Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Ipumbu on Friday officially launched the European Union (EU) funded twinning project, titled 'Providing support to the Namibia Standard Institution (NSI)'.
The two-year twinning project aims to boost NSI’s capacity to carry out its mandate and extend Namibia’s involvement in international trade. The project is part of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Plan for Namibia, and it is supported to the tune of €1.6 million (N$27 million). This is the first EU twinning project in Sub-Saharan Africa, jointly implemented by a consortium of eight German and Swedish institutes with experience in trade policy, technical regulation, food safety, standardisation, accreditation, metrology and conformity assessment.
The institutes represented are the Swedish National Board of Trade, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Swedish Institute for Standards, the German Institute for Standardisation, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, the German Accreditation Body, and the German National Metrology Institute.
In her keynote address, Iipumbu applauded all stakeholders involved, as this is the first step in achieving the revised National Quality Policy 2020- 2025 by ensuring locally manufactured products are in line with international standards. Said Iipumbu: “With the twinning project in motion, Namibia will undoubtedly build a strong foundation for the development and enhancement of new and existing partnerships to international trade agreements and boost the market environment”.
The NSI and the trade ministry are the project’s primary beneficiaries. Speaking at the occasion, the EU ambassador to Namibia Sinikka Antila narrated how “twinning” is a special concept by the EU to enhance institutional collaboration between public administrations, its member states, as well as beneficiary or partner nations. Through peer-to-peer operations, twinning programmes combine the public sector expertise of EU member states and recipient countries to provide concrete, mandatory operational outcomes.