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Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Embarks on Kick-Starting the National Quality Awards Programme

In response to the need to enhance the Country’s competitiveness through having institutions that are compliant with international requirements and their output guaranteed recognition in the export markets, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry developed the National Quality Policy (NQP) with the support from NORAD under the UNIDO-WTO Trade Capacity Building Framework Programme for Zambia (2009-2013). The NQP was approved by the Government of Zambia in 2010. The implementation of the NQP is intended to contribute to economic development by enhancing the export performance of Zambia through the re-engineering of Zambia’s National Quality Infrastructure. This is because the private sector would have access to and be able to comply with export country regulations, standards and buyers’ requirements emanating from enhanced and accredited testing and certification facilities in Zambia. In addition, the enhanced ability to provide to their clients internationally accepted certificates of conformity to product and management system standards will result in streamlining of export procedures, thereby increasing exports as more trade will be facilitated.

The key policy objectives in the national quality policy include the following:

  1. To ensure that goods and services produced and supplied in Zambia meet local and international quality requirements;
  2. To ensure that quality consciousness is raised amongst both the suppliers and the consumers
  3. To develop the human resource necessary to support the various standardizations, quality and technical regulation programmes;
  4. To promote and maintain a quality culture in public life and throughout society
  5. To develop and implement a national quality infrastructure and technical Regulations Framework aligned to and consistent with international best practices

One of the Policy prescriptions in attaining the policy objectives is the introduction and implementation of a National Quality Award (NQA) Programme. It is against this background that the Government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry intends to kick-start the National Quality Awards.

The main objective of the Awards Programme is to recognize and appreciate organizations and individuals who excel and are contributing to quality advancement in all sectors of Zambia, by having measurement and quality systems, procedures and processes that are in line with local, regional and international best practices. The programme will also recognize those who use quality advancement to support national economic development and growth. The award programme is expected to motivate market operators to use standards to add value to their products so as to competitively market their products and develop their brands internationally. The awards will motivate producers to put quality as the central focus of all their productions and to put quality at the forefront of their marketing agenda. The programme will also recognize individual contributions towards improving Zambia’s national quality infrastructure.

The Programme will aim at attracting broad national representation and participation from across all the 10 provinces, all sectors of the Zambian economy and across all business spectrum and sizes, i.e. small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and large ones. The winners in different categories will be eligible to represent Zambia at the SADC Annual Quality Awards.

The Business community is therefore called upon to positively respond to the call for entry when it is issued. The undersigned can be contacted for further details.

Mr. Tobias Mulimbika
Director – Industry
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry       
Janet Simwanza-Chilufya
National Project Coordinator
UNIDO Trade Capacity Building Framework Programme for Zambia

 

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