Improved export capacity and consumer protection in Malawi through quality and standards

Improved export capacity and consumer protection in Malawi through quality and standards

LILONGWE, 5 December 2018 – The final Steering Committee Meeting of a project aiming to develop a robust standardization, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology (SQAM) infrastructure in Malawi was held today to highlight its achievements, take stock of the lesson learned and celebrate its successful closure. Taking place at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MoITT), the event brought together the project’s counterparts and donors.

Initiated in 2012 with funding from the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Malawi Government, the SQAM project was implemented under UNDP leadership by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) in cooperation with the MoITT.

“Among all technical cooperation projects in Malawi, SQAM has been one of the most successful projects that I have witnessed,” said Andrew Spezowska, UNDP Portfolio Manager and Co-chair at the event. “The SQAM project has greatly contributed to an efficient and adequate national quality infrastructure with direct benefits for Malawian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and indirect long term benefits for Malawian citizens in terms of improved protection of consumer rights.”

UNIDO's Chief Technical Project Advisor, Ouseph Padickakudi, said: “We are proud to acknowledge the good results achieved by the project and we thank all the stakeholders, donors and implementing agencies for their continuous commitment and cooperation towards the very successful implementation of the project. Through SQAM we have made a significant contribution to the export capacity and consumer protection of the country.”

The project’s main achievements include the internationally recognized accreditation of selected testing laboratories and conformity assessment services offered by the MBS and the development of the National Quality Policy and National Quality Strategy, and of the MBS Strategic Plan for 2017-2022. The project also provided capacity building through specialized trainings at internationally recognized institutions and helped procure and install state-of-the-art equipment for the testing and calibration laboratories of the MBS.

Furthermore, the project strengthened the MBS as a National Enquiry Point to the information and notification requirements of the World Trade Organization’s Technical barriers to trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) agreements, and provided technical assistance to a pool of SMEs to help them comply with quality requirements and obtain ISO 9001 and 22000 certifications.

The sustainability plan of the SQAM project contains a rollout strategy for accreditation of additional scopes and the project beneficiary – the MBS – is committed to update all stakeholders on future achievements.

The sister project on “Market access and trade capacity building for agro-industrial products (MATCB)”, which is funded by Norad, also contributed to the sustainable operations of the MBS.

For more information, please contact:

UNIDO Department of Trade Investment and Innovation