, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has initiated Kenya Quality Award (KQA), a scheme aimed at promoting and entrenching a quality culture amongst Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya.
Designed to recognize MSMEs striving to produce quality product and which already have a valid Standardization Mark of Quality (SMark), the KQA programme will additionally assist MSMEs to initiate, develop and implement quality management systems to a status of certification.
Speaking during the KQA launch ceremony, Lt. Col. (Rtd). Bernard Njiraini, Ag. Managing Director, Kenya Bureau of Standards said, “We recognize both the opportunity and the profound responsibility that is ours to build capacities for MSMEs to develop formal quality models that will help them mature to effective sustainable quality management systems. Already, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has disseminated information on the Kenya Quality Award to various stakeholders.”
“We expect more MSMEs to participate in the Kenya Quality Award because the resulting benefits will keep them in good standing as we look to export Kenyan products to the larger Africa Continental Free Trade Area,” he added.
Some of the MSMEs that were recognised for being KQA pioneer participants during the launch ceremony include Lake Victoria Mineral Water Ltd., Kabianga Tea Factory Limited, Lovely Home Products, Rahma Ice, Krystalline Salt Ltd. SureWays Enterprises, Countryside Dairy Ltd., Mutole Enterprises, Amani Jipange, Mega Hygiene Systems Ltd., Mojo Marketing and Public Relations Company Ltd., Hiana Products Enterprise and Akimaa Africa Limited.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) 2016 National MSME survey data, MSMEs are estimated to contribute 28.5% of the total economy in Kenya.
Speaking during the event, Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives reiterated the government’s commitment, in equipping MSMEs with the critical knowledge and skills in relation to the quality of their products and the effectiveness of their processes to ensure that they can access the wider market.
The Industrialization Roadmap articulates the government’s priorities including improving the ease of doing business; supporting sectors for growth, skills, infrastructure and finance; unlocking the potential of MSMEs and developing a compelling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attraction plan.