STANDARDS

Kebs asked to retain current quality structures for next 15 years

At least 786 MSMEs have been incubated in past one year.

In Summary
  • The standards body Kebs has been spearheading product certification efforts that enables products to access markets.
  • It has developed 10,126 Kenyan Standards since 1976

KEBS offices
KEBS offices

Kenya's quality management structures should remain centralised for the next 15 years as the country builds capacity for voluntary options, a task force looking into standards and quality reforms has heard .

In its submission to the taskforce the National Standards Council has recommended that the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) continue to administer the quality management of goods.

 Within this time, the National Standards Council (NSC) said, a National Quality Policy will have been developed and fully implemented and the industry would have gained sufficient quality culture to support voluntary standards, metrology and conformity assessment systems.

 
 

This was one of the recommendations by the Taskforce on Standards and Quality Infrastructure Reforms in Kenya formed late last year by the then Trade Cabinet secretary Peter Munya. 

 

The Wachira Maina led team is expected to review and evaluate the weaknesses and shortcomings of the entire Standards and Quality Infrastructure.

The review includes, institutional architecture and arrangement to meet the country’s goals of managing and mitigating risks to quality, health, safety, environment, fair trade practices, and consumer protection, among others.

Speaking after submitting the report, NSC chair Bernard Ngore and secretary  Bernard Njiraini said Kenya is at the stage of development where some government support for National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) organisations is needed. 

''At such a fledgling stage, the local market may not be ripe enough to afford fully commercialised services which would be counterproductive to the national development goals,'' NSC said in a statement. 

The standards body Kebs has been spearheading product certification efforts that enables products to access markets.

As at the end of the second quarter of 2019/20, a total of 13,754 products (2,884 MSME and 10,870 from larger firms) had valid permits.

 
 

Kebs has incubated medium-small and micro-enterprise to improve the quality of their products. At least 786 MSMEs have been incubated in past one year. 

 

Kebs has grown from the development of Kenya’s first KS 07-01 standard in 1976 to the development of 10,126 Kenyan Standards.

By the end of May 2020, KEBS had harmonised 716 East Africa Standards and currently enjoys the counter endorsement of 1,136 international Standards.

“These standards facilitate trade across the world,'' Ngore said. 

Kebs implements a product certification scheme that involves product registration, development of schemes of supervision and control, product testing and certification.