M a r k e t N e w s

Aspiring to Make Ethiopia a Manufacturing Hub

Posted on : Friday, 18th December 2015

Quality is not only Ethiopia's challenge of course but also it has been depicted in other developing nations too. African nations need to address trade related challenges, strengthen compliance related infrastructures and facilitate cross-border flows of goods and services to be become competitive in the markets. They have to build National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) programme to enable each of the local NQI institutions to match with their respective regional and international organizations.

Therefore, to facilitate NQI enabling conditions in the country, the government has divided the Ethiopian quality and standards authority into four isolated organizations. The government has given them a clear division of responsibilities in ensuring efficient handling of tasks. The structure meets World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements. It has to be put in practice now in an efficient way.
The NQI guarantees reliable industry standards and criterion to ensure high quality products are available for nations consumers and the export sector as well.
As of presently, Ethiopia has a inadequate infrastructures necessary to enforce international quality and industry standards. But the Ethiopian government is currently carrying out reforms in NQI area.
In recent NQI programme achievements and prospects conference held at Sheraton Addis, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said, "In GTP II, we take it a notch up! We are looking forward to seeing these NQI institutions make a wide-scale impact in the growing manufacturing and service sectors. We are moving away from imitating technologies to improving them. We are aspiring to make Ethiopia a manufacturing hub."
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke said that the emphasis on GTP II is on quality, productivity and competitiveness of Micro and Small Enterprises. The NQI institutions will play a critical role with the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology taking on an increasingly leading role as a main actor and champion of quality infrastructure.
The government is fully committed and continues to enact policies to create conducive business environment and laying the ground for well-functioning infrastructure to enable public and private sectors to deliver quality product and services to the export market, the Deputy Prime Minister added.
Science and Technology Minister Abiy Ahmed on his part said that NQI programme has made significant stride towards improving the capacity of these institutions in order to effectively serve the manufacturing and service providing industries in the country. According to the 2015 public-private and consumer survey data, 70 per cent of companies were satisfied with the services provided by these institutions compared to 56 per cent in 2013 and 46 per cent in 2008. "A testament to the great work we have achieved," Minister Abiy added.
"Ethiopia's march towards industrialization is facilitated by a well-functioning quality infrastructure which in turn garners further entry in to international market and WTO accession. Today is nothing but a deliberate act to remind you that quality infrastructure is crucial in the realization of our development objectives," he added.
GIZ Country Director Dr. Axel Klaphake said that NQI has successfully reformed the institutions responsible for establishing nationwide standards. Now, they take international norms and guidelines into account when advising businesses on how to achieve quality and they certify industrial products according to international standards. Due to this, high-quality products are now available for Ethiopian customers and the Ethiopian industry is fit for entering international markets.
GIZ-NQI Programme Manager Ulrich Plein said that the reforms have also increased the awareness of Ethiopian consumers with regard to relevance of nationwide standards and quality labels. Surveys have shown that the recognition of a quality mark products introduced by one of the NQI- institution has risen from 67- 77 per cent in one year.
Science and Technology Ministry Senior Advisor Blin Mamo said that according to the World Bank (WB), Ethiopia is poised to become a middle income country by 2025 as the country is registering impressive economic growth averaging 10.9 per cent and development led by agriculture, services and public investment of mega structures.
Blin further said that the WB confirms that investment in quality infrastructure can promote as much as 3 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country coupled with capacity building focused on human capital are critical underpinnings to upscale the predominantly agrarian economy to an industry splendour. The Ethiopian government is fully understanding this calling and is addressing the issue of quality in holistic manner.
The over all infrastructure status of Ethiopia is the sum of total picture depicted from the combination of NQI elements, Blin said.

Source : allafrica.com
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