Environmental Protection – Africa’s Clean Mobility Initiative on common Continental Regulatory Framework.

Source: Ariadne Baskin –  African (Clean Mobility Week) March 13 2018.

The world is increasingly urbanising, with Africa’s urban dwellers projected to hit around a billion in 2050. This trend has resulted in mobility revolution with an increased rate of motorization, but with devastating health results in key African cities such as Cairo, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Dakar (Hitchcock, Conlan, Kay, Brannigan, & Newman, 2014), with the need for clean and safe mobility in Africa attracting the attention of the policy makers, owing to over reliance on used vehicles, and owing to the fact that , dirty air in Africa could be killing 712,000 people a year, prematurely, compared with approximately 542,000 from unsafe water, 275,000 from malnutrition and 391,000 from unsafe sanitation (Dr Rana, 2016).

The United Nations (UNEP) is leading several global partnerships supporting a shift to cleaner and more efficient vehicles, including the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, eMob – promoting electric mobility, and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV). The PCFV is the leading global initiative to support countries in introducing cleaner (used) vehicles standards, regulations and policies.  ARSO in collaboration with Afreximbank has initiated, May 2019, under the ARSO Technical Working Group 08-4, a programme for the development of Regulatory Framework to Africa’s automotive sector, targeting the adoption of Clean Mobility solutions through standardisation. This initiative promoting transition to clean fuels and vehicle technologies, supported with harmonised continental regulatory Framework, and addresses the SDGs, 3-Good Health and Well-being; 6-Clean Water and Sanitation; 7-Affordable and Clean Energy; 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities; 13- Climate Action. The Automotive Stakeholders, held a meeting on 19th June 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya to develop roadmap for activities. First harmonisation meeting is scheduled for August 31st, 2019. 18 standards for harmonisation has been identified, with four being given the first priority:

  • Evaluation of new vehicles – Vehicle model homologation, South Africa (Team Leader) & Ghana volunteered to develop the WD.
  • Testing of roadworthiness of used motor vehicles – Code of practice, Zimbabwe (Team Leader) & Kenya volunteered to develop the WD.
  • Code of practice – Roadside roadworthiness assessment of motor vehicles, Tanzania (Team Leader) & Zanzibar volunteered to develop the WD.
  • Code of practice – Vehicle test station evaluation with Sierra Leone (Team Leader), Nigeria and Rwanda volunteered to develop the WD.

Increasing Africa’s Industrialisation and Enterprises Competitiveness – Initiative on African Standardization Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution. SDGs, 1,2 ,3 ,4, 8, 9, 11

With increased globalisation, liberalisation and open economy, and with the onset of 4th Industrial revolution, with Information and communication technologies (ICTs) services such as the Internet of Things (IoT), the Artificial Intelligence (AI), competitiveness of firms is increasingly becoming dependant on the ability to incorporate new technology and management practices.  It is a dynamic New Combinations between Technology, Market, and Society offering new manufacturing and digital trade platforms, which provides both opportunities and challenges fr Africa’s SMEs. To take advantage and offer standardisation solution, ARSO is collaborating with IEEE on institutional coordination regarding the African Standardization Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution under the IEEE-SA Industry Connections Project. Initial activities focus on developing a strategy and roadmap, plus potential pilots and related capacity building activities. The collaboration also entails the deployment of Embedded Computing for Internet of Thing (IoT) Systems IEEE Blended Learning Program (IBLP-IOT-01). This cuts across Many SDGs: 1- Ending Poverty, 2-Zero Hunger, 3-Good Health and Wellbeing, 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 11-Sustainable Cities and Community.

Safe Water and adequate Sanitation services – The ARSO Initiative for the Adoption and Implementation of Water and Sanitation International Standards in Africa – SDG 6: Water and Sanitation

The impact of universal access to WASH (Safe Water and adequate Sanitation) on global health would be profound. There is the potential to save the lives of the 829,000 people who currently die every year from diseases directly caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices. It will help drive progress towards the SDGs concerned with poverty, work and economic growth and gender equity. In urban areas, for every $1 invested in basic drinking water, an average of more than $3, and $2.5, in basic sanitation, respectively, is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity. In rural areas, the return on investment is even higher: with every $1 invested in basic drinking water, an average of nearly $7, and $5, in basic sanitation, respectively,  is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity (Hutton et al. 2015(WHO/UNICEF 2019). The traditional flush toilet and sewer system, invented two hundred years ago, though has served humanity, remains impractical and too expensive given their dependency on water and energy availability for their effectiveness. There is need, therefore, to find affordable and sustainable sanitation solutions for Africa based on new technologies and standards, such as the ISO 30500:2018 – Non-sewered sanitation/next generation toilets and the ISO 24521:2016, together with ISO 24510:2007 ISO 24511:2007, relating to Safer drinking water and wastewater services. ARSO, in Collaboration with the ANSI-USA, is facilitating the adoption of these standards in Africa under the ARSO ARSO/THC 09-3 Technical Working Group on Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Systems with the involvement of about 108 Experts, including Standards, Conformity Assessment Officers, Regulators and Water and Sanitation Experts from 32 African countries (Algeria, Botswana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana , Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia , Libya , Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia , Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal , South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Seychelles, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda , Zambia, Zanzibar , Zimbabwe). ARSO looks forward to working together with the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) to ensure sound policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, within the Framework of the 2016 Dar-es-Salaam Roadmap for achieving the Commitments on Water Security and Sanitation in Africa; African Water Week and the 2025 Africa Water Vision.

ARSO’s Recent Specific standardisation Initiatives that directly address the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.

Climate Action – The ARSO Eco Mark Africa Project, launched on 8th March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, is geared towards promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Africa. The programme 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, including the mitigating the climate action in Africa, while ensuring the production of eco-friendly African products for better regional and global market access. The certification is based on the ARSO Sustainability and Eco-labelling standards: ARS/AES 01: Agriculture, for the sustainable production, processing and trading of agricultural products; ARS/AES 02: Fisheries – for the sustainable harvesting of fish as well as addressing the Ecosystem issues; ARS/AES 03: Forestry- for sustainable management of forests; ARS/AES 04: Tourism for sustainable management of  tourism, while promoting Eco Tourism and environmental conservation.

SMEs Competitiveness – The MADE IN AFRICA EXPO. – SDG Goal 17

In her Message during the MSME World Day on 27th June 2019, Her E excellency, Amina J. Mohammed, and UN Deputy Secretary General highlighted that the MSMEs are key to creating the 600 million new jobs needed by 2030 to keep pace with the growth of the world’s working-age population. SMEs across key sectors of national economies are an important element of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and ending poverty and hunger. Initiated in 2013, the ARSO yearly-week-long Made in Africa Expo is a programme that promotes the competitiveness of African SMEs, through creating awareness on how meeting standards and acquiring quality certifications are essential to access foreign markets and become part of the global value chains. Certified firms are typically more productive and supply better-quality products, facilitating access to new markets, new investors and greater buyer satisfaction. The latest Made in Africa Expo was held in the week of 17th – 21t June 2019 during the 25th ARSO General Assembly Events in Nairobi, Kenya, with Kenyan SMEs participating in the Expo and expressing their challenges with standardisation.

The role of Standards in in Promoting the Implementation of the SDGs in Africa

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 absorption.
  • 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 markets.
  • Standards 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 costs.
  • When used 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 potential customers.

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

Analysis of ARSO Standardisation Work in respective of the SGDs

THC 02: Agriculture and Food Products : Improving Agricultural productivity in Africa

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.

SDGs: 1, 2, 3, 10, 12

THC 03: Building and Civil Engineering   Improving Sustainable Urbanisation and Human Dwellings in Africa
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.

SDG’s 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11

THC 04: Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy.   Improving Sustainable Manufacturing and Industrialisation in Africa  
Scope: 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; Metallurgy.  

SDG’s 1, 8, 11, 17

THC 05: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering   Improving Sustainable Manufacturing and Industrialisation in Africa  
ScopeChemical 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.    
SDG’s 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, , 17
THC 07: Textiles and Leather Improving Sustainable Manufacturing and Industrialisation in Africa    
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.
SDG’s 1, 5, 8, 9, 10,
THC 08: Transport and Communication Improving Sustainable Infrastructure, Structural transformation, Cities and Industrialisation in Africa  
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)
SDG’s 1, 3, 8, 9, 11, , 17
THC 09: Environmental Management   Improving Sustainable Environmental Management in Africa    
Environmental protection with regards to air, water and soil quality including environmental management systems and impact assessments. Environmental labelling, performance evaluation and life cycle assessment based on sustainability standards. Health and safety considerations, Socioeconomic considerations  
SDG’s 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17
THC 10: Energy and Natural Resources Improving Sustainable Environmental, Energy development and Natural Management in Africa  
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.
SDG’s 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17
THC 11: Quality Management Improving Sustainable Business and Trade in Africa.    
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
THC 12: Services   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.  
SDG’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17
THC 13: African Traditional Medicine Improving Sustainable Health care in Africa.  
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  
SDG’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 17.

Has Africa, and ARSO in particular, warmed up to the reality of the role of standardisation in addressing the two Agendas and their Targets, considering the crucial role of SMEs in attaining both the Agendas’ goals?

These goals, with their targets (the A2063 – 20 goals with 174 targets; SDGs- 17 goals with 169; the AfDB (AfDB – Hi5s 10-year strategy (2013-2022) broadly converge on social-political and human capital development, inclusive economic growth, peaceful societies, accountable institutions, and environmental sustainability dimensions, in which standardisation plays a key role, in ensuring the economies of scale, exposure to competition and the diffusion of technological knowledge. For this, Standards remain the invisible architecture and essential building blocks, of markets, manufacturing, technology, health care, Education and trade, and controls, entirely, the industries and every sector of life on a global scale. This is important for SMEs. Use of standards is connected to upgraded and modernized production, which improves SME competitiveness and signals higher quality, both of which are essential for cross-border trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). In Africa, SMEs  represents more than 90 % of businesses and employing about 60 % of workers, many of whom are women and youth (Fjose, Grunfeld, et al. 2010) and their role is particularly important, considering Africa’s high number of the young population, that stands at 40%  and the anticipation that more than 900 million new workers are expected to enter the labour market by 2050 (World Economic Forum et al., 2015). The African Union has initiated the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Strategy and Master Plan 2017-2021. The Strategy aims, among others, at improving the continental business environment, increasing business formation, supporting formalization of growth-oriented informal enterprises and start-ups, increasing SME/Is, MSMEs and entrepreneurs’ participation in regional and global value chains and promoting innovative financing. ARSO initiated the Made in Africa Expo, as a means of addressing the barriers that restrict SMEs’ awareness on the benefit of standards, their use, and the need for SMEs participation in standards development. In the picture, ARSO President, Dr. Eve Gadzikwa visiting one of the stalls, during the Made in Africa Expo at Panari Hotel Nairobi, during the ARSO Week (17th – 21st June 2019) of the 25th ARSO General Assembly events, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Made in Africa Expo is held annually during the ARSO Week in June, with last year’s event held in Durban, South Africa at the ARSO Week/24th ARSO GA events, 18th – 24th June 2018.

Analysis and Highlights from the Desk of the ARSO Secretary General.

Understanding the Mandate of ARSO in the Context of Africa’s Trade performance as a catalyst of the implementation of the SDGs, A2063 and AfDB – Hi5s. Changing the Narrative and perspective of Standardisation in Africa to facilitate Trade and Sustainable Development. How are the standardisation Stakeholders and Institutions playing Active Role?

The increased reference to standardisation (and its attendant Compliance Infrastructure) in trade and economic policies and as a regulatory instrument and development tool, in Africa by Development Partners and Institutions, Political actors, Policy Makers, Economists and Industrialists, and the African Union in its Summit decisions, and the bold initiatives being undertaken by the standardisation stakeholders and Partners (Afreximbank, AfDB, UNECA, UNCTAD, USAID, JIKA, TMEA, UNIDO)  in Africa, such as the development of an African Quality Policy, are clear pointers on the future prospects of Africa in embracing standardisation as a Key Pillar in Africa’s sustainable Development, and the eminent role of ARSO. For Example: UNECA and the African Union have undertaken to emphasise on the responsibilities of the African countries on the need for effective Quality Infrastructure Since the Lagos Plan of Action 1980, Chapter VII, Trade and finance, Trade, Intra- African trade expansion, paragraph 250 (k and I), and Abuja Treaty of 1991 Establishing the African Economic Community, under Chapter XI on Standardization and Measurement Systems, Article 67 Chapter XI. The AU document on boosting intra-African trade and the establishment of a CFTA (AU 2012) highlights the responsibilities of the African countries and RECs in the AfCFTA Programme to Boost the Intra-African Trade imploring on them  “to appreciate and recognise the importance of standards, metrology, conformity assessment and accreditation, and to  harmonise their practices in this area to achieve mutual product recognition, while emphasising the need for cooperation and development and adoption of a common policy framework consistent with the provisions of the relevant WTO agreement.” At the 9th Ordinary Session of the AU Conference of Ministers of Trade (CAMoT) convened at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 4 to 5 December, 2014, the African Union called on ARSO and other Pan African Standards organisations to refer to the year 2017 as African year of Quality Infrastructure; increase awareness and mobilise all stakeholders on the role of Quality Infrastructure; and develop a Strategic Plan on Quality Infrastructure in Africa.

UNECA in its Economic Report of Africa 2015 highlights the importance of such institutions as PAQI (AFRAC, AFRIMETS, AFSEC, ARSO) in addressing the TBT issues, appreciating the fact that “stringent standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures, due to Africa’s lack of quality-assurance and easily accessible standard setting and monitoring bodies, increase costs for African producers, particularly in developed country markets, highlighting the self-evident  need for a coordinated continental actions. The African Development Bank’s (AFDB 2019) African Economic Outlook projects Africa’s GDP growth to accelerate to 4.0 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 but only if there will be increased intra-African Trade spurred by growth of industrial activities and concerted efforts towards addressing the Technical Barriers to Trade (Standards and the associated Compliance systems) that have been a great hindrance to the free movement of Goods and services in Africa (AFDB 2019).

The UNCTAD (2015), the 2015 Economic Development in Africa Report on Unlocking the Potential of Africa´s Services Trade for Growth and Development cites the need for better regulation and policies (Ref. Quality Policy) to unleash the potential of Africa’s services economy and propel the continent as major global player in services trade, for sustainable Development. The World Bank (2013) highlights the need for improving quality assurance and management systems by firms, and better monitoring, evaluation, product testing and packaging methods to respond to changing technical requirements of Global trading partners and sustainable development. UNIDO (2016) is categorical that setting up a standardisation system, standards and related infrastructure for compliance (Quality Infrastructure System) is one of the most positive and practical steps that a developing nation (African countries) can take on the path forward to developing a thriving and sustainable economy as a basis for prosperity, health and well-being. USAID (2016) advices on the inclusion of the standardisation systems (metrology, accreditation, standards, certification, and quality (MAS-Q) in the development of economic policies as understanding the link between standardisation (MAS-Q) and global trade, industrialization and export competitiveness should be an integral part of economic development and trade policy.

UNCTAD (UNCTAD/ITE/TEB/2005/1) highlights the need for developing polies that address the standardisation needs and challenges of the SMES in Africa as with Globalization, the TBTs (e.g. regulations, product standards, testing and certification procedures), and sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and SPS (e.g. food safety and animal and plant health standards), pose  the greatest challenge to the SMEs in developing regions such as Africa in participating in regional and global value chains and accessing new markets, unlike the SMEs in the developed regions. 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.

The chief principle mandate of ARSO is to address the challenges of the TBS through harmonisation of Standards and Conformity Assessment, and create greater awareness and capacity building on the challenge of the TBTS in Africa, to facilitate Intra -Africa Trade and Sustainable development in Africa. These Developments have taken place as ARSO continues to reposition itself to address the TBTs challenges in Africa highlighted above by the Trade and Policy Institutions

At the 25th ARSO General Assembly events, on June 20th, Dr. Eve Gadzikwa, handed over the ARSO Presidency (for the 2019-2022 term of office) to Mr. BOOTO à NGON Charles, who is also the Directeur General of Agence des Normes et de la Qualité (ANOR), Cameroon. Mr. Booto has been acting the ARSO President-Elect since June 2018, after his election by the 24th ARSO General Assembly in Durban on 20th June 2024. Previously he was the ARSO Vice President for the 2014-2016 Term of office. Mr. Booto, was for 5 years (2011-2015) the coordinator of the FAO/WHO Codex Committee for Africa, and the (CCAFRICA, Coordinator (2008-2010) of the Technical Cooperation Programme in the CEMAC sub-region on food safety.

Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals: Are the SDGs and Agenda 2063 Complementary policies?

Africa, largely by passed by previous industrial revolutions stands in a unique position to reap the benefits of Economic growth with the balance of evidence suggesting that the next half century in Africa offers good prospects for realizing the African vision of a dynamic, diversified and competitive economic zone, a new economic frontier, an important growth pole for economic recovery through the  African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the World’s vision 2030 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2013, the African Union (AU) member states crafted an African driven vision “Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want” that outlines how the African continent should look in 50 years based on the pillars of wealth generation, regional integration, and attainment of a peaceful society, all driven by Africans. In 2015, UN member states unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda, which balances the dimensions of economic, social and environmental development, underpinned by good governance. Agenda 2063 builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives such as the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action and the 1991 Abuja Treaty, and builds on national, regional, continental best practices in its formulation for growth and sustainable development. The agendas include specific sets of goals, with Agenda 2063 (A2063) having 20 goals with 174 targets, while the SDGs has 17 goals and 169 corresponding targets. Regardless, both the SDGs and A2063 are not two standalone development projects but are highly aligned and strongly linked, necessitating the move by both the AU and the UN, to agree, in January 2018, to a shared institutional framework, meant to ensure a harmonized integration of both agendas into member states national plans. Alongside the two, SDGs and A2063, is the African Development Bank (AfDB) 10-year strategy (2013-2022) High Fives Priority areas (Hi5s – Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa).

Interlinkages of Agenda 2030, A2063 and the AfDB High fives. Source: SDG Center for Africa’s SDG, 2018.


4th – 5th April 2019, Brussels, Belgium – International Quality infrastructure Forum – QI for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ARSO Officials, Secretary General (left), Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana and ARSO President Dr. Eve Gadzikwa, attended the International Quality Infrastructure Forum organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO, together with the African Union and the and the Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA) to discuss the Contributions of Quality Infrastructure to Sustainable Development and the 2030 SDGs.  The Forum focused on best practices of quality infrastructure for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and analysed how sustainability standards can help the private sector achieve the SDGs. The Forum brought together representatives of international quality infrastructure governance bodies and practitioners, and combined interventions by policymakers, technical experts, private sector and developmental partners. “ARSO Sustainability Standards : ARS/AES 01: Agriculture –  sustainable production, processing and trading of agricultural products; ARS/AES 02: Fisheries – sustainable harvesting of fish as well as addressing the Ecosystem issues; ARS/AES 03: Forestry- sustainable management of forests; ARS/AES 04: Tourism – sustainable management of  tourism, while promoting Eco Tourism and environmental conservation.

The forum also held an interactive workshop on Good Practice in Quality Policy Development on 05 April. Under the auspices of PAQI, the African Standardisation stakeholders are currently holding consultative meetings in all African regions (RECs) on the development of the African Quality Policy, as per the African Union Summit decisions in the Abuja Treaty of 1991.

June 27, 2019, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – ARSO Secretary General, Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, far left, participating at the AFCFTA Regional Forum, on the need for a Continental Pharmaceutical Industry. There is a call for the continent to increase manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and end over dependence on imported medicines. 80% – 90 % of Africans depend on traditional medicine (ATM) for their primary healthcare,  due to their accessible, affordable and cultural acceptance and effectiveness (
WHO, 2003)
. The WHO ATM Strategy 2014-2023, urges for better regulation of the Sector. ARSO Programme on standards and Conformity Assessment Procedures on ATM promotes quality and safety of African Traditional Medicine, as well as research.
20th June 2019 – Nairobi, Kenya
– Dr. Eve Gadzikwa, then ARSO President
, is handing over the ARSO Presidency (for the 2019-2022 term of office) to Mr. BOOTO à NGON Charles at the 25th ARSO General Assembly events, on 20th June 2019, at the Panari Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.
17th April 2019, Nairobi, Kenya – Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, joined African Policy Makers at the Afro-Champions Forum, addressed by H.E, Hon. Raila Odinga, AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development. Intra-Africa trade at 16%, compares unfavourably with Europe, 68%, North America, 37% and Latin America at 20%, and Technical Trade Barriers and poor Infrastructure (Quality Infrastructure), are part of the challenges.
17th April 2019, Yaoundé, Cameroon – Dr. Nsengimana and Mr. Booto, left, in talks with Mr. Gabriel Dodo Ndoke, Cameroon Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological development on the role of ARSO in Africa. The Secretary General also held talks with Mr. Luc Magloire MBARGA ATANGANA, Cameroon Minister of Trade.
4th – 5th April 2019, – Brussels, Belgium – Dr. Eve Gadzikwa, then ARSO President addressing delegates at the International Quality Infrastructure Forum, in which the need for effective Quality Infrastructure and Quality Policy was highlighted as a priority for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 SDGs in Africa.
20th June 209 – Nairobi, Kenya –  ARSO Officials, Mr. Booto, Dr. Gadzikwa, Marobela Masego (Vice President) and Dr. Nsengimana, in a meeting with the ISO Secretary General, Sergio MUJICA and the ISO President Elect, Mr. Edward Njoroge on greater cooperation within the opportunities in the AfCFTA provided by the AfCFTA Agreement and ISO initiatives on Sustainable development Goals.
20th June 209 – Nairobi, Kenya – ARSO Officials, Dr. Gadzikwa and Dr. Nsengimana), at the signing ceremony of an Agreement of Cooperation with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) represented by Alexandra Gaspari, Programme Coordinator/ITU.
21st June 2019, Nairobi, Kenya – Dr. Nsengimana after holding talks with holds SAC, at the sidelines of 25th ARSO General Assembly at Panari, Hotel on the potential areas of ARSO-SAC cooperation including Action Plan of Standard Connectivity on Building the Belt and Road (2018-2020).
20th June 209 – Nairobi, Kenya – ARSO Officials, Dr. Gadzikwa and Dr. Nsengimana at the signing ceremony of an MoU with the GSO Secretary General, HE. Saud Al- Khusaibi (centre), during the ARSO Week, at Panari Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

The International Youth Day – 12th July 2019 on “Transforming Education” : The Role of Standardisation in Youth Empowerment

Standards are the invisible architecture of markets, manufacturing, technology, health care, Education and trade, and controls, entirely, the industries and every sector of life on a global scale. Reflections on the benefits of the ARSO Youth Programmes @ Education about Standardisation, The Yearly Standardisation Essay Competitions for African Universities, Standardisation Seminars and Workshops;  in reference to the UN Theme of International Day of the Youth on 12th August 2019 – “Transforming Education”, which highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all Youth.

Africa has the youngest population in the world with more than 400 million young people aged between the ages of 15 to 35 years. https://au.int/en/youth-development.

As the African continent undergoes profound demographic changes characterised by declining fertility and child mortality rates and rapid population growth, the prospects of emulating the Asian countries and harnessing the demographic dividend, to ignite its full potential to stimulate sustainable socio-economic development, have excited many African leaders. With a population of estimated to increase from about 1.2 billion people to 2.2 billion people between 2015 and 2050, and with 41% of the people in the continent being below 15 years old while another 19% are youth between 15 and 24 years old, Africa considerably is a Youthful continent (AFIDEP 2019). Such a youthful population calls for an increase of investment in economic and social development factors, in order to improve the development index of African nations. One of the ways to do this is through education. This resonates with the theme of 2019 theme of the International Youth day celebrated on 12th July 2019, “Transforming Education”, which highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves, which is crucial to achieving sustainable development. Besides, The AU has developed several youth development policies and programmes at continental level aimed at ensuring the continent benefits from its demographic dividend. The policies include the African Youth Charter, Youth Decade Plan of Action, and the Malabo Decision on Youth Empowerment, all of which are implemented through various AU Agenda 2063 programmes.

ARSO joins the World in honoring the International Youth Day, celebrated on 12th August 2019 under the theme, “Transforming Education”, which highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all Youth. Education is a development multiplier which plays a pivotal role in accelerating progress across all sectors of life, and more so in achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals, be it poverty eradication, good health, gender equality, decent work and growth, reduced inequalities, action on climate or building peaceful societies. The role of standardisation in all these cannot be overemphasized, as standards are the invisible architecture of markets, manufacturing, technology, health care, Education and trade, and controls, entirely,  the industries and every sector of life on a global scale, providing the essential building blocks for sustainable economic, political and social networks and development.

The increased reference to standardisation as a regulatory instrument in Africa by Political actors, Economists and Industrialists, and the bold step which are being undertaken by the standardisation stakeholders and Partners in Africa, such as the development of Pan African Quality Policy, in the context of the Abuja Treaty of 1991, can only be coherently maintained with sufficient standardisation expertise in the Socio-economic and political realms and as a means of enhancing research and innovation.  These highlights the definite need for standards expertise, hence the ARSO African Standardisation Education Programme initiative.

The ARSO Standards Education Programme targets to equip the African Youth with the knowledge about the role of standardisation in sustainable development and is geared towards scaling up the initiatives which have been developed and launched in many African countries, so that, public authorities, industry, Quality Infrastructure Institutions and the academia/educational institutions are aware about the benefits of education about standardization and agitate for the inclusion of Standardisation Education Programmes in the national Education systems, based on a continental Master plan, which aims at stimulating dialogue and improving its quality and attractiveness for all stakeholders.

Fish Trade in Africa: Review of Trade Regimes and Standardization Needs for Trade Facilitation

Socio-Economic Significance of Fisheries in African Countries


It is acknowledged that Africa’s participation in global fish trade is fairly limited at approximately 4.9 % and slid to being a net importer from 2011 (FAO, 2014). While UNCTAD (2013) puts official intra-African trade at an average of 11 % from 2007 to 2011, intra-African trade in fish was reported to be 24 % between 2010 and 2012 (FAO, 2014). WTO (2014) cites cotton, coffee and fish as being agricultural commodities with export potential for Africa. In addition, fisheries have the great potential to generate more food and nutrition security benefits and help to achieve other societal objectives such as reducing poverty and protecting the environment or promoting sustainable fisheries management. Since more trade tends to be associated with faster economic growths, expanding fish trade opportunities for small-scale fishers and fish farmer may help raise incomes and achieve sustainability of the African fisheries resources, which in return would further sustain the natural wealth of the continent.

Underlining the importance of Agriculture and Food Security, the theme of the Twenty Third Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26-27 June 2014, was phrased: “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, also marking the tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)” (AUC, 2014). It was during this 23rd Session that the Heads of State and Government made the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods (Assembly/AU/ /Decl.1(XXIII). Among the commitments made in the declaration, African Member States committed to end hunger in Africa by 2025 through accelerating agricultural growth by at least doubling productivity levels by 2015 by among other things facilitating sustainable and reliable production and access to quality and affordable inputs (for crops, livestock, fisheries, amongst others) through, among other things, provision of “smart‟ protection to smallholder agriculture.
The Summit also endorsed the landmark Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (AUC-NEPAD, 2014) which was formulated with the main purpose of facilitating coherent policy development for the sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture resources in the member states of the African union. Abbreviated as PFRS, the document provides for the guidelines on how countries should better capture the wealth of fisheries, reduce poverty, increase food and nutritional security and ensure equitable distribution of the benefits particularly for the poorest, marginalized and most vulnerable in society, such as women. It provides a framework for guiding the development and benchmarking of sustainability standards and certification for fisheries in Africa in order for the standards to convey a true message of sustainability which is reflected in the improved productivity of fisheries and aquaculture as well as enhanced contribution of fish to sustainable food and nutritional security, economic wellbeing of fishing communities and aquaculture stakeholders, environmental and biodiversity conservation, efficient, effective and transparent governance and improved national incomes.

Fisheries Contribution in African Economies and Livelihoods
It is acknowledged that Africa’s participation in global fish trade is fairly limited at approximately 4.9 % and slid to being a net importer from 2011 (FAO, 2014). While UNCTAD (2013) puts official intra-African trade at an average of 11 % from 2007 to 2011, intra-African trade in fish was reported to be 24 % between 2010 and 2012 (FAO, 2014). WTO (2014) cites cotton, coffee and fish as being agricultural commodities with export potential for Africa. In addition, fisheries have the great potential to generate more food and nutrition security benefits and help to achieve other societal objectives such as reducing poverty and protecting the environment or promoting sustainable fisheries management. Since more trade tends to be associated with faster economic growths, expanding fish trade opportunities for small-scale fishers and fish farmer may help raise incomes and achieve sustainability of the African fisheries resources, which in return would further sustain the natural wealth of the continent.
Many African countries are endowed with fish resources from oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, floodplains and fish farms, which generate a range of benefits including food and nutrition security, livelihood, exports and biodiversity. Africa produced a total of 9.9 million tonnes of fish in 2010, of which 2.7 million (1/3) came from inland fisheries, 1.49 million tonnes from aquaculture and the rest from marine capture fisheries (FAO, 2014). The value provided by the fisheries sector as a whole in 2011 was estimated at more than US$24 billion, representing 1.26% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all African countries, with aquaculture producing an estimated value of almost US$3 billion per year (de Graaf & Garibaldi, 2014).
Furthermore, fisheries sector as a whole employs 12.3 million people as full-time fishers or full-time and part-time processors, accounting for 2.1% of Africa’s population of between 15 and 64 years old. Of these employed, almost half were fishers; 42.4% were processors and 7.5% were engaged in aquaculture. Women are heavily involved in the fish sector, accounting for about 27.3% of the total workforce in fisheries and aquaculture, and they are directly involved in fishing (3.6 %), processing (58%), and aquaculture (4%). With regard to food and nutrition security, fish is very important source of animal protein, accounting for an average of around 5% of total protein FAO (2014). Per capita consumption of fish in Africa was reported to be 9.7 kg per year; lower than the world average (18.9 kg/year); with some countries (Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Malawi and South Africa) experiencing stagnant or declining per capita FAO (2014).

The Launch of the Fish Trade Program

While endorsing the AU Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa in the 23rd Session of AU Heads of State and Government (HSG) Summit, the African leaders also committed themselves to “accelerate trade by developing fish value chains, promoting responsible and equitable fish trade and marketing in order to significantly harness the benefits of Africa’s fisheries and aquaculture endowments”. In this respect, the HSG adopted a number of strategies, including to:

  • simplify and formalize the current trade practices;
  • fast-track the establishment of Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and transition to a continental Common External Tariff (CET) scheme;
  • increase and facilitate investment in markets and trade infrastructure;
  • promote and strengthen platforms for multi-actors interactions; and
  • strengthen and streamline the coordination mechanism that will facilitate the promotion of African common position on agriculture-related international trade negotiations and partnership agreements.

In response to the high level political commitment by African Union to fish trade development, the Fish Trade Program (Improving Food Security and Reducing Poverty through intra-regional Fish Trade in sub-Saharan Africa) was launched and is being implemented jointly by WorldFish, NEPAD Agency and AU-IBAR.
The Fish Trade Program aims to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by enhancing the capacities of regional and pan-African organizations to support their member states to better integrate intra-regional fish trade into their development and food security policy agendas. The Program will work in four corridors in Africa (Western, Southern, Eastern and Central); and will deliver on the following results:
(i) Generate information on the structure, products and value of intra-regional fish trade in food security in Sub Saharan Africa and make it available to stakeholders.
(ii) Come up with a set of recommendations on policies, certification procedures, standards and regulations, and get them well embedded in national and regional fisheries, agricultural, trade and food security policy frameworks in sub-Saharan Africa.
(iii) Enhance the capacities for trade amongst private sector associations, in particular of women fish processors and traders and aquaculture producers, to make better use of expanding trade opportunities through competitive small and medium scale enterprises; and
(iv) Facilitate adoption and implementation of appropriate policies, certification procedures, standards and regulations by key stakeholders participating in intra-regional trade in the four trade corridors.
1.4 The Context of ARSO’s Involvement
Within the African continent, there has been continued focus on the role of agriculture and food production in resolving multiple dimensions of the continent’s challenges such as food insecurity, malnutrition, ravaging poverty, gender inequalities, rural underdevelopment, lack of industrialization, climate change uncertainties, increasing trade deficits and import bills, unemployment and a host of other challenges preoccupying leaders across the continent.
From 2012 ARSO has been implementing its Strategic Plan which is aligned to the implementation of the African Union (AU) priorities and programmes as expressed in various AU instruments such as the following:

(i) Assembly/AU/Decl.7 (II): the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security (AUC, 2003) endorsing the establishment of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), its flagship projects and evolving Action Plans for agricultural development, at the national, regional and continental levels; and consequently agreeing to adopt sound policies for agricultural and rural development, and committing Member States to allocating at least 10% of national budgetary resources for their implementation within five years;

(ii) Ex/Assembly/AU/Decl. 1 (II): the Sirte Declaration on Agriculture and Water (AUC, 2004), geared toward addressing the challenges in implementing integrated and sustainable development on agriculture and water in Africa; and in respect to fisheries and aquaculture, committing Member States to promote the development of fishery resources, develop fishing methods and equipment, improve facilities for their preservation, storage, distribution and processing, and encourage regional cooperation in the field of fishing, including the protection of fishery resources in our exclusive economic zones; and to promote intra-African trade in agricultural and fishery products in order to correct discrepancies in food balances at both national and regional levels, and explore the use of new methods to settle payments for trade;

(iii) the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for the African Green Revolution: Africa Fertilizer Summit: African Union Special Summit of the Heads of State and Government (AUC, 2006a). The declaration notes the importance of developing quality control standards for both organic and inorganic fertilizers. The declaration advocates for the increase in the use of fertilizers from 8 kilograms per hectare in 2006 to at least 50 kilograms per hectare by 2015;

(iv) FS/Decl (I): Declaration of the Abuja Food Security Summit (AUC, 2006b); that Member States shall increase Intra-African trade by promoting and protecting rice, maize, legumes, cotton, oil palm, beef, dairy, poultry and fisheries products as strategic commodities at the continental level, and cassava, sorghum and millet at sub-regional level without prejudice to focused attention being given also to products of particular national importance; and AUC and NEPAD shall facilitate the attainment of continental self-reliance by 2015 for the following: rice, maize, sorghum/millet and cassava, oil palm, beef, poultry, aquaculture (tilapia/cat fish); and to process 50% of cotton produced in Africa by 2015 while also making efforts to rapidly increase the share of local processing for other commodities;

(v) FS/Res (I): Resolution of the Abuja Food Security Summit (AUC, 2006c); urging Member States to ratify and implement harmonized standards and grades including sanitary and phytosanitary standards within and across RECs by 2010

(vi) Assembly/AU/Decl.2 (XI): Sharm El-Sheik Declaration on Responding to the Challenges of High Food Prices and Agriculture Development by among other things committing to reduce by half the number of undernourished people in Africa by 2015, eradicate hunger and malnutrition in Africa and take all necessary measures to increase agricultural production and ensure food security in Africa, in particular through the implementation of AU-NEPAD CAADP and the 2003 AU Maputo Declaration (AUC, 2008a).

(vii) AU/MIN/CAMI/3(XVIII): Strategy for the Implementation of the Plan of Action for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA): Eighteenth Ordinary Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Industry (CAMI) (AUC, 2008b). Under AIDA, the CAMI Bureau and UNIDO have identified agro-food processing as one of the priority sectors with good prospects for successful growth alongside other sectors such as: chemicals and pharmaceuticals, minerals, textiles/garments, leather/leather products, forestry, fisheries, and equipment/machinery and related services.

(viii) Assembly/AU/Decl.2(XIII) Rev.1: Sirte Declaration on Investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security where the Member States undertook to support relevant policy and institutional reforms that will stimulate and facilitate accelerated expansion of agriculture related market opportunities by modernizing domestic and regional trading systems, removing obstacles to trans-border trades, and increasing access by smallholder farmers to inputs and the necessary commercial infrastructure and technical skills to fully integrate them into the growing value chains (AUC, 2009).

(ix) Assembly/AU/Decl (2010): Abuja Declaration on Development of Agribusiness and Agro-industries in Africa: High-level Conference on Agribusiness and Agro-industries (A3DI) which, among other things, undertakes to promote the building and harmonization of standards as a quality tool in the production, processing, storage and marketing of agro-products and urges Member States to promote and support the African Regional Standards Organization (ARSO) in the harmonization of industrial standards, grades and metrology for the promotion of regional and international trade (AUC, 2010).

(x) Joint Declaration of Ministers of Agriculture and Ministers of Trade on endorsing the Boosting of Intra-Africa Trade as a Key to Agricultural Transformation and ensuring Food and Nutrition Security (AUC, 2012).
The World Bank (WB, 2012) notes that Africa’s farmers have the capacity to produce enough food to feed the growing population especially in the expanding urban centres, there are disincentives arising from the fact that African farmers face more barriers in accessing the inputs they need and in getting their products across borders to consumers in African cities, than suppliers from the rest of the world. These barriers along the whole value-chain reduce returns to farmers while increasing prices paid by consumers. Removing these barriers to regional trade is essential if Africa is to attain its potential in food trade. Harmonizing standards and codes of practice across African countries can provide a clear and predictable policy framework for regional trade so that institutions that facilitate exchange and mitigate the inherent risks associated with food production can flourish and support efficient and safer market outcomes and a more effective approach to food security in Africa. It is further emphasized that African commodities can be the basis for industrialization if non-tariff barriers, sanitary and phyto-sanitary barriers and technical barriers to trade, especially for agricultural commodities are eliminated by the concerted efforts of the continent’s institutions and Member States (UNECA & AUC, 2013).

ARSO Tributes to Departed Colleagues in Standardisation

Mr. Alex Inklaar – PTB-Germany, Consultant

Alex Inklaar

Mr. Alex Inklaar remained one of the greatest ARSO Friends and Standardisation Pillar for a long period of time, spanning 2 decades and who during his assignment with PTB as PTB Consultant, has travelled in many African Countries. The entire African Standardisation Stakeholders who had the opportunity to work with Mr. Inklaar are surely in mourning on his untimely demise, though we are consoled by the wisdom that for everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Mr. Inklaar worked with the ARSO Fraternity on the issues of Quality Infrastructure (Standards, Metrology, accreditation and Conformity Assessment), helping in strengthening the Quality Infrastructure in the African Countries and in mentoring the African Quality Infrastructure Experts through Workshops, Seminars and organised Training Sessions where he participated as Key Speaker, Panelist and Trainer. He shared in the worries of the poor Quality Infrastructure and the problems created by the Technical Barriers to Trade in the Africa leading to the low intra-African Trade. His intelligence and mastery of the subject of Quality Infrastructure was deep and truly. Alex passed on 6th December 2018 and laid to rest on 2nd January 2019.

Dr. Kioko Mang’eli, the former ARSO President (2008-2012)

Dr. Kioko Mang’éli

The ARSO Central Secretariat and ARSO Fraternity pay tributes to Dr. Kioko Mang’eli, the former ARSO President (2008-2012), and formerly, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director (2006-2009) who passed on 14th March 2019 and laid to rest on 23rd March 2019, in his Home town of Kola, Machakos County, Eastern Kenya. As ARSO President, the late, Dr. Mangeli made remarkable contributions in the ARSO re-engineering process. On behalf of the ARSO Fraternity, the ARSO Central Secretariat wishes to thank him for his contributions to ARSO, both as ARSO President and KEBS MD, and to pray that may his Soul Rest In Eternal Peace.

Our heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues and ARSO family. May His Soul Rest In Eternal Peace. Masego Marobela, Managing Director BOBS/BotswanaDr. Kioko Mang’eli was a valued colleague with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards. His death has robbed the ARSO Fraternity of a committed and resourceful person who made tremendous contributions to the re-engineering and development of standards with vast experienced knowledge shared during his term as ARSO President. UNBS continues to grieve and wishes to express our heartfelt condolences to ARSO Fraternity, ARSO Central Secretariat, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the family of the diseased during this sad and trying moments. – Dr. Ben Manyindo, Director General, UNBS/Uganda.

It is with great shock that we received the message on the death of Dr. Kioko Mang’eli, former ARSO President and Managing Director, Kenya Bureau of Standards. We note the Immense contributions of Dr. Mangeli in the integration of Africa through standardisation. There is no doubt that his wealth of experience will be greatly missed. We pray for the repose of his soul and fortitude for the family to bear this huge loss. Barr. Osita Aboloma – Director General, SON/Nigeria.

Congratulations: New Appointments at the ARSO Member States:

Due to their Mandate and Influence on the establishment of the Legal and Institutional Framework for Regulatory Compliance, the National Bureau of Standards in Africa have a decisive influence on the question “to what degree Technical Barriers to Trade presents a stepping stone or rather a stumbling block towards the implementation of a African Continental Free Trade Area?”


Joseph NGOWET appointed the New Directeur Général Agence Gabonaise de Normalisation (AGANOR).


Mr. Symon O. Mandala appointed the new Director General of Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS)


Abdou Sama appointed the new Director General of the Normalition, de la promotion de la qualité et de la métrologie (DNPQM).


El Hadji Abdourahmane NDIONE appointed the new Director General of the Association Sénégalaise de Normalisation (ASN).

Sierra Leone

Prof. Dr. B. R. Thomas Yormah appointed the new Executive Director of Sierra Leone Bureau of Standards (SLBS).

South Africa

Mr. Garth Strachan appointed the Chief Exucutive Officer (Ag.) of South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)

South Sudan

Mijak Deng appointed the new Acting Executive Director (Ag.) of South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS)

In the pipeline and the Next ARSO Newsletter Issue – April – June 2019

14 May – Friday, 17 May 2019 – ARSO-ANSI Collaboration in the harmonisation of ISO 30500 and ISO 24521 as African standards.

ARSO is collaborating with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the harmonisation of ISO 30500 and ISO 24521 as African standards. The first meeting has been scheduled for 14 May – Friday, 17 May 2019, at the Movenpick Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. A second meeting is schedule for July 2019 in Accra, Ghana. The purpose of the 14 May – Friday, 17 May 2019 meeting is to facilitate a review of both ISO 30500, non-sewered sanitation solutions and ISO 24521, guidelines for the management of basic on-site domestic wastewater services.  108 Experts from (the NSBs and the Industry) of 31 African countries (Algeria, Botswana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana , Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia , Libya , Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia , Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal , South Africa                , South Sudan, Sudan, Seychelles, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda , Zambia, Zanzibar , Zimbabwe are expected to participate. Last year,  on 13th – 14th September 2018, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar, Senegal, ARSO, jointly with the African Water Association (AfWA)and ANSI held a Regional African Workshop on the “Reinvented Toilet Standard National Recognition/ISO 30500, and attended by Water and Sanitation experts from ARSO members (Benin, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, The Kingdom of Eswatini, Uganda, Zambia, and Zanzibar.

June 2019 – African Standardization Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution – ARSO – IEEE COLLABORATION

ARSO is collaborating with IEEE on institutional coordination regarding an African Standardization Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution under the IEEE-SA Industry Connections Project. ARSO President, Dr. Eve Gadzikwa is the Chair of this joint initiative, with Smart Africa, the Vice Chair as represented by Didier Nkurikiyimfura, Director of Technology and Innovation. Initial activities focus on developing a strategy and roadmap, plus potential pilots and related capacity building activities. ARSO is, also, currently collaborating with the IEEE in the deployment of Embedded Computing for Internet of Thing (IoT) Systems IEEE Blended Learning Program (IBLP-IOT-01). The course covers the basic functionality of any embedded system. Last Year on 2nd October 2018 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, ARSO in collaboration with IEEE, under the IEEE-SA Standards Exchange Fellowship program,  held an IEEE-ARSO Standards Summit on the “Role of standards in facilitating innovation while addressing problems that expand beyond technical solutions to addressing ethics and values” and engaged in dialogue on how standardization can support innovation and what ethical considerations are important to ensure technology can bring a positive socio-economic impact.

Developing a Common Regulatory Framework for Africa’s Automative Sector

ARSO in collaboration with Afrexinmbank has initiated Africa’s standards harmonisation for the Africa’s motor vehicle industry, this initiative is important on the basis of the following recommendations for a common regulatory Framework:.

  • A report of the UN Environment (2018) for the AFRICA CLEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2018 Workshop held on 12-16 March 2018, at the UN Environment Headquarters- Nairobi, Kenya, highlights that Africa is undergoing a mobility revolution spurred by rapid urbanization and rising population, significant economic and technological growth, as well as increasing rates of motorization..
  • The Report of the 12-16 March 2018, at the  UN Environment Headquarters- Nairobi, Kenya, with delegates, mainly from from government agencies responsible for transport, environment, energy and finance; donor partners, oil and vehicle industry, the academia, civil society, media, the East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, from forty-two (42) African countries (Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’ Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

17th -21st June 2019 – 25th ARSO General Assembly Events:

The 25th ARSO General Assembly events are scheduled to take place ion 18th – 22nd June 2019 under the theme “The Role of Quality Infrastructure within a Free Trade Area”. The events include:

  1. 60th ARSO Council and the 3rd ARSO Champions meeting – 17th – 18th (Monday-Tuesday) June 2019 (ARSO Council and Champions members only).
  2. One day forum for the Africa Day of Standardisation and the Opening of the 25th ARSO General Assembly Events – 19th (Wednesday) June 2019 (all invited members and stakeholders).
  3. One day Meeting for the 25th ARSO General Assembly – 20th (Thursday) June 2019(all invited members and stakeholders).
  4. Industrial visits and other related social events organised by the Host – 21st (Friday) June 2019 (all invited members and stakeholders).
  5. The Made in Africa Expo to run concurrently with the events from 17th – 21st (Monday – Thursday) (June 2019.

The ARSO President Elect, BOOTO à NGON Charles, Directeur General
Agence des Normes et de la Qualité (ANOR) to be inaugurated as the 14th ARSO President, for the 2019-2022 Term of Office.