QMS compliance vital for markets penetration - Manake

29 Nov 2023

Participants at the Small, Micro, and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) capacity-building workshop on quality principles convened by the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BoBS) in Gaborone on Tuesday have been told that at least 6 000 African products face rejection across the European Union market due to non-compliance to set quality management standards (QMS).

Delivering keynote address, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Beauty Manake, said to be a private sector export-led economy, Botswana’s SMMEs had to produce quality-certified products and services ready to penetrate both local and international markets.

She said her ministry launched the National Quality Policy, which sets out the objectives and strategies of the country regarding the development and use of Quality Infrastructure (QI) and Technical Regulations (TR) about its economic and societal needs.

“This policy further advocates for support of SMMEs to conform to standards and technical regulations,” she said. “It is a known fact that SMMEs contribute tremendously to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

As such, Ms Manake urged all involved in the development of SMMEs to ensure that they support businesses to become QMS certified to remain relevant and competent in different markets.

Notably, Ms Manake said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), SADC market integration, and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) agreements presented market opportunities for Botswana’s products and services and subsequently to grow an export-led economy. However, she said, it was imperative that all the players in these markets, including SMMEs, position themselves well in advance rather than becoming reactive to what the markets throw at them.

Meanwhile, a representative from BoBS, Mr Obonye Lopang, said standards promoted uniformity in technical definitions and characteristics of products regardless of where they were made, thus providing a level ground for competition.

“Standards provide safe, tried and tested methods for verification of quality of products and services, thus probability for error is minimised,” he said.

Mr Lopang urged attendees to know their standards and use them correctly, in order to exercise their quality rights when procuring products. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Marvin Motlhabane

Location : Gaborone

Event : Workshop

Date : 29 Nov 2023