Zanzibar to Enhance Food Safety and Trade through TMA Partnership

The Zanzibar Bureau of Standards (ZBS) and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have today signed a financing agreement worth TZS 1 billion aimed at increasing efficiency and effectiveness of ZBS in the development and implementation of standards in Zanzibar. The agreement is funded by development agencies of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway through TMA. Present at the signing ceremony was Mr. Yusuph Majid, Director General of ZBS and Ms. Monica Hangi, TMA Tanzania Country Director.

The funding will support ZBS efforts towards tackling challenges that include limited-service delivery mechanisms and delays in conducting and issuing testing results for products that have in the past led to delays, and therefore increasing the cost of trading. Currently, ZBS functions are manual and paper-based making it cumbersome for traders to receive required certifications on time leading to further delays. Part of the funding will be used for development of an Integrated Standardization and Quality Management Information System (iSQMS) that will automate key ZBS processes; and a capacity building training programme on standardization and quality assurance for private sector stakeholders especially Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to increase their awareness and adoption of standards.

In addition, TMA will also support an accreditation and standardization programme that will aim to support ZBS with domestication of regionally harmonized standards and have its processes, systems, and labs accredited.

Speaking on the agreement, TMA Tanzania Country Director Ms. Monica Hangi said, TradeMark Africa extends its commitment to supporting trade, through improving quality and standards of products produced and traded in Tanzania (both mainland and Zanzibar). This support to ZBS is aimed to complement the support provided in the mainland through TBS, to ensure ZBS provides high quality services, and conforms to international best practises in standardization, quality assurance, and metrology. The support will improve lab capacities and quality management, and automate processes for improved efficiency. The project will also provide a strong avenue for the Private Sector in Zanzibar to access, understand, and conform to these standards, which will in turn boost their exports by supporting access to regional and international markets.

Mr. Yusuph Majid, ZBS Director General said, “Zanzibar Bureau of Standards was established, among other functions to ensure products produced locally for export or domestic consumption and imported products for consumption in the country are of desired standards, meet the intended quality and remain safe while consumed by both citizens and our environment. Hence, our main activities focus on living with standards, assuring with quality products and nourishing with a safe life. Zanzibar Bureau of Standards (ZBS) is committed to help and support all stakeholders, including manufacturers, SMEs, exporters, importers and consumers in their operations and market access. We practise our responsibilities as partners in standards and qualities with an ethical approach ‘without fear or favor’ but professionalism will steer our wheel”

He further added, “with the support of the government of Zanzibar (SMZ) and development partners, we aim to make ZBS one of the leading Institutions across the region as well as in Africa.  Over the next five (5) years, ZBS will embark on a journey to modernize the Institution by providing services to the public which have international standards. The modernization program; will involve injection of almost 5 million Dollar that will come through Government support, development partners and Internal sources”

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, European Union, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America. TradeMark Africa (TMA) TMA works closely with regional intergovernmental organisations, including the African Union (AU), East Africa Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

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