Desk of the Secretary General

Welcome to the 25th ARSO General Assembly Events in Nairobi, Kenya.

Venue: Panari Hotel.

The events comprise of:

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

The 25th ARSO the General Assembly Events comes after the signing of the AfCFTA Agreement by 52 African Countries and ratification by 24 Africa Countries, exceeding the threshold on ratification to enable the Agreement enter into force by 30th May 2019, and subsequent implementation face beginning July 2019, after the next Extra-Ordinary Heads of State and Government summit slated for 7th July 2019 in Niamey, Niger. As this happens, the Standardisation community and Trade Experts are much aware that, though tariffs on trade in commodities are eliminated via trade agreements among the nations that conclude the agreements, the problem of nontariff barriers (especially Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs with regards to Standards, Technical Regulations, and Accreditation, Conformity Assessment and Metrology measures) remain a challenge and an obstacle to the AfCFTA goals, and look forward to the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA Agreement under Annex 6 on TBTs and Annex 7 on SPS to cooperate in the development, harmonisation, and implementation of standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures, accreditation, metrology; capacity building and awareness creation, to facilitate trade within 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 37 African countries, (Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, New State of Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with Zanzibar as an observer member), the ARSO mandate of coordinating the harmonisation and implementation of African Standards and conformity assessment procedures continues to be a strategy for promoting the intra-African Trade and integration Agenda. The mandate of ARSO is to facilitate intra-African and World Trade through Harmonisation Standards and (ARSO THCs) Conformity Assessment Procedures (ARSO CACO) which directly aims at reducing Technical Barriers to Trade in Africa.


The Organisation’s key programmes such as Standards Harmonisation based on thirteen (13) Technical Harmonisation Committees, with Experts from all over Africa ensures the harmonisation and implementation of African standards (in reference to Africa Standards Harmonisation Model-ASHAM)  across the continent. The ARSO Conformity Assessment Programme under the ARSO CACO drives the harmonisation of Conformity Assessment regimes in Africa, promoting Mutual Recognition Arrangements and Common Regulatory Framework. The ARSO DISNET, including the African Trade Web Portal ensures the dissemination Trade and Standards information to facilitate compliance to standards and trade requirements across the continent. Harmonisation of African Standards was recognised at the very beginning as a means of promoting not only trade among African countries but also enabling African enterprises to participate effectively in the global trading system. This still remains the core mandate of ARSOFor more information visit the ARSO Website:


On behalf of the ARSO Fraternity, the ARSO Central Secretariat wishes to immensely express its appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Kenya for the Great Support it has continued to accord ARSO as the Host Country and for Hosting the 25th ARSO General Assembly Events. We thank You Kenya.