Within the SADC region consisting of 15 countries, world accreditation day commemorations started in 2009 with the issuance of press releases. In 2010 apart from the press releases, radio and television interviews and conferences were held in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Seychelles. This year, press releases on world accreditation day were widely circulated to stakeholders in all the SADC countries, radio and television interviews were held in some of the countries and conferences were held in 7 SADC countries namely Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Remarking about the increased world accreditation commemorations activities within the region, the SADCAS CEO Mrs Maureen P Mutasa said “We have graduated from just issuing press releases on World Accreditation day to successfully hosting many national conferences”.
In Botswana, the ISO/IEC 17025 Forum hosted a half day workshop in Gaborone on 9 June 2011 which was attended by 50 delegates and during which a SADCAS’ representative, Ms Jeanne Ranorovelo made a presentation on the “Role of SADCAS in supporting the work of regulators”. This was followed by a preliminary report on the survey of conformity bodies in Botswana, a survey undertaken by SADCAS through the network of NAFPs in all those countries that are serviced by SADCAS. The delegates were also updated on the latest developments in the establishment in Botswana of the National Testing Laboratory System whose mission is to provide access to quality testing services to industry and the public in general.
In DRC, a half day conference which was attended by 73 participants was held in Lubumbashi on 9 June 2011 to commemorate world accreditation day. Mrs Feza Matata and Mr Viki Mbuya Kanama the National Accreditation Focal Points Officers for DRC, made presentations on the role of SADCAS in support of the work of regulators and role of accreditation in facilitating trade and regional integration within SADC.
In Lesotho, a workshop was held on 9 June 2011 during which a senior government official opened the conference emphasizing the importance of accreditation and reflected on the establishment of SADCAS as a major regional achievement in its efforts to eliminate technical barriers to not only intra regional trade but also inter regional trade. This was followed by a presentation by Mr Azael Makara the NAFP-Lesotho who laid out the foundation for the guest speaker and a representative of SADCAS Mr Cyprian Mokhoro. Mr Mokhoro is a member of the SADCAS Board of Directors and he spoke on the “Role of SADCAS in supporting the work of regulators”. The workshop which was hosted the NAFP-Lesotho was attended by more than forty delegates mainly from energy, roads, food, water regulators etc.
In Seychelles, a half day conference hosted by the NAFP – Seychelles was held to mark world accreditation day. The conference which was held on 9 June at the Standard House, in Providence , Mahe and was attended by 41 participants including Government officials, Seychelles Bureau of Standards Board members and staff, regulators, consumer organizations and leaders of the business community. The conference was followed by a tour of the Seychelles Bureau of Standards laboratories by participants. A press release on world accreditation day was published in the Nation, a Seychelles daily newspaper whilst an article on the conference was subsequently published in the same newspaper on 10 June 2011.
In South Africa, the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) hosted a conference which was attended by over 250 delegates including delegates from a number of African Accreditation bodies, who had attended a Peer Evaluation course organized by the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) and delivered by the Asia Pacific Laboratory Cooperation (APLAC) trainers Mrs Roxanne Robinson and Mr Barry Ashcroft. Mr Ron Josias, the SANAS CEO, made the welcoming remarks whilst Mr Prags Govender, the Chairman of the SANAS Board of Directors, gave an overview of accreditation in South Africa. The key note address and opening of the conference was made by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Dr Rob Davies and followed by presentations by Mrs Roxanne Robinson on the recognition of the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement/IAF Multilateral Arrangement in the USA, Mrs Maureen Mutasa on the role of SADCAS in supporting the work of regulators, Ms Hanlie Badenhorst on the role of laboratories in assisting the regulators and a final presentation by Mr Tibor Szana from the Department of Labour on the benefits of accreditation in the regulatory domain. The conference ended with an assessor recognition ceremony during which SANAS assessors were recognized for their contributions to accreditation. The conference ended with a vote of thanks from Mr Mpho Phaloane senior Manager SANAS.
In Tanzania, the NAFP hosted a one day seminar to commemorate world accreditation day. The seminar which was held on 8 June 2011 at the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) headquarters in Dar es Salaam was attended by 30 stakeholders mainly from testing/calibration laboratories, certification and inspection bodies. The seminar was officially opened by Mr Charles Ekelege, the Director General of the TBS who in his remarks urged governments to use accredited conformity assessment bodies. He further encouraged conformity assessment bodies to utilize SADCAS services. This was followed by various presentations on accreditation including a paper on the role of accreditation bodies in supporting the work of regulators. Interviews were held with two of the most popular television channels in Tanzania to explain the role of accreditation in supporting the work of regulators.
In Zimbabwe, a half day world accreditation day conference was held on 10 June 2011 in Harare under the banner “Supporting the work of regulators”. The conference was attended by delegates drawn from accreditation stakeholders including regulators, conformity assessment bodies, government officials, consumers’ organization representatives, the academia and the media amongst others. The conference was opened by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable M C Bimha with presentations being made by the SADCAS CEO Mrs Maureen P Mutasa, the SADC SQAM Expert Dr Oswald Chinyamakobvu, the SADCA Committee member for Zimbabwe and SADCAS Board member, Mrs Eve Gadzikwa, the Chief Inspector of Factories, Mr J Mutswatiwa and representatives of the National Laboratory Association (NLA). Over 96 participants attended the conference which was hosted by the NADFP- Zimbabwe. Prior to the conference six press releases were placed in four weekly newspapers and two daily newspapers in order to create awareness on World Accreditation Day as well as to promote SADCAS services. All the delegates that attended the conference were each issued with commemoration regalia consisting of golf shirts and caps branded with the SADCAS trademark and bearing this year’s World Accreditation Day theme. By wearing the regalia, the delegates were in commemoration mood and became accreditation ambassadors after the conference thus spreading the message. Zimbabwe intends to roll out similar activity to the remaining nine provinces in the near future in order to increase awareness on the importance of accreditation.