The Nigerian government is actively striving to enhance the quality of traded products both within Africa and globally. It asserts that progressing beyond raw material exports is essential to realizing the collective objectives outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),leadership reports.
During the 69th African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) Council meeting in Abuja, hosted by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Doris Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, represented by Mrs. Comfort Lenkat Emenb, the director of Weights and Measures in the ministry, drew attention to the underindustrialized state of the African economy. She noted the prevalent pattern of exporting raw materials and importing value-added goods.
Dr. Anite highlighted the current situation, stating, “The African economy remains unindustrialized, exporting raw materials to import value-added goods. Two figures bear eloquent witness to this state of affairs: Africa’s share of world trade is 4 percent, while trade between African countries represents 17 percent of their global trade.”
In response, she called for collaborative efforts among Regional Economic Communities, African Union institutions, the private sector, and standardization stakeholders to effectively implement the AfCFTA. The minister underscored the importance of establishing a quality infrastructure that supports quality assurance based on internationally recognized standardization, metrology, technical regulation, conformity assessment, and accreditation practices.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okeke, the Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), emphasized the significance of the ARSO Council in approving harmonized African standards. He highlighted its role in facilitating trade within the AfCFTA and contributing to a global context. Dr. Okeke clarified that this approval process ensures the deployment of the highest standards of quality, safety, and innovation, not only facilitating trade within the AfCFTA but also contributing to the global trade landscape.