By Ellen Pindani:
The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has challenged local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to produce quality goods that would effectively compete on the international market.
MBS Director General Simon Mandala was speaking in Lilongwe on Monday when he opened a second phase of the SMEs training in standard, certification and processing.
The training was jointly organised by MBS and small and medium enterprises development institute (Smedi).
Mandala said SMEs needed the training so that they are able to satisfy MBS standards which are based on regional or international requirements.
“We thought it is important that we interact with the SMEs, train them on standards, and process certification, so that eventually they can utilise this in the realisation of their products and services which are meeting minimum requirements of the standards,” said Mandala.
He said the training would also help SMEs contribute to government’s agenda of creating one million jobs.
“We have subsidised the certification fees and cost of standards by 50 percent. The reason is that the SMEs should be there, do their work and then employ others hence contributing to the creation of one million jobs,” Mandala said.
Smedi representative Edward Chilima said that well trained SMEs could produce products that would be accepted on the market.
“The role of Smedi is basically to identify small medium enterprises that we feel have been trained, and they are capable of producing, and we think have good potential to have their products in the market. Our responsibility is to bring them to this place, “ Chilima said.
Chilima further said that locally made products need to be certified for the SMEs to find good and big markets.
“Having realised that we have good SMEs that are able to produce, Smedi comes in with MBS to address the issue of standards so that these products we are seeing and selling in the streets should find regular market in an organized market,” Chilima said.