In a landmark event celebrating World Standards Day, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) today unveiled 416 new emerging standards, signaling the country’s relentless pursuit of excellence, safety, and innovation. The event brought together key stakeholders, luminaries, and leaders dedicated to upholding and championing standards in Kenya and across the globe.
Hon. Rebecca Miano, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry (MITI), applauded KEBS, underscoring its pivotal role in realizing the broader goals of the Kenya Kwanza Government. “Through KEBS’s initiatives, we are ensuring that our products are globally competitive and reflect our nation’s dedication to safety, quality, and innovation. These standards form the backbone of the aspirations of Kenya Vision 2030,” she articulated.
Expanding on the significance of these standards, Esther Ngari, Managing Director, KEBS, emphasized their role in diverse sectors. “Today’s launch showcases our commitment to progress and the promotion of safety, quality, and sustainability,” Ms. Ngari said. She noted that ten of the newly introduced standards are geared towards intelligent transport systems, a move strategically aligned with the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, aiming to mitigate road traffic accidents.
Dr. Juma Mukhwana, Principal Secretary, State Department of Industry, MITI, echoed this sentiment. “The unveiling of these new standards marks a decisive step forward, bridging gaps in various sectors and enhancing the efficiency of our industries.”
He praised KEBS’s efforts in ensuring that sectors such as healthcare and nutrition have robust standards. Stringent measures ensure the safety of medical devices, notably syringes, directly impacting the reduction of disease spread. “By setting high benchmarks for products like baby food, KEBS provides the assurance of safety and optimal nutrition to our citizens,” he added.
Mr. Eddy Njoroge, Advisor to the ISO President, delved deeper into the global implications of these standards. “International standards are paramount in sculpting a world where well-being is universal,” Njoroge remarked.
He highlighted the role of standards in attaining SDG 3, “Good Health and Well-being.” Pointing out the swift development of COVID-19 vaccines and quality control of essential equipment, he demonstrated the tangible benefits of global collaboration.
Peter Munyiri, Chairman, of the National Standards Council, KEBS, added a visionary touch. Recently, nominated as Kenya’s Ambassador to India, Munyiri drew attention to the potential for stronger Kenya-India collaboration in healthcare. “Beyond medical tourism, there lies a vast realm of knowledge exchange, partnership building, and standard harmonization. This collaboration promises a brighter future, rich with opportunities and innovations for both nations.”
Njoroge further urged for the active participation of developing nations in the standard creation process. “Their inclusion is vital. It ensures that unique challenges and requirements are recognized and incorporated into the global framework, fostering an environment of mutual growth and understanding,” he emphasized.
Munyiri also reaffirmed his support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya, recognizing them as the heart of innovation and economic growth. “MSMEs play a vital role in our economy, and our dedication to providing them with the highest quality standards remains unwavering,” he stated.
Ahmed Farah, Country Director at TradeMark Africa restated the organization’s continued support for KEBS. He said, “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.”
As the event celebrated the essence of standards in fostering a sustainable and progressive nation, the collective voices resonated with the sentiment that standards are more than guidelines; they are the embodiment of Kenya’s vision for a brighter, safer, and more innovative future.