TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has signed a Sh152 million ($1.6 million) deal with the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards to help boost cargo inspection.
South Sudan is regarded as an emerging market for Kenya’s industrial goods as well as the re-exports ordered through the port of Mombasa.
The strengthening of its quality agency is also set to cut the amount of counterfeits and sub-standard goods that come into Kenya through the border of the two countries.
The partnership, being funded by a grant from the UK government’s Department for International Development, will see TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) provide technical support to the nascent quality regulator, improving the speed at which it clears shipments.
The agency’s officials said the partnership was meant to make the bureau a strong quality regulator whose staff fit the bill. It will also support the development of standards in line with the standards, quality, metrology and testing regulations and help create better laboratories.
“As a young nation, SSNBS will play a critical role in developing standards for South Sudan that are in line with EAC standards. The SSNBS will also receive a state-of the-art laboratory equipment to aid in streamlining trade, cutting the cost of doing business and bringing down costs to consumers,” TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) South Sudan Country Director Eugene Torero said in a statement.
The regulator’s staff will be trained in food safety and standards development and technical regulations.
The support is also aimed at helping the bureau to build collaborative engagements with the East African Community countries in product certification and enhancing regional integration and trade.
Records by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that Kenyan exports to South Sudan reached Sh19.8 billion compared to Sh17.9 billion in 2012.
The South Sudan agency is visiting retail outlets, bakeries and bottled water firms to set standards and get consumers used to get quality products.
Source: Business Daily