Brief highlights on the ARSO events, – January – March 2019, and partly December 2018

8th March 2018 – ARSO Lunches the Eco Mark Africa Certification Scheme

In a ceremony attended by the ARSO President, ARSO Secretary General and representatives of African Union and COMESA Business Council and the National Bureau of Standards ( Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe); Fairtrade Africa, African Round Table and Kenya Cleaner Production; GIZ, Kenya; Kenya Government Officials, ARSO launched the African/Eco Mark Africa (EMA) Certification System, being implemented under the ARSO Conformity Assessment Programme, at the Stanley Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to the launching event, ARSO built capacity in auditing and testing capacity for various Certification Bodies (CBs) and laboratories (Labs) in ten (10 countries, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) with further 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 at the launch on the 8th March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The EMA scheme, already been benchmarked with Fair Trade Ecolabel, integrates, the concepts of environmental, social and economic sustainability and is a useful tool for promoting sustainable production and consumption of goods and services as well as addressing various sustainable development goals.

At the launch, the AU Representative highlighted that Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), for which Ecolabels are key components, is a far reaching topic whose importance for a sustainable future is highlighted by its long history and centrality to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and in which the African continent, as led by the African Union, has played a key role, in the UN Conferences and which culminated into the development of the African 10YFP programme that gave birth to the African Ecolabelling Mechanism. The AU efforts Environment Conservation are also reaffirmed in the Monrovia Declaration, 4h (OAU, 1979) and the Lagos Plan of Action (LPA) (OAU, 1980); and the Agenda 2063 Aspiration 1 (prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development), under Goal 7 that calls for Environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economies and communities.

21st March 2019 – Africa Celebrates African Day of Standardisation

ARSO President and Secretary General’s Message

By the resolution of the 59th ARSO Council held in Nairobi Kenya on 6th December 2018, the African Day of Standardisation is fixed on 21st March, each year, to coincide with the historic signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which is a flagship Project of the AU Agenda 2063, on 21 March 2018, in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the AU Assembly of Heads of State.

On 21st March 2019, ARSO members celebrated the African Day of standardisation under the Theme ’The Role of Standardisation in winning the fight Against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation’’. In their combine message, the ARSO President Dr. Eve Gadzikwa and ARSO Secretary General, Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana called on the African countries, should therefore remain committed towards increasing awareness on the negative impact of Corruption, highlighting that the Celebrations of the African Day of Standardisation under the theme presents great opportunity to reflect on the role of standardisation in aiding on the war against corruption as the underlying philosophy of standardisation is one of eliminating the opportunity for corruption by changing incentives, by closing off loopholes and eliminating misconceived rules that encourage corrupt behaviour, and ensuring the best internal best practices as per the specifications and requirements provided for in a standard….More documents and full Message is available on ARSO Website: :

26th – 28th March 2019 – Capacity Building Workshop on the Implementation of ARSO Sustainability Standards on Aquaculture

ARSO in collaboration with NEPAD Agency conducted a three day Training Workshop at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya  for farmers from six (6) ARSO members (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) with the aim of supporting Farmers in to the Eco Mark Africa Certification, and especially to enable the farmers and the stakeholders within the Fisheries sector improve their understanding on the role of sustainable management for trade of fish resources African Catfish and Tilapia)  towards food security, safety, nutrition and Export diversification and Trade.

20th March 2019, Nairobi, Kenya – Common Wealth Standards Network (CSN) National Bureau of Standards Training.

The ARSO Technical Director Mr. Reuben Gisore is making a presentation at the Common Wealth Standards Network (CSN) National Bureau of Standards Training for the Kenya Bureau of Standards in Nairobi, Kenya where he emphasized on the need to need for countries within the Commonwealth to share reference documents for development of standards. The launching was done by the BSI, the UK National Standards Body, in partnership with the Department for International Trade and Department for International Development, on 26 September 2018 in Genève, Switzerland. 24 Commonwealth National Standards Bodies, four regional standards organizations and several other interested stakeholders contributed to the event where they helped shape the network to deliver the following outcomes: Increase use of existing international standards; Improve technical and institutional capacity of National Standards Bodies;    Increase trade and Reduce poverty. The programmes include extensive training and the delivery of a standards toolkit for all participating Commonwealth states. For more information about the CSN: To find out more about the network and/or membership, please contact the CSN Programme Manager Ben Hedley

22 January 2019 – Harmonising African Traditional Medicine Standards – ARSO THC 13.

As part of efforts to improve, harmonize and standardise traditional medicine practice in Africa, ARSO (under its ARSO THC 13 on Traditional Medicine) and the African Union, through an intergovernmental body in Nigeria have initiated a plan to adopt ten medicinal plants (Moringa oleifera, bitter kola (Garcinia kola), bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina), cashew (Anarcadium occidentale), scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum), African bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis), yellow yam (Dioscorea bulbifera), Prunus africana for prostate cancer, baobab (Adansonia digitata), and Hibiscus sabdariffa (zobo)) captured in Food as Medicine. Nigeria has a national mirror committee (NMC) for the ARSO THC 13 made up of Nigerian experts and representatives from Nigerian Medical Council, Veterinary Council, the various schools of pharmacy, some pharmaceutical companies, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Raw Materials Development Council, the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Abuja, the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) Lagos and many Nigerian individual Scientists. For more information