolding events and the prevailing mood of the African socio-political and economic Pan-Africanism of the 1970s and the culmination of which at a Conference held at the historic and important city of Accra, Ghana.

The idea of a continental standardisation body had received considerable impetus from the buoyant and optimistic mood that characterised the post-independence period in most of Africa.  The mood then, under the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was one of pan-African solidarity and collective self-reliance born of a shared destiny with standardisation viewed as a guidepost of the destiny and bedrock of African Economic Integration Agenda and a route to linking up of the fresh Africa’s economy with the rest of the world and to deliver the African Common Market for economic prosperity of the continent.

To read more on the history and foundation of ARSO, please click on this ARSO Establishment Document. Please also find the countries that adopted the first ARSO constitution at the founding conference on the 10th – 17th of August, 1977.  Click here for founding members of ARSO

The countries that ratified the founding constitution of ARSO in 1977 are:

In carrying out its mandate, ARSO seeks to:

  • harmonize national and/or sub-regional standards as African Standards and issue necessary recommendations to member bodies for this purpose;
  • initiate and co-ordinate the development of African Standards (ARS) with references to products which are of peculiar interest to Africa;
  • encourage and facilitate adoption of international standards by member bodies;
  • promote and facilitate exchange of experts, information and co-operation in training of personnel in standardisation activities;
  • co-ordinate the views of its members at the ISO, IEC, OIML, Codex and other international Organizations concerned with Standardisation activities.
  • create appropriate bodies in addition to the organs of the organization for the purposes of fulfilling its objectives.
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