Ngba Digital Time



By Business News Staff on June 23, 2015

The President, African Organization for Standardization, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, on Monday said that the harmonization of standards within the African region would help to eliminate trade barriers.

Odumodu, who is also the Director-General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, said this at the opening session of a seminar organized by the ARSO in Abuja.

He told representatives of about 25 countries that attended the event that the current state of globalized trade required the standardization of products and services in line with the requirements of the World Trade Organization.

Odumodu said, “Regional and continental integration and cooperation is, perhaps, the most appropriate way of improving the low levels of intra-African trade as well as international trade. It enhances the reaping of economies of scale. It promotes integrated or harmonized treatment of trans-boundary issues such as trade, regulatory frameworks and policies, regional infrastructure and other cross-border issues.

“This has resulted in a growing demand to scale up international, continental and regional solutions, with a greater focus on mainstreaming regional issues in national planning, regional infrastructure and the missing link, economic integration.

“On this note, it is also important to note that organized standardization has now become an important element of infrastructure needed for the healthy growth of industry and commerce in all countries of the world.”

He lamented that the absence of harmonized standards in Africa had made it difficult for products produced within the continent to remain competitive, adding that this had led to the exportation of unprocessed products to the rest of the world.

The Secretary General, ARSO, Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, who also spoke at the event, said that many developing countries in Africa faced significant standardization challenges.

This, he added, had made it impossible for them to effectively participate in global trading activities, becoming signatories to international agreements, developing a strong base for sustainable economic development and slowing the process of Africa’s quest for deeper integration.

Nsengimana said, “With the increasing globalization of markets, standards have become critical to ensuring access to export markets as standards and conformity assessment are the pillars that underpin the global trading system.


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