THE International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has advised Tanzania to identify specific areas where it can get international support to ensure importation of quality goods.
The visiting ISO Secretary General, Mr Rob Steele, said in Dar es Salaam on Monday that Tanzania should identify at least five top products where ISO can technically assist in ensuring the goods are imported with strict observation of required quality and standards.
"I am advising the country to select top products that may need ISO involvement in determining the quality and standards as issues of standards are absolutely vital today than it was the case five years ago," he said. Mr Steele who is on official visit to the country was speaking at a seminar on "Benefits of Standardization for Competitive Trade" organized by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to raise public awareness on international standards.
Opening the seminar, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industries and Trade, Ms Joyce Mapunjo, said Tanzania appreciates ISO assistance in various areas and called for continued support to enable the country and the developing world at large effectively compete in international trade.
"Based on Tanzania's needs and experiences, my government would like to partner with ISO in various areas including the development of standardization and quality assurance policy as well as in capacity building," she said. Other priority areas according to the PS include catalyzing regional cooperation in standardization, quality assurance and conformity assessment regime.
She also asked ISO to assist developing countries like Tanzania in transforming into international standards the traditional knowledge of its people in preparation and preservation of food and drinks. Mr Steele who is also scheduled to visit other four African countries is today expected to officiate at a function of awarding certificates to a number of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.