UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has received a boost in laboratory testing equipment donated by Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) with support from the Danish Government.
The equipment worth USD 1,885,280 will enable UNBS to decentralize its laboratory testing services to its Regional Offices in Mbarara, Gulu and Mbale, hence take the testing services closer to the people.
“Denmark is passionate about promoting private sector development in Uganda and the decentralization of testing services will promote a conducive business environment, ensure improved quality of products and contribute to efficiency in UNBS’ service delivery,” H. E Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen said during the launch of the equipment.
Laboratory testing is instrumental in securing export markets for Ugandan products by carrying out tests required by the International markets.
It enables testing of locally manufactured products especially from SMEs to check their conformity with the quality standards, thus helping the manufacturers improve product quality and access the market.
Testing also assists local manufacturers and researchers in product development by testing their samples to determine conformity during the development process.
It further protects consumers by testing products on the market, both imported and locally made, to ensure that they are safe for human consumption.
The UNBS Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru said that the decentralization of UNBS laboratory testing services will support agro-industrialisation, the parish development model and reduce the cost of doing business.
This is in line with the UNBS mandate of facilitating trade and strengthening the economy of Uganda by assuring the quality of locally manufactured products to enhance their competitiveness for exports to the regional and international markets.
Decentralization to cut analysis time
Mr. Ebiru added that decentralization will also reduce the turnaround time for analysis of samples in support of the certification process of various products for easy market access.
The decentralization of UNBS testing services means that in the near future, chemical and microbial analysis of identified commodities such as edible fats and oils, milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables, cereal and cereal products, fish, meat, honey and horticultural products, will be done at the Regional Offices.
This development was revealed during the official launch of another set of equipment worth USD 93,594 used for testing Personal Protective Wear used in the fight against COVID-19, received from TMEA with support from the Danish Government, at the UNBS Headquarters in Bweyogerere.
The equipment received includes; Rapid Alcohol Analyser used for determination of alcohol content, pH meters used for determination of the pH levels; Splash Resistance tester for determination of resistance to penetration and Bursting Strength Tester for determination of bursting pressure strength.
The equipment are being used to test products such as alcoholic beverages which include spirits, vodka, gin, rum, beer, Kombucha and soft drinks for conformity assessment, which is in line with the UNBS mandate of consumer protection and strengthening the economy of Uganda by assuring the quality of locally manufactured products to enhance their competitiveness in regional and international markets.
TradeMark East Africa is an organization funded by a range of development agencies with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through trade.
It seeks to increase trade by unlocking economic potential through increased physical access to markets, enhanced trade environment and improved business competitiveness.