The necessity of product certification

With the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy, products produced by local companies will be required to undergo certification in order to compete for government contracts. ILLUSTRATION BY DANNY BARONGO

What you need to know:

  • With the introduction of the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy, many local companies will be fighting for government contracts to supply products for the different public projects. However, not all will benefit from the policy, Joseph Bahingwire explores.

The government recently launched the policy that will give preference to Ugandan products and services during public procurement with the view of promoting local content and create jobs for Ugandans.
However, according to Mr David Livingstone Ebiru, the deputy executive director at Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), this will only benefits Ugandan suppliers and contractors who will have their products certified by UNBS.
He says despite the need to give preference to local suppliers the procuring entities should mind about the quality of the products so as to get value for money on top having successful procurement.
“As the standards bureau we are working on our processes to ensure that this policy is successful and we are going to improve our monitoring department to ensure that only products that meet the UNBS minimum requirements are put on the market and gain preference in regard to the new policy,” he says.
According to Martin Imalingat, the quality assurance manager at UNBS, the S mark will be a minimum requirement for all products, to help certify the quality of goods and add value to products.

The UNBS mark carries a reference number or name of the relevant product standard against which the product has been certified.
“Certification will be a proof that a product meets a defined set of requirements such as safety, fitness for use and other characteristics usually specified in a standard,” he says.
Mr Imalingat says before the mark is issued, UNBS takes samples of the product through laboratory tests and after verifying that the manufacturer has quality control processes and once they are satisfied they are issued with a standard mark.
Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of a product, person, or an organisation.