Build the capacity of Botswana Quality Assurance Institutions
Posted on: April 30, 2015
Since February 2015, the TBT Programme partnered the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) with the view to strengthen the Quality Infrastructure (QI) institutions in Botswana and to support economic operators/exporters to comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) TBT requirements.
The project structure is articulated on the basis of different activities such as: Drafting of a National Quality Policy; Capacity building of BOBS staff; Capacity building for local service providers and a Final workshop on WTO TBT Agreement.
A first project mission has recently been completed and the inception report submitted with inputs from all parties. This first mission enabled to harmonized the complex training schedules to the satisfaction of the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) and to other recipients of the extensive training in quite a number of ISO/IEC system standards.
The first mission also allowed to start the work on the development of the National Quality Policy and an extensive series of discussions and interviews were conducted with Ministries, their Agencies and the private sector.
These highlighted the need for a holistic approach to technical regulation and an internationally/regionally acceptable quality infrastructure. A number of issues surfaced that would require a specific policy decision by Botswana before the Quality Policy could be finalised, e.g. the number and placement of technical regulation authorities, the need for a high level Technical Regulation Coordination Office, and whether BOBS can continue to be responsible for the implementation of compulsory standards, i.e. technical regulations.
A 1st Working Draft of the National Quality Policy was developed beginning April, and in addition to the generally agreed policy measures, various scenarios were included in the working draft for those where a decision is needed. These will facilitate a more in-depth debate to arrive at a workable solution. The 1st Working Draft is being circulated widely by BOBS and the Ministry to engender debate and solicit comments before the next mission to finalise the draft National Quality Policy. The training sessions are scheduled to start shortly.