Uganda Bureau of Standards launches Mbale Regional Laboratory

This is part of UNBSs US$4.5m decentralisation project where it has set up 3 laboratories in Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara

Mbale, 29th Sept 2022: The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Mbale Regional Laboratory was officially launched today by Minister of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives Hon. Francis Mwebesa in a colourful ceremony in Mbale, Eastern Uganda. The minister was accompanied by Danish Deputy Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Henrik Jespersen, UNBS Executive Director David Livingstone Ebiru, TradeMark Africa (TradeMark) East Africa Regional Director John Ulanga among other senior leaders.

The Mbale Laboratory is part of three regional laboratories that UNBS has set up outside of the capital in an effort to decentralise its services and make them more accessible to traders. Two other laboratories have been set up in Gulu Northern Uganda launched in July and Mbarara Regional Laboratory scheduled for launch, end of this year. The total cost has been US$ 4.45 million funded by the Government of Denmark through TradeMark Africa. The scope included provision of equipment and consumables for the three regional laboratories as part of decentralisation strategy by UNBS.

Speaking during the launch minister Mwebesa said the Mbale Regional Laboratories will enable local businesses in Eastern Uganda to understand and apply standards thus easily accessing markets within Uganda and across borders. “Quality standards are critical in supporting the governments’ industrialization agenda, the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy, Imports Substitution, and Exports Promotion Strategies.” noted the Minister.

The Mbale Laboratory is expected to benefit among other value chains, fruits, and vegetables (oranges, mangoes, pineapples) cereals (nuts, simsim, millet, maize), minerals and coffee.

On his part the Danish Deputy Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Henrik Jespersen expressed satisfaction with the new facilities and pledged his country would continue to support Uganda in its efforts to modernize trade facilitative services. “I urge UNBS to prioritize vulnerable enterprises especially MSMEs which are owned by Women and Youth in order to empower them to produce safe and quality products which are competitive on the market to strengthen their livelihoods” said the Deputy Ambassador.

UNBS Executive Director David Livingstone Ebiru noted that by having regional laboratories, the bureau anticipated reduced pressure on the National Laboratories in Kampala, significantly lower costs of service, and improved standards of goods across the country.

The Mbale Laboratories will enable Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises improve product quality enhancing access to both local and regional markets. This will also protect consumers from harmful and sub-standard products as well as minimize counterfeits in the market thereby boosting manufacture of quality local products greatly boosting trade” explained the Executive Director.

TMA Regional Director East Africa John Ulanga said the organisation will continue partnering with the Government of Uganda and agencies to bring down the cost of trade and make Ugandan goods more competitive and ultimately create wealth for citizens. “TMA has been in operation in Uganda for more than a decade now. Our work in areas such as modernizing customs administration, deploying ICT trade solutions and modernizing border crossings has had phenomenal results in the past. Recent interventions such as upgrading the Uganda Electronic Single Window, Lake Ntoroko Port Infrastructure, Goli One Stop Border Post (OSBP), Gulu Logistics Hub as well reform Trade Policy all continue to bear good fruit in enhancing Uganda’s trade credentials” explained John

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