Nine representatives from National Quality Infrastructure Institutions from Burundi participated in a study tour in Tanzania and Kenya in December 2022.
The International Trade Centre through theEUfunded theMARKUP Burundiproject that focuses on strengthening the National Quality Infrastructure services in coffee and tea sectors, organised the study tour.
The tour was instrumental in helping improve the compliance with standards in Burundi by learning from implementation experiences in the two other EAC Partner States, the EAC Secretariat and the East African Business Council (EABC).
Participants familiarized themselves with good practices relating to quality management and learnt from experiences in the implementation of the EAC Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act 2006 (EAC SQMT Act 2006).
This was also an opportunity to observe the achievements of the two countries in the tea and coffee sectors.
Compared to the other EAC Partner States, quality assurance, quality control and testing laboratories in Burundi could be further developed.
Quality Infrastructure institutions visited in Tanzania, include Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Tea Board of Tanzania (TBT) and Tanzania Smallholders Tea Development Agency (TSHDA), Tanzania Plant, Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA), Tanzania Coffee Board and the Tanzania Coffee Association.
In Kenya, the Burundi delegation visited Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Plant, Health, Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Coffee Directorate of the Agriculture and Food Authority, Tea Board of Kenya, and Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS).
Following are the pertinent areas of improvement in Burundi that were highlighted during the interactions:Collaboration and consultation among government, universities, research centres and private sector are key for the development of successful quality infrastructure institutions enabling enterprises to access national, regional and international markets; Promotion of quality culture should not be restricted to the large enterprises or the manufacturing sector, but to all enterprises and sectors, including the primary agricultural producers as well as the public institutions; Accreditation of testing laboratories is an important milestone in the development of a national quality infrastructure institution and requires effort, investment and commitment of the laboratories; and Strengthened quality infrastructure institution is facilitated by sufficient competent human resources and good analytical laboratory equipment.