Nigeria and other African countries have started the development of a pan-African quality for the harmonisation of standards and conformity assessment procedures within the continent.
The move, which is being implemented under agenda 2063 of the African Union, will help to transform the continent into a global powerhouse of the future.
The agenda prioritises inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance, peace and security, among other issues.
At a consultative workshop on the development of the quality policy on July 29, 2019 in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Edet Akpan, noted that the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement had further emphasised the need for the development of a pan-African quality policy document.
He said the policy document would ensure synergy, reduce duplication of efforts, ensure harmonisation of standards and conformity assessment procedures.
The policy document, according to him, will also help to position Africa as a dominant player in the global arena.
Akpan said the Federal Government through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria had been playing an active role along with other stakeholders from the country in the harmonisation of standards and conformity assessment procedures within the region.
He said, “It has been duly established that the presence of quality infrastructure institutions are essential for a mutually beneficial free movement of goods and services across national, regional and continental borders.
“The development of these quality infrastructure institutions are however contingent on a clear and approved policy document at national, regional and continental levels for proper guidance.
“Thus, the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by many nations on the African continent further emphasises the need for the development of a pan-African quality policy document.”
The Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the harmonisation of standards would enable the continent to reap the benefits of AfCFTA.
He said, “SON has also been actively involved in the harmonisation of standards within the ECOWAS region and the African continent through the African Organisation for Standardisation by setting up several committees to encourage the participation of stakeholders in Nigeria in the standards development and harmonisation processes across the region and the continent.
“The need for a National quality policy document to serve as guidance to the development and harmonisation of national quality infrastructure projects cannot be overemphasised.
“Thus, the development of a pan-African quality policy can only go further to position the continent for the challenges of today and the future in the exchange of goods and services with the rest of the world for mutual benefit without putting Africa at a disadvantage.”