SON Task African Standards Bodies on Faster Adoption of Continental Standards

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Gilbert Ekugbe

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has charged all standards bodies in Africa to promote faster adoption of continental standards to facilitate movement of goods across African bodies and the rest of the world.

Indeed, the standards body stated continental standards is vital for the continent to compete favourably at the international market while urging the standard bodies in Africa to ensure successful implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to the overall benefit of the continent.

The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim stated this at the opening of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) 65th Council meeting ongoing in Accra, Ghana.

He added: “The Continent’s political leaders have done their bit by signing the agreement thus passing the challenge of successful implementation to the technocrats.”

He commended the role being played by ARSO particularly in the development and harmonisation of Continental standards by member states of the organisation.

According to the SON boss, all standards bodies in Africa should also promote the harmonisation of conformity assessment facilities and enter into mutual recognition agreements to facilitate movement of goods across African borders and with the rest of the world without inhibition, saying this would ensure that standards are not used as technical barriers to free intra and inter-African trade
He noted that development and harmonisation of Standards at regional and continental levels are critical components for the success of the AfCFTA agreement implementation.

The SON Chief Executive disclosed that Nigeria in collaboration with the ARSO Central Secretariat recently organised a virtual Stakeholders’ awareness forum on 43 automobile African standards saying, the standards are in the process of adoption as Nigerian Industrial Standards.

He commended the impressive participation of Stakeholders in Nigeria in the forum and enjoined them to voluntarily uptake the Standards after adoption.