NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – Women entrepreneurs have been urged to embrace quality standards in their product innovation and trade to fully enjoy the benefits of the growing markets both locally and internationally.
Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing Director Charles Ongwae noted that the only way the women can be involved in the world industrialisation would be through adoption of standards for their products to be accepted in the markets.
“There are many products which are developed every day and especially by women, which in one way or another are still being marketed on small scale. However, by taking advantage of standards and conformity assessment such products can be integrated into value chains and also sold in other markets,” Ongwae noted.
According to the Ongwae, lack of awareness around adherence to quality standards, coupled with poor access to markets, has continued to threaten the ability of entrepreneurs especially women, to compete with international markets.
He was speaking at the African Day of Standardisation, which celebrates achievements that Africa has accrued as a result of standardisation and conformity assessment while acknowledging efforts of all those who participate in the development of standards and the benefits accrued there from.
Industrialization Principal Secretary Julius Korir said the ministry is creating a favourable regulatory environment for the SME sector to be able to create opportunities through industrial clusters to be developed in the industrialization roadmap.
“Other than creating business linkages, improvement in quality and branding, knowledge and resources, we are enhancing the legal and regulatory environment by lobbying for legislation that could spur SME growth,” Korir said.
Currently, women account for a total of 52 percent according to the National Population Council statistics.
The figure demonstrates a crucial percentage of the country’s population which cannot be ignored.