At least 90 per cent of locally manufactured goods in retail shops are not certified by Uganda National Bureau of Standard (UNBS), an official has revealed.
According to standards body deputy executive director in charge of management services David Livingstone Elibu, until the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) begin to certify their products, it will be hard for them not to only penetrate the East Africa Community (EAC) market, but also win trust of both the local and regional markets.
Speaking during the National Quality awards gala 2013 in Kampala on Saturday, Mr Elibu said life expectancy is linked to quality of the products consumed. And it is for that reason that consumable goods must be certified and in line with the quality required of any products. He argued that with certified products comes assurance and guarantees, an ingredient that uncertified goods do not have, compromising the lives of the consumers.
“Most of the products produced by SMEs are not certified. I urge our SMEs that produce 90 per cent of products on the market to have their products certified if they are to take advantage of the EAC market,” he said.
He continued: “We are no longer closing down firms in production but instead advise how to improve on quality. So come out of your garages and report to us. We have a desk for you (SMEs).”
Mr Elibu said the awards aim at sensitising the public on genuine products. “Customers should be able to identify you as genuine. If a product is certified by UNBS, it is safe,” he said.
At the event, Roofings Ltd was named the overall winner, while Century Bottling Company Ltd, Movit Products Ltd and Britania Allied Industries Ltd, got gold, silver and bronze respectively. 30 other firms were recognised.
At the same event, Enterprise Uganda executive director Charles Ocici advised the private sector players to produce quality products if they are to survive cutthroat competition from other markets.
“You will survive if your product is regarded as quality of choice,” Mr Ocici said. “But as your product is being preferred as the best, competition comes in which is secondary. The rest of the players locally, at the region and globally are looking at you. The most important thing is what makes you different from others.”
Mr Ocici said quality is not only about the product and inspectors, but the whole delivery system.