ARSO SIGNS MoU with AfCFTA Secretariat – 17th November 2021

ARSO signs an MoU with the AfCFTA Secretariat on the implementation of AfCFTA Agreement, with respect to the elimination of Technical Barriers to Trade that has consistently hindered the intra-African Trade, as provided for under the TBT Annex 6, which also recognizes the role of ARSO, in the same, under article 6. The AfCFTA has the potential to increase intra-African trade by 52.3% by eliminating import duties, and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers, especially the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTS) are also reduced (UNECA 2018). The Heterogeneity of the African Standards, within the RECs and Countries, make intra-African Trade costly, contentious and low (16%, TRALAC 2019).

The MoU signing ceremony by H.E. Mr. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General AfCFTA and Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, ARSO Secretary General during the IATF 2021

The WTO encourages Harmonization, use of equivalence and mutual recognition in the bilateral free trade agreements, such as the AfCFTA. The anticipated standards to be harmonised by ARSO being comparable to the 4,547 HS6, Tarif lines for the AfCFTA. The AfCFTA TBT Annex 6 provisions on standards, Conformity Assessments and accreditation indicate the need for harmonization and mutual recognition between the State parties, with the role of ARSO defined.

H.E. Mr. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General AfCFTA
ARSO – AfCFTA MoU Hand Over
Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, ARSO Secretary General

As a policy instrument, the AfCFTA Agreement, under the TBT Annex 6 and SPS Annex 7, addresses the TBTs and SPS issues, and binds all State parties to commit to their progressive elimination and calls for cooperation in their development, harmonisation and implementation of standards, conformity Assessment and the related themes.The signing has taken place at the Roundtable discussion on the role of Quality Infrastructure in the promotion of the Pharmaceutical Sector under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), taking place on the sideline of the 6 days event the Intra African Trade Fair 2021, in Durban, South Africa, from 15th – 21st November 2021. The AfCFTA Agreement is coordinating the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement with all the Stakeholders and partners, like ARSO.

Harmonisation of Standards for Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices in Africa, Round Table Discussion

Press Release

The African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) and its partners set to organize a high-level roundtable on the Harmonisation of Standards for Pharmaceutical products and Medical Devices in Africa on the 17th November 2021.

The hybrid roundtable is aimed at discussing and providing update on the Harmonization project and will come off on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) taking place in Durban, South Africa from the 15th to the 21st of November 2021.

Nairobi – 11th November 2021: The African Organization for Standardisation (ARSO) in partnership with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), and Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) announced the organization of a roundtable on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) on 17th November 2021 at 10:35 – 1pm (South African Time).

The hybrid event will serve as a platform to provide updates on their common project called “Harmonization of Standards for Pharmaceutical products and Medical Devices in Africa”. The initiative which was launched under the umbrella of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB) in 2020, aims at harmonizing African standards for pharmaceuticals and medical devices thereby enhancing intra-African trade and investment, reducing substandard counterfeit products, and building resilient regional health systems.

The roundtable shall be graced by Prof. Benedict Oramah, President Afreximbank; Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC; Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, BADEA Director General;  Wamkele Mene, Secretary General AfCFTA; Dr. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa; H.E. Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner, African Union Commission; Dr. John N. Nkengasong, Africa Centre for Disease Control; Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, ARSO Secretary General and Dr Paulyne Wairimu,PPB, Kenya/AMDF and shall concurrently take place physically at the IATF 2021 Venue in Kwa Zulu Natal and virtually on Zoom.

To access the event, kindly log in here: (Translation will be provided in English and French)

ARSO Webinar: Understanding the ASHAM in promoting the Policy of One Standard One Market for the Implementation of the AFCFTA AGREEMENT, TBT ANNEX 6

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

02.30 p.m. to 04.30 p.m. East African Time 21st July 2020


Presiding Moderator: Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, Secretary General, African Organization for Standardization


  •  Highlights of the The African Standards Harmonisation Model (ASHAM)- Principles, Objectives, Structures and standards Harmonisation Process and the TBT Annex 6- Reuben Gisore, Technical Director, ARSO.
  • The Standardisation Process and the Role of Experts in the ARSO Standards Harmonisation Process under ASHAM – Shady Nabil, Ass. Professor (Egypt) – Chairperson for THC03 – Building and Construction.
  • The Roles of the Technical Committees, Sub- Committees and the Working Groups (TCs, SCs, WGs) – Ms. Amanda Gcabashe, South Africa – Chairperson of the ARSO THC 13 on African Traditional Medicine.
  • Summary and Way Forward: Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, Secretary General, ARSO.

Rationale for the Webinar and Background Information on ASHAM.

The Abuja Treaty of 1991 establishing the African Economic Community Chapter XI, Article 67 where member states agreed to, among others, adopt a common policy on standardization and quality assurance of goods and services among member states. This was reinforced by the Conference of African Ministers of Trade (CAMI 17) in 2004, which highlighted the need for an Experts Led developed Policy Document for harmonising the African Standards and based on the WTO TBT Agreement principles of openness, consultation and transparency, as expressed in Annex 3 on the code of good practice in the preparation, adoption and application of standards.

Upon this background ARSO in collaboration with the EOS, Egypt organised the 1st Expert Working Group (EWG) Meeting on Evolution of African Standards Harmonisation Model (ASHAM) in Cairo, Egypt on 22-25 May 2007, hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt AND sponsored by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), with Experts from ARSO Member States, RECs and Representatives of AU and UNECA. The EWG evolved the ASHAM in two parts namely at the sub-regional and the regional levels.  The harmonisation model was addressed as a recommendation to the sub-regional harmonisation groups with a view to ensuring that all the sub-regional groupings were working according to the same principles which would create confidence among African countries to accept sub-regional harmonised standards.

The 42 ARSO Council, held on 31st March – 1st April 2011, at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria, under its resolution 2, ii, DIRECTED that the ASHAM Model be fully developed to include procedures and marketed to all African stakeholders in simple formats and especially through the NSBs and REC focal points. The first Draft was presented to the 43rd ARSO Council meeting, held in ECA Conference Centre, Caucus Room 10, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ON 23rd – 24th June 2011, which, under its resolution 6, REVIEWED AND APPROVED the first draft of the Standards Harmonization Procedures Manual (ASHAM-SHP-01). The Draft was further validated during the ARSO-PTB Training on the Interplay between Standards and Technical Regulations in October 2011, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ARSO General Assembly, in its 18th Session held on 20 November 2011in Windhoek, Namibia, considered the ASHAM which was presented to the Assembly as ARSO General Assembly Document No.  18GA/4 – ASHAM-SHP-01, and under its resolution 13, RATIFED the ASHAM.

In furtherance of the  “One Standard-One market policy”  the AfCFTA Agreement in the objectives of the TBT Annex 6, calls for the need to identify and assess the instruments for trade facilitation such as harmonization of standards, equivalence of technical regulations, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment, and the reinforcement of international best practices in regulation and standards setting, through establishing mechanisms and structures to enhance transparency in the development and implementation of standards, technical regulations, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment procedures.


In order to reflect the new emerging dynamics under the ARSO-RECS Standards Harmonisation Cooperation, the review of ASHAM was initiated in 2018 in which various changes in the ASHAM Structure, including the creation of the African Advisory Group (JAG) and Standards Management Committee (SMC) were created, to reflect the joint ARSO-RECs harmonization activities and joint priorities derived from RECs’ and AU development Agendas and as per the TBT Annex 6 directives on Cooperation Mechanisms in standards development and harmonisation.

Therefore, the 59th ARSO Council Meeting , held at the Boma Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya  on 6th December 2018 under the theme: “The Role of ARSO within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), under its Resolution 8 on ARSO Council Committee (Technical Management Committee) Recommendations, on Item number 4, Proceedings of ARSO-RECs Meeting Report, Nairobi 22nd – 24th October, 2018, (a, iii) TOOK NOTE of the, NEED to ensure comprehensive Stakeholders Engagement in the selection of standardisation projects in ARSO-RECS common priority sectors, and under b, iii,  APPROVED, (i) the Review of the African Standards Harmonization Model (ASHAM) to reflect the joint ARSO-RECs harmonization and reflection of the adoption of the African Standards at RECs levels, (ii) the Establishment of the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) to guide the process of joint ARSO-RECs standards harmonization, and the Standards Management Committee (SMC) to be in charge of the management of procedures (ii)  The development of Joint New Work items generated by RECs and National country members and the analysis of the ARSO and RECS catalogues. Further, the 60th ARSO Council held on 17th and 18th June 2019, at Panari, Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, under its resolution   8, ARSO Council Committee (Technical Management Committee) Meetings and Reports, on item 4, the ARSO-RECs Joint Harmonization Update, (a) TOOK NOTE of the review of the African Standards Harmonization Model (ASHAM) to reflect the joint ARSO-RECs harmonization activities and joint priorities derived from RECs and AU development agendas. On the same note, the 25th General Assembly held at the Panari Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya on 20th June 2019, under its Resolution 7 (ARSO’s Current activities Status) and Resolution 9 a, ii, on Report of the ARSO Council (59th and 60th GA Decisions) to the General Assembly, respectively HIGHLIGHTED and TOOK NOTE the Review of the African Standards Harmonization Model (ASHAM) to reflect the joint ARSO-RECs standards harmonization activities and reflection of the adoption of the African Standards at RECs levels, formally ENDORSED the ASHAM review process.


In Scope, the ASHAM document lays down the basic principles ((Openness, Transparency, Impartiality, Coherence, Consensus and Development Dimension), procedures and mechanisms by which the ARSO Technical Harmonization Committees (THCs), ARSO Central Secretariat and the ARSO Member States are to harmonize, publish and maintain African Standards and other deliverables. The procedures define the methodologies for the development, harmonization, adoption and publication of African standards. The ASHAM Document clarifies the standards Harmonisation process, outlining the different stages and the responsibilities. The ASHAM Document defines the various Structures including the Joint Advisory Group (JAG), the Standards Management Committee (SMC), The Technical Committees, The Sub-Committees (SCs), The Working Groups and the role of the National Bureau of Standards. The Document highlights the TCs leadership structures and responsibilities.

Wherever feasible, and with the necessary modifications, the ASHAM procedures are based on the relevant ISO/IEC Directives. Cognizance has also been taken of the WTO TBT Agreements, and consideration of Annex 3 on best International Practices in standards development, adoption and application. The ASHAM document provides referenced documents which are indispensable for its application. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

  1. The African Standards Harmonization Model (ASHAM)
  2. Treaties, Agreements and Protocols establishing the respective Regional Economic Communities and their attendant Standardization Bodies.
  3. ISO/IEC Directives ― Part 1: Procedures for the Technical Work
  4. ISO/IEC Directives ― Part 2: Rules for the structure and drafting of international standards
  5. WTO Agreement of Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT Agreement)
  6. Procedures for Development of East African Standards, 2005
  7. Principles and Procedures for the Development of SADC Harmonized Texts, 2009
  8. Procedures for harmonization of standards in the COMESA Region, 2004
  9. Principles and Procedures for the Development of Tripartite Standards.

The Webinar

Objective of the Webinar

The Main objective is to offer a platform for discussion about the ARSO ASHAM, its objectives, Principles and Application in African Standards Development and Harmonisation as highlighted in the TBT Annex 6.

Specific Objectives

  1. Understanding the ASHAM Principles on standards harmonisation in line with the WTO TBT Agreements, Objectives and
  2. Undestanding the ASHAM Components and Structures, including the basic Committees (JAG, SMC, TCs, SCs, WGs) and their roles, including their leaderships.
  3. Understanding the basic ASHAM Reference Documents
  4. Understanding the Challenges and possible solutions in the implementation ASHAM.
  5. Understanding the Standards Hamonisation Process and the role of Experts

Outputs of Webinar

  1. Presentations of the ASHAM
  2. Discussions and Comments on the ASHAM
  3. Report of Webinar

Outcomes of Webinar

  1. Enhanced understanding of the ASHAM Principles, Structures and the ARSO Standards Harmonisation process and Activities, including the ARSO Standardisation Sectors and Technical Committees
  2. Enhanced Understanding of the Responsibilities of the Experts and Member States in ARSO Standards (ASHAM) Harmonisation process.
  3. Increased synergy and coordination in the Initiation and coordination in the development and Harmonisation of national and/or sub-regional standards as African standards, including role of RECs.
  4. Enhanced transparency in the development and implementation of standards, technical regulations, and metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment procedures.
  5. Capacity Building of the African Standaisation Experts.


  1. Increased Adoption and Implementation of African Standards
  2. Increased effectiveness of the NSBs national Mirror Committees and the Experts
  3. Greater Cooperation and coordination of the standards development and harmonisation process and the roles of all Technical Coomittees, Experts and Working Groups, as per the TBT Annex 6 of the AfCFTA.
  4. Compitent African Experts in standards Harmonisation Processes.
  5. Common policy on standardization and quality assurance of goods and services among member states, as per the Abuja Treaty Chapter XI, Article 67.
  6. openness, consultation and transparency, in ARSO Standaisation Process as expressed by the WTO TBT Agreement annex 3 on the code of good practice in the preparation, adoption and application of standards and TBT Annex 6, .

Mode of Presentation

Speakers from the ARSO member States may prepare brief slides of no more than 5 minutes to guide the discussions. The presentations will be projected by the ARSO Secretariat. Kindly forward the presentations early enough. The webinar will focus more on discussions. Speakers are requested to forward detailed notes to be used for reporting purposes.


ARSO Membership, Experts and Stakeholders.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

De 14:30 à 16:30 Heure de l’Afrique de l’Est 21 Juillet 2020


Président modérateur: Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, Secrétaire général, Organisation africaine de normalisation (ORAN)


  • Points saillants du Modèle d’harmonisation des normes africaines (ASHAM) – Principes, objectifs, structures et processus d’harmonisation des normes et de l’annexe 6 des OTC – Reuben Gisore, directeur technique, ORAN.
  • Le processus de normalisation et le rôle des experts dans le processus d’harmonisation des normes de l’ORAN dans le cadre de l’ASHAM – Shady Nabil, Ass. Professeur (Égypte) – Président de la THC03 – Bâtiment et construction.
  • Les rôles des comités techniques, des sous-comités et des groupes de travail (CT, SC, GT) – Mme Amanda Gcabashe, Afrique du Sud – Présidente de l’ORAN THC 13 sur la médecine traditionnelle africaine.
  • Résumé et perspectives d’avenir : Dr.Hermogene Nsengimana, secrétaire général, ORAN.

Justification du webinaire et informations générales sur l’ASHAM.

Le Traité d’Abuja de 1991 établissant la Communauté économique africaine Chapitre XI, article 67 où les États membres ont convenu, entre autres, d’adopter une politique commune de normalisation et d’assurance qualité des biens et des services entre les États membres. Ceci a été renforcé par la Conférence des ministres africains du commerce (CAMI 17) en 2004, qui a souligné la nécessité d’un document politique élaboré par des experts pour harmoniser les normes africaines et basé sur les principes d’ouverture, de consultation et de transparence de l’Accord OTC de l’OMC, comme exprimé dans l’annexe 3 sur le code de bonne pratique pour la préparation, l’adoption et l’application des normes.

Dans ce contexte, l’ORAN a organisé, en collaboration avec l’EOS, la première réunion du groupe de travail d’experts (EWG) sur l’évolution du modèle d’harmonisation des normes africaines (ASHAM) au Caire, en Égypte, du 22 au 25 mai 2007, accueillie par la République arabe d’Égypte et parrainée par l’Agence suédoise de coopération internationale au développement (ASDI), avec des experts des États membres de l’ORAN, des CER et des représentants de l’UA et de l’UNECA. Le EWG a fait évoluer l’ASHAM en deux parties, à savoir au niveau sous-régional et au niveau régional.  Le modèle d’harmonisation a été adressé sous forme de recommandation aux groupes d’harmonisation sous-régionaux afin de s’assurer que tous les groupements sous-régionaux travaillent selon les mêmes principes, ce qui créerait la confiance des pays africains pour accepter les normes harmonisées sous-régionales.

Le 42ème Conseil de l’ORAN, tenu les 31 mars et 1er avril 2011, au Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria, en vertu de sa résolution 2, ii, A COMMANDÉ que le modèle ASHAM soit pleinement développé pour inclure des procédures et distribué à toutes les parties prenantes africaines dans des formats simples et en particulier par le biais des ONN et des points focaux des CER. Le premier projet a été présenté à la 43e réunion du Conseil de l’ORAN, tenue au Centre de conférence de la CEA, Caucus Room 10, Addis-Abeba, Ethiopie, les 23 et 24 juin 2011, qui, en vertu de sa résolution 6, A EXAMINÉ ET APPROUVE le premier projet du Manuel de procédures d’harmonisation des normes (ASHAM-SHP-01). Le projet a été validé lors de la formation ORAN-PTB sur l’interaction entre les normes et les règlements techniques en octobre 2011, à Addis-Abeba, en Ethiopie.

L’Assemblée générale de l’ORAN, lors de sa 18e session tenue le 20 novembre 2011 à Windhoek, Namibie, a examiné l’ASHAM qui a été présentée à l’Assemblée en tant que document n° 18GA/4 – ASHAM-SHP-01 de l’Assemblée générale de l’ORAN et, en vertu de sa résolution 13, A RATIFIÉ l’ASHAM.

Dans le cadre de la politique “Une norme, un marché”, l’accord ZLECAf, dans les objectifs de l’annexe 6 des OTC, souligne la nécessité d’identifier et d’évaluer les instruments de facilitation des échanges tels que l’harmonisation des normes, l’équivalence des règlements techniques, la métrologie, l’accréditation et l’évaluation de la conformité, et le renforcement des meilleures pratiques internationales en matière de réglementation et de normalisation, en établissant des mécanismes et des structures visant à améliorer la transparence dans l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre des normes, des règlements techniques, de la métrologie, des procédures d’accréditation et d’évaluation de la conformité.


Afin de refléter la nouvelle dynamique émergente dans le cadre de la coopération d’ORAN et les CER en matière d’harmonisation des normes, la révision de l’ASHAM a été lancée en 2018. Diverses modifications ont été apportées à la structure de l’ASHAM, notamment la création du Groupe Consultatif Conjoint (JAG) et du Comité de Gestion des Normes (SMC), afin de refléter les activités d’harmonisation conjointes d’ORAN et les CER et les priorités communes découlant des agendas de développement des CER et de l’UA et conformément aux directives de l’annexe 6 des OTC sur les mécanismes de coopération en matière d’élaboration et d’harmonisation des normes.

La 59ème réunion du Conseil de l’ORAN, tenue à l’hôtel Boma à Nairobi, Kenya, le 6 décembre 2018, sur le thème “Le rôle de l’ORAN au sein de la zone de libre-échange continentale africaine (ZLECAf), dans le cadre de sa résolution RESOLUTION 8: COMITE DU CONSEIL DE L’ORAN (Comité technique de gestion), sur le point numéro 4, Compte rendu de la réunion ORAN-CER, Nairobi du 22 au 24 octobre 2018, (a, iii) A PRI NOTE de la NÉCESSITÉ d’assurer un engagement complet des parties prenantes dans la sélection des projets de normalisation dans les secteurs prioritaires communs ORAN-CER, et sous b, iii, A APPROUVÉ, l’examen du modèle d’harmonisation des normes africaines (ASHAM) pour refléter l’harmonisation conjointe ORAN-CER et la prise en compte de l’adoption des normes africaines au niveau des CER et la création du groupe consultatif conjoint (JAG) pour guider le processus d’harmonisation conjointe des normes ORAN-CER; L’élaboration de nouveaux travaux de normes communs générés par les CER et les pays membres nationaux et l’analyse des catalogues de l’ORAN et des CER et la mise en place du Comité de gestion des normes (SMC) qui sera chargé de la gestion des procédures. En outre, le 60e Conseil de l’ORAN qui s’est tenu les 17 et 18 juin 2019, au Panari, Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, en vertu de sa résolution 8, Réunions et rapports du Comité du Conseil de l’ORAN (Comité technique de gestion), sur le point 4, la mise à jour de l’harmonisation conjointe ORAN-CER, (a) A PRI NOTE de la révision du Modèle d’harmonisation des normes africaines (ASHAM) pour refléter les activités d’harmonisation conjointes ORAN-CER et les priorités communes dérivées des programmes de développement des CER et de l’UA. Sur la même note, la 25e Assemblée générale qui s’est tenue à l’hôtel Panari, Nairobi, Kenya, le 20 juin 2019, en vertu de sa résolution 7, sur le statut actuel de l’ORAN dans le cadre du plan stratégique 2017-2022, et de la résolution 9 a, ii, sur le rapport du Conseil de l’ORAN sur les activités du Conseil et le statut de l’ORAN depuis la dernière Assemblée générale de l’ORAN (24e AG), sur la base des résolutions des 59e et 60e réunions du conseil de l’ORAN, respectivement, A SOULIGNÉ et FAIT REMARQUER l’examen du modèle d’harmonisation des normes africaines (ASHAM) pour refléter les activités conjointes d’harmonisation des normes de l’ORAN et des CER et la prise en compte de l’adoption des normes africaines au niveau des CER, en approuvant officiellement le processus d’examen de l’ASHAM.


Le document ASHAM définit les principes de base (ouverture, transparence, impartialité, cohérence, consensus et dimension de développement), les procédures et les mécanismes par lesquels les comités d’harmonisation technique (THC) de l’ORAN, le secrétariat central de l’ORAN et les États membres de l’ORAN doivent harmoniser, publier et maintenir les normes africaines et autres produits. Les procédures définissent les méthodologies pour le développement, l’harmonisation, l’adoption et la publication des normes africaines. Le document de l’ASHAM clarifie le processus d’harmonisation des normes, en décrivant les différentes étapes et les responsabilités. Le document ASHAM définit les différentes structures, notamment le groupe consultatif conjoint (JAG), le comité de gestion des normes (SMC), les comités techniques, les sous-comités (SC), les groupes de travail et le rôle du bureau national des normes. Le document met en évidence les structures de direction et les responsabilités des TC.

Dans la mesure du possible, et avec les modifications nécessaires, les procédures de l’ASHAM sont basées sur les directives pertinentes ISO/IEC. Il a également été tenu compte des accords OTC de l’OMC et de l’annexe 3 sur les meilleures pratiques internationales en matière d’élaboration, d’adoption et d’application des normes. Le document ASHAM fournit des documents de référence indispensables à son application. Pour les références datées, seule l’édition citée s’applique. Pour les références non datées, c’est la dernière édition du document référencé (y compris les amendements) qui s’applique.

  1. Le modèle africain d’harmonisation des normes (ASHAM)
  2. Traités, accords et protocoles établissant les communautés économiques régionales respectives et les organismes de normalisation correspondants.
  3. Directives ISO/CEI – Partie 1 : Procédures pour les travaux techniques
  4. Directives ISO/CEI – Partie 2 : Règles pour la structure et l’élaboration des normes internationales
  5. Accord de l’OMC sur les obstacles techniques au commerce (Accord OTC de l’OMC)
  6. Procédures pour l’élaboration de normes est-africaines, 2005
  7. Principes et procédures pour l’élaboration des textes harmonisés de la SADC, 2009
  8. Procédures d’harmonisation des normes dans la région du COMESA, 2004
  9. Principes et procédures pour l’élaboration de normes tripartites.

Le webinaire

Objectif du webinaire

L’objectif principal est d’offrir une plate-forme de discussion sur l’ORAN ASHAM, ses objectifs, ses principes et son application dans le développement et l’harmonisation des normes africaines, comme le souligne l’annexe 6 des OTC.

Objectifs spécifiques

  1. Comprendre les principes de l’ASHAM sur l’harmonisation des normes conformément aux accords OTC de l’OMC, les objectifs et
  2. Comprendre les composantes et les structures de l’ASHAM, y compris les comités de base (JAG, SMC, CT, SC, GT) et leurs rôles, y compris leur direction.
  3. Comprendre les documents de référence de base de l’ASHAM
  4. Comprendre les défis et les solutions possibles dans la mise en œuvre de l’ASHAM.
  5. Comprendre le processus d’harmonisation des normes et le rôle des experts

Résultats du webinaire

  1. Présentations de l’ASHAM
  2. Discussions et commentaires sur l’ASHAM
  3. Rapport du webinaire

Résultats à long-terme du webinaire

  1. Meilleure compréhension des principes et des structures de l’ASHAM ainsi que du processus et des activités d’harmonisation des normes de l’ORAN, y compris les secteurs de normalisation et les comités techniques de l’ORAN
  2. Meilleure compréhension des responsabilités des experts et des États membres dans le processus d’harmonisation des normes ORAN (ASHAM).
  3. Synergie et coordination accrues dans l’Initiation et la coordination dans le développement et l’Harmonisation des normes nationales et/ou sous-régionales en tant que normes africaines, y compris le rôle des CER.
  4. Amélioration de la transparence dans l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre des normes, des règlements techniques et des procédures de métrologie, d’accréditation et d’évaluation de la conformité.
  5. Renforcement des capacités des experts africains en matière de normalisation.


  1. Adoption et mise en œuvre accrues des normes africaines
  2. Efficacité accrue des comités miroirs nationaux des ONN et des experts
  3. Une plus grande coopération et coordination du processus d’élaboration et d’harmonisation des normes et des rôles de tous les comités techniques, experts et groupes de travail, conformément à l’annexe 6 OTC de la ZLECAf.
  4. Experts africains compétents en matière de processus d’harmonisation des normes.
  5. Politique commune de normalisation et d’assurance qualité des biens et services entre les Etats membres, conformément à l’article 67 du chapitre XI du Traité d’Abuja.
  6. L’ouverture, la consultation et la transparence, dans le cadre du processus de normalisation de l’ORAN tel qu’exprimé par l’annexe 3 de l’Accord OTC de l’OMC sur le code de bonne pratique pour la préparation, l’adoption et l’application des normes et l’annexe 6 de l’OTC,.

Mode de présentation

Les orateurs des États membres de l’ORAN peuvent préparer de brèves diapositives d’une durée maximale de 5 minutes pour orienter les discussions. Les présentations seront projetées par le secrétariat de l’ORAN. Veuillez faire parvenir les présentations suffisamment tôt. Le webinaire sera davantage axé sur les discussions. Les orateurs sont priés de transmettre des notes détaillées qui seront utilisées à des fins de compte rendu.


Membres, experts et parties prenantes de l’ORAN

In retrospect and taking stock: The Africa we want through the African Union Decisions on addressing the TBTs challenges in Africa, as a background for the implementation of the AfCFTA

Under the OAU Lagos plan of action for the economic development of Africa, 1980-2000, CHAPTER VII, Trade and finance, Trade, Intra-African trade expansion, paragraph 250 (k and I)

In so far as intra-African trade expansion-which is meant to constitute the mainstay for the present strategy is concerned, the following measures are recommended:

  • (k) membership of the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), which presently comprises only 19 countries, should be expanded to include all Member States by the end of 1982. ARSO should be entrusted with the task of establishing African regional standards for all products of interest to intra-African trade. If need be, ECA should be requested to offer the necessary advice and assistance;
  • (l) trade fairs and publicity campaigns should be held at least annually at the national sub-regional and regional levels, with particular emphasis on publicising the quality of African products. In this respect, ARSO should operate a regional certification marking scheme with a view to certifying the quality of and promoting African products. A permanent “Buy African Goods” campaign should also be vigorously launched under the aegis of OAU and ECA within the framework of the all-Africa trade fairs, starting with the next fair to be held in 1980. Participation in these fairs should be confined solely to African countries with a view to promoting African products.
  • Current membership of ARSO is 37.
  • Afreximbank-AU held an Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt in December 2018 with standards harmonisation event held on the side-lines.
  • UNECA (ECA) has remained a key stakeholder supporting ARSO Standardisation activities, as UNECA is currently the ARSO Champion on establishing the African Regional Value Chains and the role of standardisation.

Under the Abuja Treaty of 1991 establishing the African Economic Community (June 3rd 1991, Abuja, Nigeria), the OAU adopted Chapter XI on Standardization and Measurement Systems whose Article 67 set the Common Policy where Member States agreed to:
adopt a common policy on standardization and quality assurance of goods and services among Member States;

  • Undertake such other related activities in standardization and measurement systems that are likely to promote trade, economic development and integration within the Community; and
  • Strengthen African national, regional and continental organizations operating in this field.

2.  To cooperate in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol concerning Standardization, Quality Assurance and Measurement Systems.

  • The establishment of the Pan African Quality Infrastructure in 2013 comprising AFRIMETS, AFRAC, AFSEC and ARSO) is a milestone in Africa’s cooperation in Standardization, Quality Assurance and Measurement Systems.
  • The Current collaboration with the PAQI and the African Union in the evolution of the Africa Quality Policy is highlighted.

The AU Ministers of Trade, Customs and Immigration, Rwanda 2004, under Resolution 79, the AU Ministers while noting the effort so far deployed by ARSO to re-engineer itself, accordingly agreed to, among others,

  • encourage country membership and participation in ARSO and its activities and urge AU Member States
  • to commit adequate resources to Standardisation, Conformity  Assessment and related matters,
  • promote the development of a quality culture in their respective Member Countries,
  • apply the principles of harmonisation of standards as laid down in the WTO/TBT and SPS Agreements.The increased support of the 37ARSO members ad active involvement of the continental standardisation is a great achievement.The ARSO Essay Competition among the University Students, ARSO Education about standardisation and Trainings; and the initiative for the ARSO Quality Award as a basis for setting Quality Culture in Africa is highlighted.

The AU, through the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) Ministers of Environment, on the implementation of the African 10YFP, Development and the Implementation of the African Ecolabelling Mechanism/ UNEP/AMCEN/12/9/-36/12 June 2008, calls upon the Commission of the African Union, Governments and all stakeholders to work together to ensure the development and implementation of an African Ecolabelling mechanism based on African experiences and lessons, with the Secretariat at the ARSO Central Secretariat.

  • Through collaborations with the BMZ, Germany and the African Union and other African Stakeholders, the ARSO Eco mark Africa, officially launched on 8th March 2019, has been initiated.
  • EMA is being implemented as a certification recognition system for sustainability standards with developed Conformity Assessment Criteria and mutual recognition Arrangement Scheme (in the sector of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Tourism) has been designed to accommodate a large number of smallholder producers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) businesses in Africa.
  • Already Seven (7) companies (Kabngetuny Coffee farmers’ Cooperative Society, Kapkiyai Coffee farmers’ Cooperative Society, Kamuthanga Fish farm, KOFINAF ltd and Coffee Management services ltd from Kenya, Hotel Mille Collins from Rwanda and Quarcoo Initiatives from Ghana) in Africa, in the agriculture, aquaculture and tourism sectors, which were also audited for conformity to the mentioned sustainability standards and awarded EMA certificates

In the DECISION ON BOOSTING INTRA-AFRICAN TRADE AND FAST TRACKING THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AfCFTA)/ Assembly/AU/Dec.426 (XIX)/Assembly/AU/11(XIX), the 18th African Union Heads of State Summit in July 2012, re-emphasised the need for a common quality reference system as a precious tool for boosting African trade.  Under Resolution 2 and 4, Assembly/AU/Dec. 426(XIX), the Assembly “RE-AFFIRMS the commitment to deepen Africa’s market integration through the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by the indicative date of 2017 and the implementation of the Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade. Under this “The CFTA members will need to appreciate and recognise the importance of standards, metrology, conformity assessment and accreditation and calls on the AfCFTA members to harmonise their practices in this area to achieve mutual product recognition… (AU 2012).”

The AU through the CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF TRADE’s 9th Ordinary Session, 01-05 DECEMBER 2014, ADDIS, ABABA, ETHIOPIA – AU/TI/TD/CAMoT-9/RPT.MIN/FINAL emphasise the need for effective quality infrstructure in Africa and standards harmonisation under ARSO by calling on:

  • All AU Member States that are currently not Members of ARSO should endeavor to attain membership by the year 2017;
  • ARSO and other Pan African Standards organisations to refer to the year 2017 as African year of Quality Infrastructure;
  • The AUC and ARSO should increase awareness and mobilize all stakeholders on the role of Quality Infrastructure;
  • The AUC and Quality Infrastructure Institutions should assess the status of Quality Infrastructure in Africa; and develop a Strategic Plan on Quality Infrastructure in Africa.
  • The AUC and ARSO to develop a work plan on Quality Infrastructure to be submitted to the Senior Officials meeting.
  • With 37 member States, and actively involved in ARSO activities, African countries are realisng the benefits of standsisation in sustainable economic development
  • The PAQI Quality Infrastructure Stocktaking (2014, 2017) and efforts on the development of African Quality Policy remains a basis for creating awareness on the status of Quality in Infrastructure and the need for support