Kenyans with expertise in various fields both in the public and private sectors will have a say in how and what standards are developed to ensure safe and quality products in the country.
It will not just be a few chosen individuals or organizations but anyone with the requisite skills and knowledge that will participate in the national standards development process.
This follows the reconstitution of the existing technical committees by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) as part of its strategy to improve standardization and the quality infrastructure in the country.
Speaking during the first ever National Technical Committee stakeholder forum, Bernard Njiraini, Ag. Managing Director, KEBS stated that reconstitution of National Technical Committees was informed by the principle of transparency to ensure all interested parties are represented and to facilitate openness in development of standards leading to free and fair processes.
“To date, standards development has been confirmed to few organizations and /individuals. We are moving away from that exclusionist approach to one where wider public participation will be the norm. Blending experience and new ideas will result in an optimal mix for the development of Kenya Standards that will meet the test of time,” said Lt. Col.(Rtd.) Njiraini.
Under the new constitution, Technical Committees will have diverse expert representation including academia, research institutions, regulators, traders, industrialists, consumer federations among others.
So far, a National Technical Committee of over 300 members drawn from all over country is already in place. The committee will be responsible for preparing and maintaining national standards.
“Creating a viable, sustainable and effective standards setting process, forms the basis for enhancement of Kenya’s internal trading capacity, increase Kenya’s product and services competitiveness globally and uplift the welfare of Kenyan manufacturers,” said Edward Njoroge, President-Elect, International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
date, KEBS has developed 9800 standards and has participated in harmonization of over 1500 EAC Standards to facilitate free movement of goods within the EAC region as per the East African Community (EAC) treaty and EAC common market protocol. Constitution of the Technical Committees shall be reviewed every three years.