Establishment of PAQI
PAQI was officially inaugurated on 30th August 2013 by the Director for Trade and Industry, African Union Commission, where by members comprising of, the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC), the Intra-Africa Metrology System (AFRIMETS), the African Electro Technical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) have formalized their cooperation as members of the Pan African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
Background of PAQI
Africa’s weak trade performance over the past few decades have been the focus of much debate and has also influenced the need for urgent measures to address the issue. Many African countries lack the industrial capacity for diversified manufactured goods and adequate infrastructure to support intra-African as well as international trade. Measures to address these are traced back to the Lagos plan of action of the 1980s. The Lagos Plan of Action and the Final Act of Lagos, both of 1980, requiring a detailed framework and roadmap for the attainment of the African Common Market, as well as the 1991 Abuja Treaty, under Chapter XI, Article 67 which lays out a need for a common policy on standardization and Measurement systems, are the basis for the establishment of Pan African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI). Quality Infrastructure being a term now used for everything that is needed to ensure satisfactory quality and safety of products, services, protection of the environment and health. It comprises standards, measurement, testing, conformity assessment and accreditation.
It is a powerful tool for successful penetration of the regional and international market. PAQI fi ts well in the strategy for the implementation of the Action Plan for Boosting Intra-Africa Trade (BIAT) and the strategic framework for the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2017 as is being fast tracked by the African Heads of State, as an efficient and value-adding institution driving the African integration and development process in close collaboration with African Union Commission as stated in the current AUC Strategic Plan 2014 – 2017.
PAQI will deliver the much needed Standardization, Quality Assurance and Measurement Systems component.