26th April , 2016
Permanent Secretary MTIC
Development Partners-Embassy of Sweden/TMEA
Chairperson National Standards Council,
Programme Manager QUISP,
Members of the Private Sector,
Staff from MTIC and UNBS,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to welcome you all to this very important Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Awards ceremony. Uganda National Bureau of Standards with support from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the Quality Infrastructure Standards Programme (QUISP) has been supporting MSMEs from across various regions across the country as fully represented by a number of exhibitors. The purpose of the support was to provide technical guidance to MSMEs to enable them to ably implement standards and certification requirements, Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygienic Practices in order to manufacture safe and quality products which are fit for human consumption and can access markets at national, regional and international levels.
Compliance to standards is very critical to the protection of consumer health & safety, the environment, as well as ensuring fairness in trade. Products which comply with the standards requirements are marked with a Standardization Mark (S-Mark) or the Quality Mark (Q-Mark). Last year on 23rd June UNBS awarded 35 enterprises certificates of recognition for attaining product certification.
Ladies and gentle men I wish to inform you that a total of 36 products have been certified from 21 MSMEs with both Q and S marks. This means that these companies can access markets. Deliberate support to MSMEs can contribute revenue to government, create employment especially for the youth and women and contribute social economic transformation in line with the National Development Plan and Vision 2040.
I wish to inform you that UNBS is providing onsite technical guidance to over 100 MSMEs in a bid to raise the level of standards awareness and compliance to certification requirements.
UNBS continues to contribute to economic development through supporting the private sector in the areas of standardization, quality assurance, metrology and Testing. UNBS also play a key role in ensuring trade facilitation and consumer protection. I wish to inform you that because of our commitment and relevance to private sector, UNBS was the winner of the Private Sector Development Award 2015 as the best Government Agency.
Many more MSMEs are embracing UNBS services however UNBS’s capacity needs to be enhanced to meet its mandate most especially improving the laboratory infrastructure, staffing and funding.
I wish to commend the development partners for the support and my UNBS team for the job well-done. To the members of the private sector I commend you for the commitment and enthusiasm you have exhibited towards compliance to standards.
I am exceedingly grateful to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the Development partners for the support to UNBS which has enabled us implement our mandate especially as regards to strengthening the Ugandan economy by assuring the quality of locally manufactured products to enhance the competitiveness of exports at regional and international markets.
The support has benefited MSMEs to have their products tested for conformance free of cost and some having their certification fees waived which has enabled many enterprises to comply with standards and manufacture safe and quality products. The momentum generated however needs to be sustained to increase the number of safe and quality products which are fit for use and which can access markets.
I urge the members of the private sector to continue embracing standards in order to manufacture safe and quality products for improved quality of life and competitiveness of Ugandan products. Let me express my gratitude to my staff and the staff from MTIC for organizing this MSMEs award ceremony. With these remarks, it is now my pleasure to invite the Permanent Secretary to give his remarks.