Related News

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has adopted over 100 standards on quality assurance, which will cover mainly agricultural products. This brings the number of adopted standards for the Comesa region to 105.

Comesa acting secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya revealed this at the opening of the second meeting of the sub-committee on standardisation and quality assurance held at the Comesa secretariat in Lusaka recently.
The adopted standards will among other things minimise disputes among trading member states, ensure that the bloc does not become a market for unsafe products, enhance market accessibility for products from the region, streamline requirements in technical regulations and sanitary and phytosanitary measures and promote the need for each country to have its own technical requirement.

Ngwenya added that there is need to urgently address the issue of standards and phyto-sanitary measures, if the region is to continue increasing trade among its members.

He said the issues of standards, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures have proved to be potential areas for future disputes in trade hence the need to resolve them urgently. As the Comes bloc approaches a customs union, harmonising requirements on standards and quality assurance will come into even sharper focus.

Some 85% of the 105 standards have just been adopted by the sub-committee on quality assurance for use in the Comesa region.
Some of the products which will benefit from the new standards are: food for infants and children, canned sweet corn, mangoes, strawberries, wheat flour, sorghum grain, peanuts, avocados, maize and maize meal.
The new standards will be circulated to member states with a recommendation that they adopt them as their national standards.