Standards and market access have been identified as some of the enablers of the ‘Big Four’ agenda and key facilitator for accessing target export markets under the Integrated National Export Development and Promotion Strategy. New markets such as Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was launched in July 2019 by African heads of states following successful ratification, have created new expectations and opportunities.
In addition, Kenya joined the league of oil-exporting countries on 1st August 2019 when the first deal to export 200,000 barrels of oil at a price of 12 million US dollars (1.2 billion KSh.) was concluded. Kenya’s third Medium Term Plan for 2018-2022 has in this regard prioritized mining of petroleum, gas and minerals under the Economic Pillar. The opening of Kisumu and Lamu Ports is expected to create further growth opportunities envisioned in the “Big Four” agenda.
The EAC Common Market Protocol, Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and WTO/TBT agreement, present an important need to harmonize National Standards and progressively adopt the East African, ARSO and International Standards that are based on Economic, Policy and Stakeholder priorities. In addition, this plan provides a framework for supporting through standardization, EAC 5th development strategy (2016/17-2020/21), African Union Agenda 2063 goals and the Global Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In a regulatory context, execution of this plan will make the work of regulators easier by incorporating developed Kenya Standards in technical regulations.
The National Standardization Plan should be understood as a call for action to all stakeholders to participate and contribute towards addressing the current and future standardization needs and priorities. This National Standardization Plan has been developed to respond to the changing situation and new demands arising out of liberalization of world economies and new developments.
Taking into consideration the emerging challenges and opportunities presented by the new developments, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) as the National Standards Body is strongly committed in ensuring that the standards development process is aligned with the technological, economic and social priorities of the Kenyan Nation and the provisions of the Standards Act, Cap. 496 of the Laws of Kenya.
Some of the strategic objectives aimed at supporting the implementation
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