KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) unveiled 416 new standards on the occasion of the 2023 World Standards Day, focusing on crucial sectors such as food and agriculture.

This move aims to elevate the safety and quality of products in the Kenyan market, furthering the nation’s commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3, which revolves around ensuring good health and well-being for all.

KEBS, the regulatory body spearheading the standardization efforts, has long been at the forefront of safeguarding the quality of products circulating in Kenya.

With the introduction of 416 new standards, the agency has propelled the total number of regulated standards to an impressive 10,347.

KEBS Managing Director, Esther Ngari, expressed the agency’s unwavering dedication to advancing safety and quality standards.

She emphasized that these standards are pivotal in propelling Kenya towards becoming globally competitive and aligning with the nation’s dedication to safety, quality, and innovation.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano lauded KEBS for its pivotal role in realizing the broader objectives of the Kenya Kwanza government, reports The Star.

Miano highlighted how these initiatives are instrumental in shaping products that reflect Kenya’s commitment to excellence and safety, emphasizing that these standards are the bedrock of Kenya Vision 2030.

The event brought together key stakeholders in the standards sector who discussed the cardinal role of standards in fostering a sustainable and progressive nation.

“Our partnership with KEBS has resulted in a 91.6% reduction in turnaround time for test results at KEBS satellite labs and increased the accuracy of calibration testing by about 30%. We strive to ensure that we maintain high-quality standards, especially for products meant for export, and reduce the costs associated with trade,” Ahmed Farah, Country Director at TradeMark Africa, stated.

However, amidst these commendable efforts, challenges persist. Industry Principal Secretary Juma Mukhwana acknowledged the need to address the functionality of existing standards in the market.

He emphasized that while Kenya boasts an impressive array of standards, only a fraction of them—around 10 percent—are actively functional across sectors.

Mukhwana challenged KEBS to either replace or revitalize these standards to suit the evolving market demands.

World Standards Day

World Standards Day, celebrated annually on October 14th, offers a platform to amplify the importance of standardization.

This collaborative effort, led by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), underscores the power of international standards in shaping a healthier, equitable world.

“World Standards Day is an exceptional opportunity for humanity, our esteemed members, stakeholders, and all those who understand the power and potential of International Standards. It is a moment to acknowledge the committees who develop these standards,”  said the KEBS MD.

The theme for World Standards Day 2023, ‘Promoting Good Health and Well-Being,’ resonates profoundly with KEBS’ efforts, aligning with their mission to ensure the health and well-being of all Kenyan citizens, according to Farah.

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