SAZ targets SMEs for certification

SAZ targets SMEs for certification

HARARE, January 25 (The Source) – The Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) says it will this year target training small-scale enterprises (SMEs), now a key driver of Zimbabwe’s economy, to invest in quality and ensuring that their products meet international standards for possible export.

Government officials say SMEs make up 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s economic activity and contribute more than 50 percent to the gross domestic product but miss out on benefits such as improved quality control, technology and skills transfer that are derived from dealing with large businesses on the back of lack of standardisation of their products.

SAZ director general, Eve Gadzikwa said SMEs are among the priority list of companies targeted under a pilot exercise that will be carried out this year to ensure that they get certification.

“For SMEs, we will identify at least 10 companies that are SMEs, and run a pilot exercise that will show that it’s actually possible for SMES to be certified under the Standard Association of Zimbabwe,” Gadzikwa told journalists on Tuesday.

SAZ personnel last year underwent training in Sweden for the programme, she added.

Gadzikwa, who is the current president of Africa Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), said standardisation of products in Africa would be the focus of a four-day ARSO conference to be held in Victoria Falls in March.