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Quality and product safety in Sub Saharan Africa – challenges and opportunities. By Ivar Foss, Ivar Foss Quality Management, Norway E-mail: [email protected] My background. 13 years in Det norske Veritas, 5 years as Executive Vice President

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Quality and product safety in sub saharan africa challenges and opportunities

Quality and product safety in Sub Saharan Africa – challenges and opportunities

By Ivar Foss, Ivar Foss Quality Management, Norway

E-mail: [email protected]

My background
My background challenges and opportunities

  • 13 years in Det norske Veritas, 5 years as Executive Vice President

  • Ivar Foss Quality Management established in 1987

  • 11 years of consulting in CEEC

  • Last 3 years: Consulting on trade development in Africa. Clients: Sida, Norad, UNIDO, ISO etc.

  • Lived in Kenya for two years

The sida norad strategy project
The Sida/Norad strategy project challenges and opportunities

The main report is available from Sida, see www.sida.se

African trade initiatives
African trade initiatives challenges and opportunities

African Union:

  • The African Common Market

    NEPAD Market Access Initiative (2001):

  • Points out the need to increase value added in agro-processing and mineral beneficiation

  • Promotes development of the private sector

  • Give specific recommendations for removal of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

  • Sets objectives for agriculture, including food security, but is not specific with regard to Sanitary and phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

Barcelona challenges and opportunities





Barcelonaand COMESA








Vegetable export from kenya
Vegetable export from Kenya challenges and opportunities

HCDA packing and storage facility at Nairobi Airport

Testing laboratories
Testing laboratories challenges and opportunities

Kenya Bureau of Standards, Nairobi

New solutions in metrology
New solutions in metrology challenges and opportunities

Mobile calibration laboratory for Mozambique

Objectives in three dimensions
Objectives in three dimensions challenges and opportunities

  • Each country has to protect its own society against hazardous and sub-standard products, imported as well as domestically produced

  • Exporters have to comply with the increas-ingly demanding requirements in target markets

  • Complying to requirements is not enough – the products must also be attractive in the target markets. Supply side development is required

General and targeted strategies

Export- challenges and opportunitiesfocussedtailor madequaltiyinfrastructure



General and Targeted Strategies

Awareness building

Engagement and basic training

Creating awareness why is it so important
Creating awareness - challenges and opportunitieswhy is it so important?

No change will take place until influential stakeholders are convinced of the need for change!

Two sets of strategies

Defensive strategies challenges and opportunities

Regulate only when risks are significant

Limit national legisla-tion; make use of international standards

Simplify conformity assessment procedures

Develop the quality infrastructure

Improve transparency

Offensive strategies

Collect info. on Technical Regulations, standards and conformtiy assessment in target markets

Map market requirements

Develop a tailormade conformity assessment infrastructure

Develop quality as a competitive strategy

Two sets of strategies

Ensure safe products on domestic markets

Tariffs challenges and opportunitiesand quotas

Domestic suppliers

Border control

Ensure safe products on domestic markets

  • Laws and regulations

  • Standards

  • - Market surveillance


Trade andindustrypolicy

The food chain approach for the sps area
The food chain approach for the SPS area challenges and opportunities




Multidisciplinary approach




  • Scientific risk assessment


The sps infrastructure
The SPS infrastructure challenges and opportunities

  • Most African countries have not adopted the food chain approach. Present legislation is outdated

  • National SPS policies are absent

  • Responsibilities and resouces are scatted on many ministries (up to 6)

  • The infrastructure for testing and enforcement is weak

  • The risk analysis process is introduced only in special cases, typically for export

  • Most countries are members of Codex, OIE and IPPC

Standardisation in africa
Standardisation in Africa challenges and opportunities

  • 14 full members and 16 associates or corre-sponding members of ISO

  • ~ 50 countries are members of Codex and OIE

  • 66 % of NSBs are autonomous government bodies

  • The NSBs have published few standards (< 150)

  • The distinction between standards and regulations is blurred

  • Participation in international standards development is low

The leapfrog strategy

Consistent challenges and opportunitiesEffectiveInternationalSimple


The leapfrog strategy

Old problems and solutions

Traditional and new approach to standards

The challenges and opportunitiesReference to Standards Principle:

Products complyingwith the referenced standards are pre- sumed to comply with legal require-ments

Legal act

Legal act


Technical regulations






Referenceto standards

Traditional and new approach to standards

The international model for regulatory harmonisation

National challenges and opportunitieslegislation

Country A

Country B

Country C

Country D

Regional andsectoral structure

Evidence of conformity

International(or other agreed)standards

The international model for regulatory harmonisation


Harmonisation of standards

ISO etc. challenges and opportunities

ARSO (African Regional Organisation for Standardisation

Regional organisation




Harmonisation of standards

Recommended strategy for african standardisation
Recommended strategy for African standardisation challenges and opportunities

  • Introduce the Reference to Standards Principle and The International Model in legislation in order to promote regional harmonisation

  • Accept international standards for industrial products

  • Influence Codex, OIE and IPPC to take African concerns into accounts

  • Establish regional African scientific committees to support participation in international standardisation

  • Develop African regional standards for products and conditions that are specific to Africa

Regional development of con formity assessment services
Regional development of con-formity assessment services challenges and opportunities

  • Calibration services (industrial and legal metrology, proficiency testing)

  • Reference laboratories (chemistry and microbiology for food safety, animal and plant health)

  • Management system certification: Quality, environment, HACCP

  • Accreditation

  • Scientifically based risk assessment

Present products and markets

Markets challenges and opportunities


Present products and markets

Targeted export strategies

Markets challenges and opportunities


Targeted Export Strategies

The just in time export strategy

Tariffs challenges and opportunities

and quota




Market requirements

TBT 1)

The target



SPS 1)

Competitive products

Recognised documentationof compliance


1) and other non-tariff barrier






The Just-in-Time Export Strategy

Supplier.Produceand sell

Quality as a competitive strategy

Excellence challenges and opportunities

Total quality management

Quality assurance/management

Statistical quality control


Quality as a competitive strategy





The important role of the nsb
The important role of the NSB challenges and opportunities


  • Industrial as well as food safety, animal and plant health

  • Arm length distance, independence from government

  • Establish a good committee structure

    Other services:

  • Information centre, incl. WTO enquiry point

  • Laboratory testing

  • Certification services

  • Calibration services, possibly metrology institute

  • Training

    A national focal point for quality and product safety

Conclusions challenges and opportunities

  • Africa faces very large and multi-facetted challenges in the areas of quality and product safety

  • National policies should guide development priorities

  • Targeted and specific strategies are required in order to succeed

  • Regional cooperation is important for rapid development

  • Export development must be accompanied by the relevant conformity assessment structure

  • Both national and regional developments require technical assistence

How do you eat an elephant
How do you eat an elephant? challenges and opportunities