COMESA SQA Validation Workshop, Zambia
Posted on: March 24, 2015
In November SeptemerSeptember 2014 the ACP-EU TBT Programme launched a project to support COMESA Secretariat and the Member States to define a strategic plan to foster regional quality infrastructure in synergy with other regional Standardization and Quality Assurance initiatives. The project aimed at enhancing the capacity of COMESA Quality Infrastructure institutions to coordinate and to harmonize regional technical standards and conformity assessment procedure and ultimately to facilitate intra-regional and international trade.
The project was implemented by Enabling Environments to assist COMESA Members States in developping a five- year Strategic Plan. The plan will serve as framework to guide and to underpin activities for Quality Assurance Programme, specifically covering standards harmonization, industrial/scientific metrology and legal metrology, conformity assessment, accreditation, technical regulations and pharmaceutical harmonization.
Interviews were conducted in quality infrastructure organizations and in some private sector organizations in seven (7) of the COMESA region Member States. A needs assessment, a and SWOT analysis was prepared and a draft Strategic plan addressing the key findings were prepared.
After 5 months of implementation, a regional validation workshop on Standardization and Quality Assurance (SQA) strategic plan was held in Lusaka, Zambia from 26th to 27th February 2015. The workshop aimed at reviewing the SQA needs assessment and SWOT analysis completed in selected pilot countries. The workshop’s goal was also to review SQA capacity gaps to contribute to the development of the 5-year SQA strategic plan and implementation plan.
The validation workshop was the opportunity for Member States to provide further inputs and to ensure that their needs were properly addressed by the strategic plan under development.
The workshop conveyed 39 participants from 13 different COMESA Member States (Burundi, Comoros, Congo DRC, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and ZimbaweZimbabwe) and international organizations (EU Delegation in Zambia, UNIDO and ARSO).
At the end of the workshop, the Member States endorsed both the strategic and the implementation plans that will service as a basis for the next phase i.e. the implementation of the planof the implementation.