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Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has continued to invest in ICT Automation for enhanced Service delivery. This was revealed by UNBS Executive Director, Dr Ben Manyindo, on Tuesday at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, during release of the Standards body Annual Performance Report.
“As part of the medium term IT strategy, UNBS continues to invest in ICT platforms for enhanced service delivery. In the past two years, UNBS has been able to automate most of its services, including the development of UNBS APP. Other platforms include the e-portal for imports inspection, LIMS for laboratory, CIMS for certification, SIMS for standards and web store for procurement of standards on-line. E-MINZANI is in the process of being piloted and tested before roll out this year”, said Dr Manyindo.
Regarding the role of ICT in Standards Development, Dr Manyindo says; the ICT sector which is one of the critical sectors for the country in a bid to attain lower middle income status, the standards for network security and information security management systems were developed. He added that; the standards provide mechanisms for establishment, implementation, maintenance and improvement of information security management systems and conformity assessments, improve efficiency of production and facilitate international trade, thereby contributing to Uganda’s economic Development. He pointed out that; under textiles, standards for school clothing were developed to support manufacture of standard garments for use in schools. “These standards also directly contribute to the implementation of the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy considering that most of the school clothing are manufactured locally”, he said.
He in addition said; during the Financial Year 2018/19, UNBS undertook Product Certification and Management Systems Certification to improve the quality of locally manufactured products so that they are able to access regional and international markets. “As you are aware, the East African Community region has become a major destination for Ugandan exports. Uganda in June exported more of her goods to the East African Community (EAC) than any other region in the world, according to the latest Performance of the Economy Monthly Report released”, he added.
The report released by the Ministry of Finance shows that exports to the EAC region grew by 51.8 percent from US$ 89.40 million in May 2016 to US$ 135.74 million in May 2017. Exports to Tanzania and Kenya registered the largest increases of 114.5 percent and 111.2 percent respectively.
Dr Manyindo says; most of these exports are manufactured products that require UNBS Distinctive Mark, thus emphasizing the UNBS Distinctive Mark as a passport to regional markets and the need for manufacturers to invest in quality and certification of their products.
On Laboratory Product Testing, he said; UNBS laboratories are internationally accredited, which means the test results are recognized globally. “The e-certificates were successfully implemented under Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to improve on turnaround time. The turnaround time for testing products in UNBS Analytical Laboratories has generally improved from an average of 30 days in the last financial year to 20 days which is in line with our promise to customers of delivering laboratory test reports within 21 days upon submission of a product sample for testing”, he added.