TMA injects $3million to strengthen standardization and conformity assessment in Tanzania through Financing Agreement with Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS)

Dar es Salaam Tanzania, 30th June 2016 – Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have today signed a financing agreement which extends TMA’s support to TBS with the aim of increasing efficiency and effectiveness of TBS in the development and implementation of standards in Tanzania. The financing agreement was signed by Dr. Josaphat Kweka, TMA Tanzania Country Director and Mr. Joseph Masikitiko, the Director General of TBS.

Speaking on the agreement, TMA Tanzania Country Director Dr Josaphat Kweka said, “This is an opportunity for Tanzania to catch up with other EAC Partner States for TMA support on standardization and conformity assessment, which we missed in the previous round. This means that the results achieved in other countries can be replicated in Tanzania.”

This new agreement is an extension of support that TMA has provided to TBS specifically procuring and delivering two categories of testing equipment which included mini-laboratory equipment and glassware. These are expected to contribute to a reduction in testing turnaround time and cost.

Development and implementation of standards in Tanzania haven’t been efficiently and effectively achieved through TBS and as a result, high volumes of goods get delayed at borders and through trading channels, which results into high trading costs.

Over the years TBS has worked to address most of the faced challenges through designing products and services that aim at improving quality of products and services, contributing to the development of a national quality policy framework, adopting current technologies for efficient service delivery and participating in standards harmonization programs in the East African Community (EAC). However, while this strategy has been effective, TBS still faces challenges such as limited service delivery mechanism, low awareness to stakeholders in participation to standardization and quality assurance activities, inadequate updates and adoption of standards as well as absence of service value proposition, among others.

To address these challenges, TBS through TMA support is embarking on a process of improving its service delivery mechanisms to its stakeholders in Tanzania and enhance its capacity.  Part of this improvement includes developing a training programme on standardization and quality assurance, mainly targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) using conventional training methods suitable for businesses – both, paper-based and digital platforms; and developing an Integrated Standardization,  Quality assurance, Metrology and Testing (SQMT) system that will automate the key administrative processes used by TBS to offer services to its stakeholders.

In addition, TMA’s support will also be extended to developing a National Quality Policy Framework to create effectiveness implementation and harmonization of standards in Tanzania and accreditation program that will aim to support TBS to domesticate regionally harmonized standards and also have their systems, processes and service delivery processes accredited.

Through this support, TBS is expected to improve its capacity to deliver quality services to its stakeholders.  Moreover, it is expected that the areas covered under this project will result in the reduced cost and time for TBS and its stakeholders to carry out standards related transactions that are part of the trade facilitation system in Tanzania. Dr. Kweka further added, The project will not only increase capacity of TBS but also provide opportunity for SMEs to access and effectively use standards to increase their export capacity through enhanced market access to regional and international markets.”

TradeMark Africa (TMA) has invested US$ 11.6 million between 2011 and 2014 in the Regional standards harmonization and conformity assessment programme. The broad aim was to support the National Standards Bureaux (NSBs) in achieving regional harmonization of standards and improving their conformity assessment capacities with the aim of improving trade competitiveness in East Africa by reducing the time and cost of testing in the region. This is expected to ultimately contribute to increased regional trade.

A recently conducted independent evaluation of the programme in East Africa indicates that there is a 59 per cent reduction (from US$500 to US$205 per cost) in testing cost and 74 per cent reduction (from 38 days to 10 days) in average testing time achieved across the East Africa Community (EAC) region. The results also indicate that the number of products complying with standards requirements has increased through certification thus contributing to increased intra and Extra EAC trade values and volume by 23% and 50% respectively (from US$ 857,997 in 2010 to US$ 2,094,748 in 2014).


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.