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NBS boss returns from EASC summit with bag of goodies

By William Madouk

 

South Sudan National Bureau of Standards Executive Director, Gloria Nyoka, jetted home after participating in the 26th East African Standards Committee meeting (EASC) with a bag of goodies for the country.

The EASC summit, which began in Arusha, Tanzania, from May 8–10, 2024, adopted a number of resolutions to enable East African Community member states to uplift the fight against fake and substandard goods.

Ms. Nyoka, who chaired the meeting because South Sudan’s president reigned at the helm of EAC, said they nodded at the Standard Quality Assurance, Metrology, and Testing (SQMT) Plan for 2023–2028.

“The strategic plan underscores the region’s collective commitment to fostering quality assurance, metrology, and testing within the East African Community,” she told journalists yesterday.

According to her, the EASC forum also gives EAC member states an opportunity to test in any partner’s laboratory facility, in case that country doesn’t have the required equipment.

She added that the meeting also endorsed eighty-five (85) final draft East African Standards along with two critical amendments: the adaptation of fifty-six (56) international standards and three (3) African regional standards.

“Furthermore, the EASC approved the roadmap for the EAC Quality Award 2024,” Nyoka cited.

“South Sudan will host a national competition for private sector manufacturers and SME for the best products with quality requirements, and the national winners will participate and compete at the regional level,” she continued.

Thereafter, in November, the EASC will announce the excellent firms of the year in the EAC. She added that the meeting also approved the annual work plan for the years 2023–2024 for the below subcommittees:

They are the Quality Assurance Technical Subcommittee, Standards Management Committee, Metrology Technical Subcommittee, CODEX Forum, Testing Technical Subcommittee, and TBT Forum.

“The major breakthrough South Sudan has gained in this meeting is that the country’s standards body, SSNBS, will manage and coordinate two regional technical committees on standards harmonization, which will drive the national interest,” noted Nyoka.

Nyoka underscored that the harmonization of standards would help South Sudan export to the region and international markets.

In a sideline meeting, the boss of the Bureau of Standards cited that she held a bilateral talk with the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) to help South Sudan combat substandard electric and electronic products.

Besides, Ms. Nyoka revealed that they held a meeting with the coordinator for African and Arab countries in the International Standardization Organization (ISO) on numerous topics, such as capacity building and the use of standards for effective public policy and regulations.

The EASC summit is conducted twice a year as per EAC procedures. It draws together the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of all the East African Community bureaus of standards, the EAC Business Council, and partner organizations such as Trade Mark, EAC-Europe, the MarkUp2 project, ISO, ARSO, and IEC.

The meeting aimed at providing strategic policy directions, standard conformity assessments, and quality goods across all the EAC partner states, as well as easing trade and promoting industrialization across the region.

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