Minister Ndhlovu Highlights Standardization at Victoria Falls Conference

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe — On May 30, 2024, the Standardization and Business Leaders’ Conference took place at Elephant Hills Hotel, with Hon. N.M. Ndhlovu, Minister of Industry and Commerce, leading the discussions. This pivotal event, supported by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), gathered industry experts, government officials, and business leaders to explore the role of standardization in sustainable development.

The conference, themed “Standardization Revolution: Transforming Industry and Consumer Thinking for Sustainable Development,” focused on the necessity of standardization amidst rapid technological changes and climate challenges. Minister Ndhlovu emphasized that adopting and adhering to standards is crucial for Zimbabwe’s goal of achieving Upper Middle-Income status by 2030.

A significant highlight of the conference was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) and ZABS. This agreement follows a recent MoU with the Kenya Bureau of Standards, signaling Zimbabwe’s commitment to strengthening trade ties and enhancing economic growth through collaboration.

The Minister pointed out that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offers immense opportunities for Zimbabwe and other African nations to boost intra-African trade and industrial development. He stressed the importance of producing quality goods that meet international standards to improve Zimbabwe’s competitiveness on the global stage.

Minister Ndhlovu also discussed the importance of including youth in standardization efforts, encouraging their participation in initiatives like the Africa Organization for Standardization (ARSO) Continental Essays Competition. He highlighted the Consignment-Based Conformity Assessment Programme as a crucial measure to prevent the importation of sub-standard products, ensuring consumer safety and environmental protection.

The conference underscored the need for collaboration among industries, regulators, consumers, and academia to ensure that standards are effective and responsive to emerging trends. Minister Ndhlovu called for a collective effort to promote a culture of standardization that supports long-term sustainable development.

The event concluded with a celebration of the successful hosting of the conference by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe. Participants were also invited to explore the natural beauty of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Minister’s message was clear: through standardization, Zimbabwe can enhance its industrial capacity, boost trade, and achieve sustainable development, benefiting both the nation and the continent.

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