UNIDO concludes pilot phase of QI4TF e-tool in Tanzania, prepares for global dissemination
22-10-2019 10:37:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 2959 | Tags:

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) concluded a two-day workshop for its pilot phase of Quality Infrastructure for Trade Facilitation (QI4TF) e-tool in Tanzania.

The tool aims to rapidly identify gaps in the National Quality Infrastructure that affect the sound implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). In particular, the tool will identify gaps that governments and industry should address to comply with TFA articles 4, 5, 8 and 10.3.

The paper version of the tool was successfully piloted early 2019 in Malawi and South Africa for the agro-processing and essential oils sector, resulting in a clear roadmap of actions for each country to address. After good results from evaluating the pilot application and the efforts for digitalization, UNIDO developed a digital tool which can reduce the whole process of applying the tool from 1.5 months to a couple of days, through deploying an online platform.

In close collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tanzania, as well as the National Trade Facilitation Committee, the electronic tool was successfully piloted. The workshop brought together over 50 public and private sector representatives from the Tanzanian quality infrastructure system and palm and sunflower oils sector.

The participants worked together to identify the gaps in government capacities in areas such as Food Safety and Public Health, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, National Laboratories, as well as the industry capacities of food business operators, HACCP systems, co-operative organizations, and national trade bodies, and in the capacity to take part in international trade shows and exhibitions among others. After identifying the critical gaps from industry and government perspectives, the participants prioritized, based on urgency.

“The value added of this electronic tool is that, in two days, a consensus-built strategic action between public and private sector is available for the country to address and improve their export competitiveness by strengthening the quality infrastructure system required in the TFA,” said Juan Pablo Davila, a UNIDO Industrial Development Officer. “Furthermore, the tool was developed in such a way that when rolled out in different countries, a big amount of data is collected and compared, and thereby providing the potential for exploiting data for identification of inconsistencies”.

“The results of the tool are useful as it reveals the needs-based actions required from the public and private sector, and it provides a clear direction towards the key areas to investigate further and feature in respective development plans,” said Leo Lyauka, Acting Director of Industrial Development, Tanzania.

“Central to the success of this initiative is the commitment of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to support industry to enter and compete in the international arena, advancing their inclusive and sustainable industrial development”, said Stephen Karbgo, UNIDO Representative, Tanzania.

The workshop in Tanzania concluded the pilot phase of the tool and it will be prepared for its global release. The tool is scheduled to be rolled out systematically in 2020.