Prof. Alex Dodoo was Inaugurated by the 28th ARSO General Assembly, on 30th June 2022,in Yaoundé Cameroon, as the 15th ARSO President for the 2022-2025 Term of Office, following his election as the President-Elect by the 26th General Assembly held on a hybrid form on 16th June 2021, Taking Note, of the Constitutional Provision which under Schedule I, Rule 4, clause 4.2.2, highlights that “One year prior to the completion of office of a President, the next President shall be elected and shall commence his/her duties upon approval by the General Assembly”.
Prof. Alex Dodoo, who is also the ARSO Political Good Will Ambassador to the African Continental Free Trade Area, made commitments to take ARSO to the next level, in the context of the implementation of the goals of the ARSO 2022-2027 Strategic Plan which was also approved and adopted by the 28th ARSO General Assembly, and which focuses on:
Facilitation of Quality Culture in Africa with increased focus on Quality Policy at the National and Regional levels, Cooperation in standardisation activities, including Mutual Recognition Arrangements and Information Sharing.
The promotion and acceleration of industrialisation in Africa with a focus SMEs and the Made in Africa Products (AfCFTA Products) and Strengthening the Conformity Assessment to serve the interest of African industries, farmers, producers and consumers, while aligning Africa to universal Sustainability policy in accordance to SDG 2030.
Expectation on ARSO under the AfCFTA Agreement TBT Annex 6 and SPS Annex 7, and the implementation plans, under the Sub-Committee for Technical Barriers to Trade, including addressing the SPS Measures, greater partnerships, and Universal of membership of African Countries in ARSO.
The Government of the Republic of Cameroon Hosts the 28th ARSO General Assembly Events, at the Hilton Hotel, Yaoundé, through the Agence Des Normes Et De La Qualité (ANOR),
Theme: “the Standards We Want – African Union Agenda 2063 and African Continental Free Trade Area: “The Role of Standardisation and Conformity Assessment During a Journey of 41 Years”.
The General Assembly composed of the ARSO members is the Supreme organ of ARSO and meets once a year to review the progress of the Organisation based on the Yearly Strategic Plans. This Year’s (2022) General Assembly week (27th June – 1st July 2022), hosted by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, through ANOR, focuses on a week-long event that review the progress of ARSO Programmes under the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, since the 26th General Assembly (16th June 2021) and the Extra-Ordinary Meeting 27th ARSO General Assembly held on 7th October 2021, with forward looking into the implementation of the ARSO 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. The theme emphasises on the need for harmonised standards and Conformity Assessment Regimes that “We Want”, for the seamless flow of goods and Services in a single Market under the AfCFTA Agreement, while facilitating global Market Access Global Trading Systems and in meeting the Aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 SDGs.
Message from the ARSO President and the Director General of Agence des Normes et de la Qualité (ANOR), Mr. BOOTO à NGON Charles. The Standards We Want”.
On behalf of the ARSO Fraternity and the ANOR Administration, I welcome you to Yaoundé Cameroon for the 2022 ARSO Week, to discuss the standardisation strategy for the Africa we Want, based on effective Quality Infrastructure and Africa Quality Policy. As you are aware, the decision by the African Union to adopt the African Quality Policy and the current momentum being witnessed to achieve the Africa’s regional integration and industrialization Agenda as reinforced the Aspirations of Agenda 2063, Africa we Want, Industrialised, Self -reliant and trading more with itself, on products and services Made in Africa. As we celebrate, therefore, the milestones in standardisation in Africa, at the ARSO 2022 Week, the 28th ARSO GA Events, I wish to point out that, the fast-tracking of the implementation of its Flagship Project, the AfCFTA Agreement, explains, therefore, why the increased need for strengthening the capacity of Quality infrastructure in African countries in relations to metrology, standards (Technical Regulations), accreditation and conformity assessment to address the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) issues remains a key strategy for the Achievement of the Agenda 2063, the Africa we Want, prosperous and self-reliant. This requires appropriate Standards. As an intergovernmental body, ARSO, in partnerships with the regional and International Standardisation Community, continues to harmonise Standards and Conformity Assessment Regimes, that we want, to achieve this goal. The Standards that will facilitate the competitiveness of the African SMEs, Made in Africa Products and the establishment the Regional Value Chains for increased intra-African Trade. ANOR welcomes you to the Weeklong ARSO 2022 Week to discuss the Standards we want for the next 41 years, under the Agenda 2063.
Message from the ARSO Secretary General, Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, in understanding the Mandate of ARSO in the Context of “The Role of Standardisation and Conformity Assessment During a Journey of next 41 Years”.
There is no doubt that the next 41 years of Africa Integration Agenda needs a Universal membership of African countries in ARSO and greater partnerships between International and African Standardisation Community under the PAQI Platform, for Common “Standards and harmonised Conformity Assessment” regimes that “we want” to reduce the regulatory burden (which currently has hindered intra-Africa trade and global market access) of African producers, traders and Consumers. As the ARSO Fraternity welcomes you to the events of the 28th ARSO General Assembly, we must stay focused to the reality that making the AfCFTA work effectively requires establishing the mechanisms envisaged in its operative provisions, protocols and Annexes and introducing the obligations it imposes into the laws and regulations of each state Party. Within its TBT Annex 6 and TBT Annex 7, AfCFTA Agreement, binds all state parties to cooperate in the development and implementation of standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures, accreditation, metrology, capacity building and enforcement activities in order to facilitate trade within the AfCFTA. Formed in 1977 by the African Union (formerly OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and currently with a membership of Forty two (42) African countries, (has (42) member States : Algeria, Botswana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, New State of Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and with Zanzibar as an Observer member.). Having ratified the ARSO Constitution and ARSO Instrument of Accession, Burundi is tipped to be the 43rd ARSO member after Chad and Somalia which have joined and will be welcomed by the 28th ARSO General Assembly. This is in response to AfCFTA Agreement TBT Annex 6, article 6, f, which calls on State parties to promote membership, liaison and participation in the work of ISO, IEC, ARSO, AFSEC and similar international and regional standardisation organisations. Already with a mandate (under article 6) to Harmonise standards and Conformity Assessment to facilitate the free movements of goods and Services under the African Single Market of the AfCFTA Agreement, the anticipated standards (the WANTED/DESIRABLE STANDARDS) needed to be harmonised by ARSO is comparable to the 4,547 HS6, Tarif lines for the AfCFTA. This, therefore, calls for increased cooperation, in the Context of the AfCFTA TBT Agreement Annex 6 (Article 6 – Cooperation in Standardisation; Article 7 – Cooperation in Technical Regulations and Article 8 – Cooperation in Conformity Assessment, including facilitation of Mutual Recognition Arrangements). Already the signed MoU, with an endorsed Implementation Plan, with the AfCFTA Secretary General, H.E. Wamkele Mene, on 17th November 2021, in Durban South Africa, during the IATF, 2021, provides a Framework for developing the Standards we want. For more information visit the ARSO Website: http://www.arso-oran.org/.
The General Assembly will also be addressed by Chief Guests from the African Union, Afreximbank, UNECA, AfDB, and ISO.
Election of New ARSO Council and the Inauguration of the New ARSO President, Prof. Alex Dodoo for the Term of Office 2022-2025
One week long Capacity building Workshop for ARSO TCs Chairpersons and Secretariates and ARSO CACO members
Official admission of three New ARSO Members by the General Assembly into ARSO Membership as witnessed the Stakeholders
Somalia – Somalia Bureau of Standards, Chad – l’Agence Tchadienne de Normalisation, Burundi– Burundi Bureau of standards and quality control (BNCQ)
Discussions and Recommendations at the African Day of Standardisation Workshop under the four sessions of: Session 1 – Pharmaceuticals and Medical devices industry; Session 2 – Value addition and access to market for Agriculture and Food products; Session 3 – Automotive Industry , and Session 4 – Sustainability standards role within the AfCFTA.
Week long Made in Africa Expo – for the Cameroon Local Industries and SMEs – Awards Ceremony for the best three Exhibitors (Recognition Awards for the 9th ARSO Continental Essay Competitions 2021/2022)
Engagements with Stakeholders and Development Partners on cooperation within the ARSO 2022-2027 Strategic Plan to be approved by the GA during the 28th General Assembly.
Networking, engagements and Discussions during the Gala Dinner, Welcoming Cocktail and Industrial/lab visits.
Expected Delegates at the 28th ARSO General Assembly Events
ARSO Champions Members:
Botswana (Vice Chairperson), Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). Chaired by the Chairperson, Zambia.