The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), October 2001

Sectors : Employment and Training, Industry, Science, research and technology general
Organisation : AU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Industry

“158. Objectives
- To increase the production and improve the competitiveness and diversification of the domestic private sector, especially in the agro-industrial, mining and manufacturing subsectors, with potential for exports and employment creation;

- To establish organisations on national standards in African countries;

- To harmonise the technical regulatory frameworks of African countries.

159. Actions
At the African level:

- Develop new industries or upgrade existing ones, where African countries have comparative advantages, including agro-based industries, energy and mineral resource-based industries;

- Acquire membership of the relevant international standards organizations...

...- Establish national measurement institutions to ensure harmonisation with the international metrology system. Such activities will always remain the responsibility of government;

- Ensure that testing laboratories and certification organisations are set up to support the relevant national technical regulations. Where they do not exist, such organisations should be established as soon as possible;

- Establish an accreditation infrastructure, such as the International Standards Organisation (ISO) system, which is acceptable internationally. Such an accreditation infrastructure can be nationally based where the industry is strong enough to maintain it, otherwise regional structures should be contemplated. Appropriate funding to ensure membership of international structures such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) should be made available;

- Pursue mutual recognition of test and certification results with Africa’s major trading partners. Generally, this will only be possible if the framework for standards, technical regulations, measurement, tractability and accreditation are in place and can be shown to meet international requirements.

At the international level:

- Facilitate partnership through the development of mechanisms, such as joint business councils, for information-sharing between non-African and African firms and for working towards the establishment of joint ventures and subcontracting arrangements;

- Assist in strengthening African training institutions for industrial development, particularly through the promotion of networking with international partners;

- Promote the transfer of new and appropriate technologies to African countries;

- Develop and accept a best-practice framework for technical regulations that meet both the requirements of the World Trade Organisation.s (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the needs of Africa. The technical regulation frameworks of the developed countries may be too complex for many African countries;

- Establish standards bureaux, which would provide the industry and government with the necessary information on international, regional and national standards, thereby facilitating market access. These centres should be linked to the relevant international, regional and national standards information centres so that the latter can act as the national WTO/TBT enquiry points;

Ensure the development of appropriate regional and national standards through the establishment of appropriate technical committee structures representing the stakeholders of the countries, as well as managing such committees in line with ISO/IEC directives and WTO/TBT requirements.”