Nairobi – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) celebrated World Quality Day on Tuesday, dedicating this year’s observance to the enhancement of local manufacturing and product standards.
According to Kenya News Agency, the event in Nairobi highlighted the organization’s focus on compliance with quality standards, consumer protection, environmental stewardship, and innovation. Principal Secretary of the State Department for Industry, Dr. Juma Mukhwana, addressed the impact of importing goods that could be produced within Kenya, emphasizing the loss of employment opportunities for the youth that this trend entails.
Dr. Mukhwana noted the public perception that locally manufactured products do not match the quality of imports and stressed the importance of changing this viewpoint. “What we need to realize as a country is that when we import, we are exporting jobs to other countries thus denying our youth the much-needed job opportunities,” he explained. In a move to bolster local manufacturing, the government is taking steps to reduce the importation of goods that can be made domestically.
Additionally, Dr. Mukhwana advocated for the ‘Buy Kenya Build Kenya’ initiative, encouraging manufacturers to label their products accordingly and urging Kenyan consumers to prioritize local goods to stimulate the manufacturing sector.
To further promote local enterprise, the government envisages the establishment of dedicated manufacturing zones in each county, inviting Kenyan citizens to bring their skilled ideas to fruition.
Peter Munyiri, Chairman of the National Standards Council, outlined KEBS’s commitment to fostering policy improvements and investments essential for supporting and empowering businesses across the nation. He called upon all Kenyans to sustain a focus on quality beyond the dedicated week.
Esther Ngari, the Managing Director of KEBS, spoke of the bureau’s ambitious goal to educate 24,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) on quality adherence, reinforcing its importance not just as a concept but as a cultural norm.
The theme for this year’s World Quality Day, ‘Realizing Your Competitive Potential,’ underlines the crucial role of quality standards in achieving competitive advantage in the global market.