Zambia, through the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has been elected to sit on the Standards Management Committee under the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), ZABS Executive Director Mr. Manuel Mutale has announced. Mr. Mutale announced that Mrs. Belinda Soko Kancheya the Standards Development Manager was voted onto the Committee together with five other candidates from National Standards Bodies of Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The Committee is a body established by the African Organization for Standardization Council (ARSO Council) whose main purpose is to oversee the standards development processes and harmonization programs in the Africa.

“For ZABS, this is a great opportunity for us to be part of this technical team whose role will be to help member states take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area through standardization. A seat at the Standards Management Committee places us at an advantage as Zambia as it gives us an opportunity to contribute to the governance of the standards harmonization process at continental level. Further, the participation will enable us to leverage on information on standardization trends at continental level and channel it for national benefit. As ZABS we will ensure that the challenges that some of our local manufacturers and service providers have been facing in exporting their products within the continent are adequately addressed through the development and harmonization of standards. Some of the complexities that are faced in trade can only be effectively addressed when there is harmonization of standards for products and services which make trade more accessible.” Mr. Mutale said.

The Standards Management Committee among other assignments will coordinate the technical work for the development of standards, provide guidance to ARSO Technical Committees and National Standards Bodies on matters of interest. This is the first time that Zambia through ZABS is being elected to participate on this Committee.