KEBS officials champion for African Continental Free Trade Area at Regional Quality Conference

KEBS officials champion for African Continental Free Trade Area at Regional Quality Conference

2nd Regional Quality Conference kicks off in Kigali, Rwanda. PHOTO| COURTESY

The 2nd Regional Quality Conference, organized by the African Organisation for Standardization (ARSO) kicked off on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda.

The conference, whose theme is 'Managing quality in a dynamic work environment for competitive advantage' is slated to go on for three days ending on the 24th of March.

Top Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) leadership, including the Chairman Dr Jeremiah Kinyua and the Managing Director Bernard Njiraini, are also part of the speakers at the Kigali conference.

The conference which targets Chief Executive Officers, Business Leaders and Academia will cover a wide range of topics including standardization, driving excellence in quality, data analytics and exploration of excellence models applicable in the African context.

Dr Hermogene Nsengimana, who is the ARSO Secretary General and Dr. Gregory H. Watson, a honorary member and past president of American Society for Quality, are this year's keynote speakers.

Addressing the members, KEBS Chairman Dr Jeremiah Kinyua stressed the need for improvement in overall quality management and further rallied for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for the growth of the continent.

"The AfCFTA represents a golden opportunity to create a single, unified market for goods and services, sparking our continent's growth, generating jobs, and alleviating poverty. By leveraging the unique strengths of our nations, breaking down barriers, streamlining processes, and fostering openness, we can launch Africa into a new era of prosperity," he said.

Kinyua also called for the harmonisation of standards in order to ensure that products meet the universally recognized benchmarks for quality.

"I envision a continent where businesses of all sizes can effortlessly trade across borders, assured that their products meet universally recognized benchmarks for quality, safety, and environmental impact. Through harmonized standards, we can foster trust, ignite innovation, and empower businesses to access new markets, standing tall on the global stage, " he said.

On his part, the Managing Director Mr Bernard Njiraini also stressed the need for quality standards across the board while also calling upon partners from all sectors, industries and boards to come together for the good of the people.

"In this rapidly evolving world, the pursuit of high-quality standards is a continuous journey. Organizations must adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the competition. With rising customer expectations, a dynamic regulatory environment, and increasingly disrupted supply chains, embracing quality is not just an option, but a necessity for survival," he said.

He also called upon leaders to be ambassadors of quality for a more prosperous regional future.

"As leaders in our own fields, we have a duty to be ambassadors of quality, promoting its benefits and exemplifying its importance through our actions. By setting a good example, we can inspire others to join us in our pursuit of excellence, leading to a better, more prosperous future for our region and the world as a whole, " he said.


KEBS Rwanda

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