The SDGs in
the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to UNCTAD Policy Brief No. 6 of 2015, will form
the development paradigm from 2016 to 2030. Of the 17 SDGs, goal 17 includes
trade-related targets, two of which specifically call for enhancing the export
performance of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in which:
17.11: Significantly increase the exports of
developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the LDCs’ share of
global exports by 2020.
17.12: Realize timely implementation of DFQF market
access on a lasting basis for all LDCs consistent with World Trade Organization
(WTO) decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin
applicable to imports from LDCs are transparent and simple, and contribute to
facilitating market access.
On a wider Scale, various Authors and Experts (Dr. Sarwar
Hobohm, UNIDO; Robert H. Allen, 2000; Utterbac J.M., 1994; Uwe Miesner, 2009; Christina Tippmann- World Bank, 2013; UNCTAD
2015; Farahat, 2015; unido, 2006; Eoin O’Sullivan, 2012;
Ramachala, 2013; COMESA (Cheelo et al., 2012); EAC (Karingi et al., 2016; KAM, 2017); ECOWAS & UEMOA (de Roquefeuil, 2013; Laski et al., 2014); SADC & SACU (Edwards et al., 2008; Cheelo et al.,
2012); AfCFTA (UNECA, 2018); Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, 2005; Fiona Stokes, 2011; BSI, Standards matter to consumers, How standards
benefit us all, every day ; USAID, 2016;
UNIDO 2016; ISO 2014, Economic Benefits of Standards; Jae-Yun Ho,
2013; ARSO, 2013, Benefits of Standards) have highlighted the crucial role of
Standards in promoting trade and Sustainable Development.
In expanding trade, in particular, standards
and technical regulations are essential for market access. Standards
(voluntary) and technical regulations (mandatory) define what goods and
services can and cannot be exchanged, and outline procedures under which such
exchanges are and are not permissible. Standards define how products,
processes, and people interact with each other and their environments. They
enhance competitiveness by offering proof that products and services adhere to
requirements of governments or the marketplace. When used effectively, they
facilitate international trade and contribute to technology upgrading and
Globally relevant standards make it easier
for many companies’ particularly small and medium enterprises to get their
products certified and on the shelves in countries around the world, allowing
them to take part in global value chains, benefit from technology transfer, and
compete on a more equal footing. Similarly, nations that incorporate harmonised
standards into their policies and regulations allow their citizens access to a
wider selection of high-quality goods, while also providing protection against
dangerous or faulty products and services.
The provision of Standards contributes to
economic growth by increasing the volume of trade, and promoting innovation
through the dissemination of research and technology. Standards help companies
to reduce costs and increase the quality of the goods and services they
produce. They allow companies to develop
new markets for existing goods and services, as well as create new goods and
services for existing
enhance product reputation and provide for lesser market risks for companies
introducing products to the market. Standards provide a vital link to global
trade, market access and export competitiveness, enhance product reputation and provide for lesser market
risks and simplify large-scale production processes thus reduce costs.
Standards help in developing the market for
products and services based on the newest technologies. Companies that participate actively in
standards work have a head-start on their competitors in adapting to market
demands and new technologies, and enjoy reduced research risks and development
effectively, standards play an important role in global trade, contributing to
technology upgrading and absorption, and protecting consumers and the
environment. Minimum quality and safety standards allow consumers to assess the
quality or safety of a product before purchasing it and enable regulators to
exclude unsafe products from the market.
Adherence to widely recognized international
or inter-company standards can help the sectors, which earlier had been
segmented by variable standards, to enjoy economies of scale by reducing
conformity assessment costs and increasing output due to the emergence of new
Standards are used to codify the technical characteristics and market preferences for products and processes, facilitating knowledge absorption and technological change. Standards ensure safer, healthier, more environmentally sound and market-ready products, improved quality and reliability, better operational compatibility between products, greater consistency in the delivery of services, easier access to and greater choice in goods and services, better product information, suitable products for vulnerable populations, lower costs and greater competition hence lower prices for consumers
Standardisation in the field of agricultural products, human and animal foodstuffs as well as animal and vegetable propagation materials, in particular terminology, sampling, methods of test and analysis, product specifications, agricultural and food safety management systems, agro-food processing, agro-food trade systems, requirements for packaging, traceability, storage and transportation, agricultural inputs and agricultural machinery.
Harmonization and sustainability in the field of
building, construction and civil engineering works for standards or products
related to wood technology, concrete, reinforced concrete and pre-stressed
concrete; cement and lime, timber, steel and aluminum structures,
non-conventional building materials and other local materials in Africa. It
also covers the development of technical specifications, technical reports
and guidelines within the field of the committee. It excludes the development
of design codes.
Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy Standards shall cover: Mechanical
systems and components for general use; Fluid systems and components for
general use; Manufacturing engineering; Materials handling equipment;
technology- Glass and ceramics; Rubber and plastic; Paper technology; and
Paint and colours among others.
SGD’s 1, 3, 8, 9, 17
THC 06: Electrotechnology
Improving Sustainable Energy Production in Africa.
Standardisation in the fields of electrical engineering; power engineering; renewable energy technologies; rural electrification; electronics; telecommunications and audio and video engineering; information and communications technology and office machines.
Textiles and leather technology
including products in their value chains. For textiles, this include: Cotton
production: Standards for cotton fibres (lint), bales, cottonseed; textile
manufacturing: Standards for yarns, fabrics, netting; apparels: Standards for
clothing, garments, shirts; household furnishings: Standards for carpets,
curtains; industrial textiles: standards for ropes, geotextiles, etc. For
leather technology, this include: good practices for recovery of hides and
skins; guidelines on tanning procedures; specifications for leather products:
footwear, upholstery, garments, bags, and other accessories.
Transport services: road, water, rail, air, etc.;
Road vehicles engineering; Railway engineering; Shipbuilding and marine
structures; Aircraft ground operations; Packaging and distribution of goods;
etc.; Multi-modal transport and communication services. The
scope is in line with the objectives of the AU Programme for
Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)
Environmental protection with regards to air,
water and soil quality including environmental management systems and impact
Environmental labelling, performance evaluation
and life cycle assessment based on sustainability standards.
Health and safety considerations, Socioeconomic
Energy and heat transfer
engineering; Mining and minerals; Solid
mineral fuels; Petroleum and related technologies; Forestry resources;
Renewable biomass-based energy resources; Bioenergy and related products.
Quality management and quality assurance concepts, terminologies, quality systems and supporting technologies in all sectors of industry, production, trade and services.
SDG’s 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 17
Improving Sustainable Services Development in Africa.
General Service level standards; Finances, Banking,
Monetary systems, Insurance Financial services; Healthcare services; Beauty, wellness
services and premises; Applications of cosmetics; Trade facilitation:
Processes, data elements and documents in commerce, industry and
administration; Sociology: Demography (Market, opinion and social research.
Product recall); Leisure: Tourism and related services; Education: Learning
services for non-formal education and training; Psychological assessment;
Project Management: Facilities management; Anti-counterfeiting tools: Fraud
countermeasures and controls; Patents: Intellectual property.
Quality and safety of African
Traditional Medicine (ATM) to facilitate regional and international trade
with an initial focus on: terminology, raw material, test methods, processed
products specifications and sustainable practices