History & Trajectory

African Conformity Assessment Programme: A History and Trajectory

Establishment of the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO)

The African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) was established by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1977 as the African continent’s standardization body with the core objectives being:

(a)        To promote standardization activities in Africa;

(b)        To promote the harmonization of the views of its members and their contribution and participation at the international level in the field of standardization;

(c)        To elaborate regional standards; and

(d)        to promote social, industrial and economic development and provide consumer protection and human safety by advocating and establishing activities concerning standardization in Africa.

For ARSO to achieve the enumerated objectives, ARSO, through its organs, was tasked to:

(a)   harmonize standards so as to facilitate trade among African countries;

(b)        elaborate regional standards for Africa with particular references to products which are of interest to Africa;

(c)        promote and co-ordinate standardization, quality control, certification marking, and metrology activities and practices in Africa;

(d)        promote the exchange of experts and information, cooperation in the training of personnel in standardization and the use of laboratory and research facilities;

(e)        co-ordinate the views of its members at the ISO, IEC, OIML and other international organizations concerned with standardization, quality control, certification marking and metrology; and

(f)         provide services relating to standardization and allied matters to the members of the Organization.

The Constitution of the African Regional Organization for Standardization (ARSO) 1977 (English).pdf

Acte Constitutif de l’Organisationa Regionale Africaine de Normalisation (ORAN) (Francais).pdf