I am delighted to be part of this inaugural business meeting where our three national organizations offering complementary quality services in scientific metrology, standards and quality assurance, and legal metrology will share information and update you on developments in their respective domains as it pertains to issues of quality and standardization.
The three national bodies mandated to oversee the quality infrastructure in Zimbabwe, namely SIRDCӳ National Metrology Institute (NMI), the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) and the Trade Measures Department (TMD) in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce have come together for the first time with the view to publicize and explain their activities to you our stakeholders in industry and commerce.
This is indeed an opportunity to interact with you and provide clarity where necessary, on our singular and collective mandates, as we seek to offer you a better and efficient service.
As you might be aware the NMI is one of 12 research institutes under SIRDC, the Zimbabwe Technology Centre. SIRDC was established in February 1993 by the Government of Zimbabwe, to spearhead the industrialization of the country through research and development, technology transfer, and commercialization of research results.
SIRDC institutes cover the broad and specialized areas of Metrology, Biotechnology, Food Technology, Biomedical Technology, Building Technology, Energy Technology, Electronics, Metallurgy, Information and Communication Technology, Environmental Science, Geo-Information and Remote Sensing, Production Engineering, and Polymer Science.
Therefore, apart from the metrology and calibration services offered by our NMI, SIRDC invites you to take full advantage of the scientific and technical expertise that resides in our research institutes.
At this juncture, please allow me to talk briefly about Globalization and Quality Infrastructure.
Modern open market economies thrive on global trade and free movement of goods and services. For this purpose, consumers all over the world must have confidence in the consistent supply of quality products and services. This therefore places high demands on the quality infrastructure of a country.
In order to prove the conformity of a particular product or commodity with required standards or regulations, qualified and competent testing laboratories are necessary. These laboratories must, on their part, have access to an accurate measurement system and technology and must prove their competence and transparency by accreditation.
Quality infrastructure therefore refers to all the fields of metrology, standardization and testing systems, as well as the quality management system (represented here today by three National Standards Bodies who are the main pillars of the Zimbabwe National Quality Infrastructure, namely, Department of Trade Measures, and Standards Association of Zimbabwe, and SIRDC-NMI).
Although these three are distinct operational entities, they are closely associated forming a network whose logical linkage is based on a complementary technical hierarchy. Thus, the single elements provide specific expertise to make the national quality infrastructure highly integrated, functional and complete. In the absence of one of the three, the national quality infrastructure system collapses and credibility is lost.
This national system must operate in concomitance with, and mirror the regional and international standardization guidelines. Only in this way will participation in international trade and exchange of quality goods and services become possible and acceptable. The quality infrastructure serves the producers and consumers in equal measure at each step of the value chain. It makes trade possible in the first place and ultimately protects the environment, thus ensuring the safety of the people.
Ladies and gentlemen, the institutional linkage of SIRDC-NMI, SAZ and Trade Measures is therefore important and sacrosanct. It creates the basis for domestic and international credibility during the movement of goods and services both within and outside the country.
A division-of-labour system comprising regional and global bodies ensures that measurement technical competence, legal regulations, industrial standards, and the requirements placed on the accreditation laboratories are in harmony, internationally.
In other words the contractual partners in the value chain trust and have confidence in each other because of the peer review mechanisms and the measurement traceability chain. Hence, a functioning quality infrastructure does not only guarantee transparency in trade, but it also stimulates technological innovation and industry competitiveness leading to commercial success.
With these few words, I would like to thank the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for their support which has enabled our three national standard bodies to acquire and maintain state of the art testing and analytical equipment for our laboratories.
Through government support SIRDC is proud to announce that four NMI Laboratories namely, Mass, Volume, Temperature and Dimensional Laboratories were granted ISO 17025 Accreditation through SANAS and SADCAS over the last two years. This has enabled us to meet international standards expected of us as the custodians of national measurement standards in Zimbabwe.
In conclusion, I would like to call upon our local industry to fully utilize the combined services offered by the three national standards bodies. I also urge the three organizations to continue to work together and complement each otherӳ efforts as we strive to make Zimbabweӳ industry competitive again on the global stage.
I hope you will find the breakfast meeting enlightening and informative in answering any concerns you might have as leaders of industry and commerce in Zimbabwe.
Thank you for your attention.
Speech by SIRDC Chief Executive Officer,
Dr Robson Mafoti, at the Breakfast Meeting of National Standards Bodies, Meikles Hotel, Harare,
1 February 2013
- Permanent Secretary: Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa
- SAZ Director-General, Mrs Eve Gadzikwa
- SADCAS Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Maureen Mutasa
- Captains of Industry and Commerce
- SIRDC Directors, Management & Staff
- Ladies and Gentlemen