Mr. BOOTO A NGON Charles, Director General of Agence des Normes et de la Qualité (ANOR) addressing delegates at the 55th ARSO Council Meeting .
Cameroon’s commitment to ARSO dates back to the 1977, as a founding member when M. Oyono Owono, the then Chef de Service de Normalisation Ministere de l’economie de normalization et des plan, Cameroon, together with other African NSBs Chief Executices notably: Dr. Fanad Ahmed Sobly, the then Chairman Egyptian Organisation for Standardization (EOS), Arabs Republic of Egyp; Mr. Shyam Kumar Gujadhur, the then Director, Mauritius Standards Bureau, Ministry of Commerce & industry, Mauritius and later ARSO President; Mr. Mohamed Hadi Krema, Head of Standards and Specification section Ministry of Industry Tripoli, Standards and Specification Section, Libyan Arab Republic, Dr. Robert Oteng, Head of the Ghana Standards Board, among others, teamed up to push the Agenda for the formation of ARSO.
Through their inspiration and with the assistance of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the blessing of the Heads of States and Governments in Africa through the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the foundations of the regional standards body, the African Regional Organization for Standardisation (ARSO) was laid at the Founding Conference in Accra which hosted by the Government of the Republic of Ghana and attended by Ministers of Industry from African states. This Conference produced the Constitution of ARSO which was immediately signed by heads of delegations of the seventeen African countries and later ratified by 9 African Presidents.
Addressing the delegates Mr. BOOTO A NGON Charles, Director General of Agence des Normes et de la Qualité (ANOR) highlighted the role of Cameroon in ARSO as an active member, a Council member and Immediate vice President for ARSO during the 2012 – 2016 term. During this period, MrBooto played an important role in influencing the West African countries to participate actively in ARSO. Cameroon is an active member in ARSO Programmes, including African Standards Harmonisation as a member of the ARSO THC1- Basic and General Standards/Base et normes générales; ARSO THC2- Agriculture and Food Products/ produits agricoles et alimentaires; ARSO THC3 – Building and Civil Engineering/ Bâtiment et Génie Civil; ARSO THC4 – Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy /génie mécanique et métallurgie; ARSO THC5 – Chemistry and Chemical Engineering chimie et génie chimique; ARSO THC6 – Electro-technology/électrotechnique; ARSO THC 7 -Textiles and Leather /Textiles et produits en cuir; ARSO THC8 – Transport and Communication /transports et Communications; ARSO THC9 – Environmental Management /gestion de l’environnement; ARSO THC10 – Energy and Natural Resources/Energie et ressources naturelles and ARSO THC 12 – Cosmetology and wellness/Cosmetology and Wellness/ Cosmétologie et la santé and Financial Services. CAMEROON also participates actively in the ARSO DISNET, CACO and COCO programmes.
The meeting recalled that Cameroon participates in the yearly ARSO Standardisation Essay Competition and in 2013, Mr. Toung II Peres from Cameroon emerged the overall continental winner (1st position) of the 1st Continental Essay competition held under the theme “Celebrating Standardisation as a Strategic Resource to Africa’s economic integration.
In his speech, the ANOR director also noted that Cameroon is the ARSO Representative in the WTO – TBT Committee that holds its review meetings in March, June and November every year at the WTO Head Quarters in Geneva, Switzerland. ARSO is an Observer member of the WTO/TBT Committee. The committee reviews how standards, technical regulations and Conformity Assessment affects trade and sets the rules, the TBT and SPS Agreements, to guide in the application of standards, technical regulations and Conformity Assessment to facilitate trade among countries.
It is recalled that the African Day of Standardisation was initiated in Cameroon in June 2013 under the theme “Celebrating Standardisation as a Strategic Resource to Africa’s economic integration”, when Cameroon hosted the 48th ARSO Council Meeting at the Hilton Hotel, Yaoundé, Cameroon on 17th – 18th June 2013.