USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub held a two-day training session on “Writing of Standards for Standards Technical Committee Chairpersons and Secretaries” in Blantyre, Malawi, for 20 participants, from March 4-5, in partnership with the Malawi Bureau of Standards.
The workshop trained participants on proper clarification of roles and responsibilities to manage technical committees effectively during standards writing, among other things.
A similar workshop was held in Maseru, Lesotho, from March 9-10, in partnership with the Lesotho Department of Standards & Quality Assurance (DSQA). The 17 participants in Lesotho (of which 10 were women) were Standards Technical Committee Chairpersons and Secretaries drawn from the government, private sector, academia, and regulators.
Lesotho is in the process of setting up technical committees to develop their own national standards. The training also follows the passage of legislation in July 2014 that established a National Standards Body (NSB) for the country. The Trade Hub helped Lesotho to develop a strategy and implementation plan for the NSB and assisted in the drafting of Lesotho’s National Quality and Food Safety Policies, all of which are critical to the successful establishment of the NSB.
The training provided an overview on WTO standards, the roles and responsibilities of technical committee chairs and secretaries, and stakeholder involvement necessary for successful standards development.