This Website Provides a summary of some useful information made available to delegates of the 28th General Assembly of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), scheduled for June 27 to July 1, 2022, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Brief of Cameroon…

Brief on ARSO

The African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) is an intergovernmental body created by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), currently the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in 1977. The main mandate of ARSO is to harmonize African standards and regulations, as well as conformity assessment procedures. The objective of ARSO is to reduce Technical Barriers to Trade with the aim of promoting intra-African and international trade, improving the competitiveness of SMEs and accelerating the industrialization of the continent.

ARSO members are drawn from African countries through their national standards offices. ARSO currently has 42 member states, (Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia , New State of Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe , Chad, Djibouti, Morocco, Somalia with Zanzibar as an observer member). It should be noted that Cameroon is one of the 21 founding member countries of the organization.

In accordance with the statutes of ARSO, the latter is composed of several bodies: The General Assembly, the Council, the Central Secretariat and the Specialized Committees. The presidency of the organization is currently ensured by Cameroon through Mr. Charles BOOTO à NGON, Director General of the Standards and Quality Agency.

Thus, from June 27 to July 1, 2022, the 28th General Assembly of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), will be held in Yaoundé, Cameroon on the theme “The role of standardization and conformity assessment for the next 41 years”.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly is ARSO’s highest governance body. It is a major annual event that mobilizes the main decision-makers in Africa and around the world in terms of standardization, and allows all participants to make the most of their participation, through the exchange of ideas and best practices, discuss key Pan-African Quality Infrastructure issues and build useful relationships for standardization in their respective business sectors. Moreover, with the start of trade within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAf),The General Assembly organized in Cameroon is of great importance for Cameroon for several reasons. On the standardization side, it will allow the country to accelerate discussions with the General Secretariat of the body for the adoption of harmonized African standards (ARSO), essential in the context of the ZLECAF and the enlargement of the PECAE. to all products imported into Cameroon. The portfolio of Cameroonian standards could then double, going for example from approximately 3,000 to 6,000 standards.The presence on Cameroonian soil of ARSO’s technical and financial partners will also facilitate the search for funding for the training of personnel and the equipment of the sub-regional metrology laboratory currently being built by ANOR. Thanks to this meeting, ANOR will also be able to place itself, on the one hand, in a good position to benefit from training for its staff, members of the technical committees and stakeholders. On the other hand, ANOR will thus benefit from support in the implementation of its maturity model within the framework of support for companies in the quality approach.Due to the importance of the items on the agenda of this session of the General Assembly, approximately three hundred (300) delegates from ARSO member countries and partners are expected in Cameroon.

Event Components

1. The ARSO Champions Meeting – Created in 2017, the ARSO Champions Forum is a platform bringing together all the leading countries in the development of Quality Infrastructure according to the Regional Economic Communities. This platform aims, through designated leading standardization bodies, to mobilize African States that are not members of ARSO to join this regional standardization organization. The forum is made up of the following states: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

2. ARSO Council Meeting – This ARSO steering body is made up of 12 members: Botswana, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The role of the Board as a governing body is to decide beforehand on the issues on the agenda which will subsequently be submitted to the General Assembly, which is the supreme body. This 66 th session is unique in that it will see not only the end of the mandate of the current members, but also the election of its new members for the next three years.

3. African Standardization Day – Established in 2013, the African Day of Standardization, which is celebrated every March 21, has reached its 10th edition under the theme “Agenda 2063 and the ZLECAF of the African Union – the role of standardization and evaluation of compliance over the past 41 years”. The key festivities of this day will take the form of a mini exhibition fair for products made in Africa. It will be a question of giving the opportunity to certain entrepreneurs to exhibit their know-how on the sidelines of the work of the 28th AG of ARSO and thus promote the Made in Cameroon label. A conference and debates around the issue of standardization and quality in Africa will also be organized.

4. The ARSO General Assembly – The General Assembly is the main deliberative, decision-making and representative body of the organization. Such an annual meeting makes it possible to report on the activities carried out during the past year, to discuss the projects for the following year and to validate the financial part. The General Assembly is an opportunity to validate the accounts, give discharge to the leaders of their management, to vote on the possible renewal of the governing bodies and to develop the association in its main orientations.

5. Industrial and tourist visits – Industrial and tourist visits will allow foreign participants to discover Cameroonian know-how in terms of innovation and quality approach. Participants will thus have the opportunity to visit companies that are leaders and models in terms of compliance with standards and quality. Some tourist sites around the city of Yaoundé will also be visited.