DG, SON, Joseph Odumodu
The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS), alongside the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), has provided the platform for some African countries, including Nigeria, to benefit from Korea’s vast knowledge in electro-magnetics.
Training of participants on Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) by Korean scientists was facilitated under the International Standard Infrastructure Cooperative Programme (ISCP) and was held side-by-side this year’s ARSO General Assembly hosted by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Lagos.
In his keynote address at the training/forum the Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, expressed delight that training is being organised to develop capacity in the field of electromagnetic compatibility in Africa.
He noted that scientific trainings like this are capable of impacting on strategic directions in the fields that they cover besides closing the gaps that exist in the knowledge and training programmes and how they should be addressed.
He also stated that it provides an opportunity to point to and influence future work in the application of standardisation that will ensure a safe environment as well as facilitate trade within member countries and beyond.
He also gave an insight to the theme of the ARSO General Assembly ‘Mainstreaming /Bringing SMEs into the African Economy: Role of NSBs and Standards’ by saying that it is designed to bring to highlight new techniques should be applied and what the new challenges in training and quality assurance for staff working in standardisation are.
Also speaking, the leader of KAT technical team, Sootto Chuz, remarked that bringing them to come and train Africans on the electromagnetic field would help to boost standard conformity assessment for African countries.
She said that it would also impact positively on the communications sector because electro-magnetism is what the telecommunication sector is founded upon; stressing that it would also boost the market sector and help the industrial sector to grow just as it happened in Korea.
In his remark the President of ARSO, Dr. Kiokio Mangeli, noted that the electromagnetic induction is a technology that is being used daily by everybody “but we don’t have participation in it as a continent except in buying mobile phones and using consumer electronic appliances.
“But all these can change when we become equipped with the knowledge to create this technology and open up the sector for investors to start partaking and developing it in our various countries. We need knowledge and some of it will come in form of trainings like this one because we will not be importing technology in the future so that we can create more wealth for Africa,” he reasoned.
He said that standard would bring out that knowledge aspect and the way we think in Africa, stressing that “the paradigm needs to change from what we have been doing to what we need to be doing in the future.
“We cannot say we are developing the continent without creating some growth patterns that are capable of creating wealth and competitiveness for our industries because we don’t only possess comparative advantage, we also have competitive advantage in Africa,” he emphasised.
He reasoned that the first step towards African integration is to integrate the standard regimes, the custom systems and the people “in a way that we can share economic prospects in Africa stressing that our aspirations are the same as a continent.”
He also said that in terms of political networking the African Union has the base to bring countries together through the regional blocs. He noted that “the challenge we are currently facing is in the implementation of good policies, which are already in place, pointing out that some countries are not taking African economic integration seriously to see that it brings good market for them.
“It also brings in prospect for good human capital development and of course this standard sustainability system and conformity assessment we want to create now in Africa means we have to be together in order to create a greater value base and make quicker progress,” he said.
He was optimistic that “the issue of using Africa as a dumping ground for substandard products can be checked better when our pre-shipment assessment is well enforced, so that we will be effectively able to stop these goods at the countries of origin from being brought into Africa.”