Stakeholders in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector have been challenged to ensure they produce and release quality and certified products into the market to enhance competitiveness.
Speaking during the Africa Industrialization Week held in Nanyuki town, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director (MD), Bernard Njiraini, said as much as SMEs view it difficult to comply with the standards and requirements put in place in enhancing quality production, it is essential for them to realize the need of embracing control in promoting sustainability and consistency in production.
“SMEs need to acknowledge that without standards there will be a lack of opportunity for growth or improved trade with other countries,” said Njiraini.
Njiraini noted that currently there is a low contribution to global trade with a record of about four per cent, and the gap can be bridged by facilitating trade through development of relevant standards.
“International markets only recognize products if they have the quality mark. We, therefore, encourage all manufacturers to adopt and embrace controls, since if they do not have control measures to manufacture their products, they may not be able to sell them,” Njiraini said.
Njiraini further called on consumers to be part of their journey in ensuring that the products that reach the market have the KEBS certification.
“I am encouraging consumers to enhance production of quality products through checking for certification of goods in the market,” the MD added.
The KEBS Boss asked Kenyans to consume local products, noting that policies such as the Import Substitution Policy will move towards preference of products made in Kenya.
KEBS works towards enhancing standardization in industry and trade through development of standards, conformity assessment, and testing, leading to improved confidence on the part of consumers regarding acquisition of quality products.
Africa Industrialization Week was launched, Tuesday, November 16th and will end on Sunday, November 21, 2021.
By Cynthia Ronoh