Trade and Industry Minister, Calle Schlettwein says Namibians must make the economy more productive and competitive locally and internationally.
He said this, calling for all to participate in the implementation of the National Quality Policy.
He spoke at the World Metrology Day Commemoration and handing over of the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) Mass Calibration Laboratory Accreditation Certificate from the Southern Africa Development Community accreditation Service (SADCAS)
The NSI mass calibration laboratory is the first of its kind to be accredited in Namibia and is responsible for the establishment of a national measurement traceability system through maintenance of national measurement standards and dissemination of the traceability by providing calibration of mass pieces of the industry.
“International agreements and decisions concerning trade and social well-being of people increasingly require mutual recognition of measurements and tests among nations. The absence of such mutual recognition is considered a non tariff technical barrier to trade and an impediment to environmental and health related decision making,” he said.
He added that in recent years, Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) have been established relating to testing and calibration services. All these agreements rest upon the assumption of equivalence of national measurement standards and the relevant testing services in each country.
SADCAS Chief Executive Officer Maureen Mutasa also stressed that accreditation has become an important process worldwide, hence has become a prerequisite.
“Accreditation is now increasingly accepted as the most transparent, non discriminatory mechanism to assure competence of laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies. It helps safeguard the health and safety of the public’s and the environment. Ultimately accreditation helps reduce poverty and improves the quality of our lives,” she noted.
She had noted in her earlier presentation during NSI meeting with stakeholders held at Hilton that although accreditation was before seen as a voluntary activity mainly for export purposes; it has now been embraced by governments as a mandatory activity.
She however argued that African developing countries have not fully exploited the advantages offered by globalisation due to underdeveloped National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and unfavourable framework conditions for the private sector.
“In order to meet the Vision 2030 objectives and gain a competitive edge both within the SADC region and internationally, they have decided to rely on a developed national quality infrastructure to provide needed services to producers and services providers,” Schlettwein points out.