TMA, TBS Continue Partnership to Promote Tanzania Businesses’ Access to International Markets

To mark an ongoing partnership, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have today signed a financing agreement worth TZS 9 billion aimed at strengthening frameworks that guide development, enforcement, and implementation of standards, quality management systems, laboratory testing capacity and accreditation. This agreement brings a total support by TMA to TBS at TZS 15.8 billion as TZS 6.8 billion has been invested under phase I to support development of training programme on standards, development of integrated Standards, Quality, Metrology and Testing (iSQMT) and development of National Quality Policy Framework. This ongoing support to TBS aims to increase efficiency at how standards are developed and implemented, and also ensure that the developed standards are enabling trade.

The support is by development agencies of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway through TMA. Present at the signing ceremony was Dr. Athuman Y. Ngenya, Director General of TBS and Ms. Monica Hangi, TMA Tanzania Country Director.

The second phase of TMA’s support to TBS, that commenced in 2021/22, sets to promote improvement of service delivery through: increased Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises awareness and compliance to Standards and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures; development and implementation of standardization and accreditation frameworks; improved quality infrastructure platforms; and implementation of National Quality Policy.

In her statement during the signing ceremony Ms. Monica Hangi said’Businesses in Tanzania still face challenges in complying to Standards and SPS measures, largely due to low awareness and high compliance costs, limiting their potential in exploiting regional and international markets for exports. These trade facilitation efforts are set to address such challenges, while reducing both tariff and Non-Tariff Trade Barriers in the country. Previous interventions on  Supporting frameworks aimed at promoting trade through improvement of Standards and SPS frameworks in Tanzania remains TradeMark Africa’s priority. In the previous phase of the project, TMA’s support to TBS went towards automation of its service delivery mechanisms, purchase of laboratory equipment with harmonization of regional standards, development of training programme for SMEs, among other areas. The current phase seeks to continue these efforts, while also supporting mandatory compliance measures in Food Safety. Improvement of Standards and SPS will ensure Tanzania takes advantage of the promising African Continental Free Trade Area as well as access advanced and complex markets in Europe, America, and Asia. TBS has been one of the key partners that have demonstrated ability to delivering tangible results in various projects supported by TMA. She called for continued collaboration in ensuring that this phase of the project is also going to be a great success’’

Dr. Athuman Y. Ngenya, TBS Director General said, on behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, TBS wishes to appreciate TMA for the significant efforts and valuable support offered to enhance efficiency in the management and enforcement of both, voluntary and mandatory standards (Technical regulations), with the aim of facilitating trade. The support has been valuable to the country’s economy not only through automation of all operational activities which enhanced efficiency of service delivery to the business community but also through promotion of regional standards harmonization and adoption process. Further to that, many thanks to TMA for supporting development of National Quality Policy as well as development of E-learning Portal that will be very helpful to MSMEs for knowledge transfer especially on quality and business start-up. We promise to continue offering maximum cooperation in the execution of the fore coming projects for the benefits of the country’s economy development.

Generally, Standards and Quality Infrastructure has a big role towards Fourth Industrial Generation. Therefore, supporting Standards and Quality Infrastructure activities is supporting the move towards the Fourth Industrial Generation”

Phase I of TMA’s support to TBS saw the completion and launch of the Integrated Standards, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing” (iSQMT) system that automates the standardisation and quality control of products and services provided by the TBS. At the same time, an online portal was unveiled to train the public and business community in the areas of business, Standards and Quality Control; laboratory equipment were purchased to support accreditation, and regional standards were harmonised. Some of the benefits realized include a reduction in time and transaction costs as stakeholders no longer need to visit TBS offices for services related to standards and quality control, training, collection of permits and certificates. As a result, the time taken for testing and issuing conformity certificates has decreased by 58%, while costs have decreased to about US$140 from US$160.

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