Quality infrastructure requires funding, govts’ commitment, says ARSO
The President of the African organization for Standardisation (ARSO), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, has urged African governments to increase budgetary support for the development of key quality infrastructure across the continent.
Odumodu, who spoek at th e end of the recently concluded ARSO meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said such move has become necessary considering the establishment of Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2017 the need to aid trade facilitation and removal of trade barriers among regional blocs.
Speaking on the theme, “the role of standards in promoting sustainable agriculture and food security in Africa,” the ARSO boss argued saying quality infrastructures are critical towards economic growth and global competitiveness.
He charged the governments to channel adequate resources to national standard bodies (NSBs) in order for the continent to catch up with the rest of the world in economic development and trade facilitation.
According to him, resources should be availed to NSBs to facilitate the development of the National Quality Infrastructure including National Enquiry Points (NEP) and support the NSBs participation in regional, continental and international standardisation ahead of the year 2017 which AU declared as Africa’s year of quality infrastructure.
“Lack of proper funding and paucity of funds have greatly affected the campaign against dumping and counterfeiting”, he added.
He disclosed that African Union has given a marching order to ARSO to use standards to improve trade through harmonization of standards in the continent and collapse all boundaries, depending on what the African Union Heads of State agree.
Odumodu explained that the essence of Continental Free Trade Area means that Africa would become one common market, just like the European Union and Latin American markets.
“Africa needs quality infrastructure in order to ably compete with the rest of the world. Quality infrastructures such as accredited laboratories, metrology laboratories, effective quality policy, among others, are pivotal to Africa’s trade renaissance” he said