UGANDA – Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has unveiled the 11th ARSO Continental Essay Competition, aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of standards among African university students.

With the theme “Empowering consumers through standardisation to achieve rights to safe quality goods and services,” the competition invites students below the age of 35 from across Africa to participate.

This competition offers a unique platform for African youth to voice their perspectives on standards, standardization, and their impact on consumer rights.

Participants are encouraged to craft essays of 1000-1200 words in English or French, exploring the challenges faced by consumers and the solutions provided through the implementation of standards and related policies.

The competition emphasizes the importance of a clear introduction, insightful analysis, and a conclusion rooted in personal opinions.

Participants stand a chance to win significant prizes, including USD 1000 for the continental winner, fostering a spirit of healthy competition.

First and second runners-up will receive USD 800 and USD 500, respectively, at the continental level. Regional and national winners will also be acknowledged, providing a platform for recognition at various levels.

The 2022/2023 essay competition was under the theme, “The role of standardisation in promoting the growth of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) for sustainable, inclusive and diversified industrial and economic development in Africa”.

The winners who were recently honored during the 2023 World Standards Day celebrations in their different countries included, Babalola Segun Samson from Nigeria, Omwoyo Frank from Kenya, and Zona Ndamase from South Africa.

Submission guidelines

To enter, students must submit their essays in Word format along with a scanned copy of the filled registration form and their university ID.

The submissions, due by 29th February 2024, should be sent to The competition emphasizes originality, prohibiting submissions that have been shown elsewhere or focus on specific entities.

The ARSO Continental Essay Competition is an annual event organized by the African Regional Organization for Standardization (ARSO).

ARSO is a continental standards body established in 1977 by the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

The organization’s primary objective is to facilitate intra-African and international trade through the harmonization of standards and conformity assessment procedures in Africa.

The essay competition was initiated to promote an understanding and appreciation of standards among African university students.

It serves as a platform for young minds to explore and articulate their perspectives on standards, standardization, and their impact on various aspects of society, including consumer rights, economic development, and technological innovation.

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