“Export promotion and rationalization of imports require the establishment of testing facilities, implementation of management systems for food safety according to international standards, supervision of enterprises, which is the right of passage to building a competitive economy and to protect consumers”; this was stated by Her Excellency the Burundi Minister of Trade, Tourism, Post and Industry, during the TradeMark Africa’s official handover ceremony of the laboratory equipment to the Burundi Bureau of Standards (BBN).

Her Excellency re-iterated that the GoB is aware that the BBN objectives cannot be achieved without strengthening the monitoring and analysis infrastructure, the capacity of laboratories and analysts. All can only be possible with the combined efforts of the Government and the development partners. Burundi has promulgated the law on the national system of standardization, metrology, quality assurance and testing to align to the conditions and requirements adopted in global economic groupings such as the WTO, and regional groupings such as COMESA and EAC in terms of product and services quality to be exchanged.

Burundi bureau of standards
TradeMark Africa (TMA) Burundi Country Director, Anthe Vrijlandt, during the official handover of testing equipment to the Burundi Bureau of Standards.

Her Excellency the Burundi Minister emphasized that the equipment reflects the good partnership between Government of Burundi and Trademark East Africa in the area of trade facilitation.

The Burundi Bureau Standards and Quality Control (BBN) was established in 1992 to promote quality standards, implement metrology, quality control, inspections of food and manufactured products as well as environmental protection. BBN has already proved that 80% of all imported salt doesn’t contain enough iodine. Additionally

Mr Leonidas Runyutu, President of the Burundi Association of Industries stated that the Private sector loses at least 1Million USD every year due to sub-standards products that invade the national market. Mr Leonidas made a s call for special assistance to the BBN so it can be able to contribute to the wellbeing of consumers, protect investors and effectively meet the EAC partner states’ expectations.

As also noted by the Trademark East Africa Country Director, in recent years, following the return of stability in Burundi and the resumption of economic development, BBN interventions are increasingly important and numerous. The accession of Burundi in the East African Community has accentuated the need for Burundian products to meet quality standards so as to be more competitive nationally, regionally and internationally. TradeMark Africa (TMA) committed itself to provide equipment, test agents, and various other chemicals as well as long-term technical assistance. The equipment provided will allow the BBN chemical lab to reliability run at least 34 different quality control analyses on products such as flours, oils, beverages, fruits, vegetables or water. The range of analyzes was chosen to meet the needs of business and to better overcome the public health problems such as iodine deficiency.

It is in a bid to improve BBN’s capacity to test standards that TradeMark Africa, with the main goal of growing prosperity through trade, handed over an important batch of laboratory equipment to the Burundi Bureaux of Standards and Quality Control (BBN). This was done following a needs assessment by BBN and a feasibility analysis of the requests, and in accordance with the intervention procedures of BBN.

It is anticipated that in the near future with the collaboration of the Government of Burundi, BBN and development partners will effectively fulfill its mandate and provide confidence that imported products are good for consumption, improve quality and reliability levels of locally manufactured goods, reduce incidences of substandard products in the local, regional and international market, deliver good analyses to support producers, importers and exporters.

Source: TradeMark Africa (TMA)


TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.