Business and Economy

Afreximbank commences development of the African Quality Assurance Center (AQAC) in Imo State Nigeria

Afreximbank has announced the initiation of project development activities for its second African Quality Assurance Center (AQAC) in Ngor Okpala, Imo State, Nigeria. The event, held on 3rd June 2024 in Imo State, marked the launch of the project and was attended by His Excellency Senator Hope Odidika Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State. During the event, the Bank presented a prototype design for the project and introduced Bureau Veritas as the technical partner responsible for supporting the operations and management of the facility.

The AQAC Imo State will build upon the achievements of the pilot AQAC project launched in Ogun State in 2022. It will focus on developing a conformity assessment center that specializes in food, agricultural products, and other goods. The establishment of the Imo State AQAC will contribute to the growth of exports in Nigeria and neighboring countries, enabling them to access global and regional markets.

Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Intra-African Trade and Export Development Bank, Afreximbank, expressed her thoughts on the project during the event in Imo State. She emphasized that the commencement of project development activities for the AQAC in Imo State is a significant milestone in Afreximbank’s mission to enhance Nigeria’s and the continent’s export potential. By ensuring that goods and products labeled “Made in Africa” meet international standards and technical regulations in export markets, the Bank aims to not only boost trade but also foster economic growth across the continent, aligning with its mandate.

Afreximbank recognizes the importance of enhancing member countries’ conformity assessment infrastructure to align with global standards and regulations. This is crucial for promoting exports and facilitating trade within Africa and beyond. To achieve this, African nations must establish testing laboratories and conformity assessment centers to bolster their capacity in providing testing, inspection, and certification services. To address this need, Afreximbank is spearheading the African Quality Assurance Centers (AQACs) initiative. Through collaboration with governments, the private sector, and development partners, the bank is mobilizing both financial and technical resources. The aim is to establish internationally accredited laboratories that offer top-notch conformity assessment services. Additionally, Afreximbank is advocating for African countries to adopt appropriate National Quality Infrastructure, which will enable them to meet international trade standards and enhance market access for products labeled as “Made-in-Africa.”

Afreximbank is working with governments, the private sector, and development partners through the African Quality Assurance Centers (AQACs) initiative to establish internationally accredited laboratories that provide conformity assessment services. This initiative aims to promote the adoption of appropriate National Quality Infrastructure in African countries, in order to enhance market access for products manufactured in Africa and meet international trade standards.

In 2017, Afreximbank introduced the AQAC initiative, pledging more than US$100 million to support the development of internationally recognized facilities throughout Africa. These facilities will provide testing, inspection, and certification services, as well as training in conformity assessment. By ensuring that African-made products meet global standards and technical regulations, these accredited facilities will enhance exports among member countries, aligning with the Bank’s mission to finance and facilitate trade within and beyond Africa.

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