The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) marked World Quality Day by urging Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSEs) to embrace quality standards as a pathway to global market access and enhanced competitiveness.
The event served as a vital reminder of the integral role quality plays in everyday life, influencing businesses, consumers, and the broader society.
Celebrated globally, the World Quality Day underscores the critical role of quality in the daily lives of citizens, its positive impact on businesses, consumers, and society at large. It serves as a platform for advocating compliance with quality standards, consumer protection, and continuous innovation.
Principal Secretary, State Department of Industrialization Dr. Juma Mukhwana underscored the government’s commitment to supporting SMEs. “Fostering quality in our SMEs is pivotal for their growth and ability to compete internationally. Our vision is to see ‘Made in Kenya’ synonymous with world-class quality, positioning our products and services as globally sought-after for their excellence,” he stated.
Mukhwana added: “Quality is integral to our vision of transforming Kenya into a quality-driven regional powerhouse, benefitting not just our vibrant SME sector but also larger industries contributing significantly to our GDP. This comprehensive focus on quality elevates our national standards, ensuring that Kenyan businesses are well-positioned to compete on a global stage”.
While highlighting common misconceptions, Esther Ngari, Managing Director at KEBS, stressed the importance of continuous quality improvement beyond initial certification.
“Obtaining our quality mark should be viewed not as a final achievement, but as a starting point in a business’s ongoing commitment to quality. It’s crucial to understand that quality directly impacts consumer trust and overall business success. This approach is fundamental for ensuring safety, reliability, and optimal performance of products and services, which are key to driving business growth and contributing to the nation’s economic prosperity,” Ngari elaborated.
“Peter Munyiri, Chairman of the National Standards Council, emphasized the commitment to continual quality enhancement. ‘The introduction of the KEBS Medium Small Enterprise Policy marks a strategic move to bolster these vital businesses. It’s a policy designed to unlock potential through innovation, expanded market reach, and the adoption of new technologies. This initiative resonates deeply with this year’s theme, ‘Quality: Realising Your Competitive Potential.’ It highlights the journey of quality as not merely meeting regulatory standards but as an integral, ongoing process that’s key to the growth and long-term success of SMEs,’ he commented.
According to Dr. Godfrey Muriira, Director of Quality Assurance at KEBS, quality in SMEs transcends basic compliance, focusing on surpassing customer expectations and ensuring product and service safety and reliability. ‘Our involvement with SMEs extends beyond certification; we mentor them in the journey of quality assurance. This journey is vital, serving as a passport to not only local but also international markets. Given that SMEs contribute significantly to our GDP and provide substantial employment, their growth and success are crucial to our national economy,’ he stated.