Lusaka, Zambia, 31 January 2015/ ACPEU TBT Programme: In Zambia the need to improve productivity for export in order to earn foreign exchange is a priority for the public and private sectors.

In order for the country to become more competitive, and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new global trade regime, and information technology, the country has to enhance its Quality Infrastructure capabilities to match requirements established by world markets.

Based on the Zambian priorities, the ACP-EU Technical Barriers to Trade Programme, together with the Zambia Bureau of Standards, launched beginning of 2015 a capacity building intervention towards Quality Infrastructure capabilities enhancement. More specifically, this intervention aims at: upgrading the existing capacities of the Zambia Bureau of Standards in terms of standardisation and management systems and supporting the accreditation process of key proficiency testing facilities. The project has also the objective of raising awareness on the key elements of the TBT/WTO Agreement among public and private relevant stakeholders.

So far, selected staff of the Zambia Bureau of Standards ZABS has been trained on the application ISO/IEC 17025:2005 requirements and in the implementation of the management system. The training has been conducted with the objective of achieving accreditation against the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. A two weeks training has been provided to ZABS Testing Laboratory staff consisting of two parts: 1) Interactive training course provided to 20 representatives of the Testing Laboratories; 2) Practical training Testing protocols in the Testing laboratories.

For some groups of the laboratory, a practical training in the Testing Laboratories was also provided including several testing exercises on: honey in terms of its quality and contamination aspects; mycotoxins; microbiological pathogens; pesticides residues.

Finally practical training sessions have also been organised on internal auditing for selected staff of Testing Laboratories.

This first set of training sessions shows already good progress in terms of staff capacities’ enhancement as well as encouraging steps towards the accreditation process for the Zambia Bureau of Standards.

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