The Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) held a Stakeholders Workshop on 15 May 2019 and training for staff of the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) from 16 – 17 May 2019.

The Stakeholders Workshop was aimed at increasing the visibility and understanding of the benefits that international standards can bring to support development and export potential. It provided an overview of trade and standards topics that are of most relevance to private sector stakeholders. The training session for staff of the MBS was aimed at supporting international trade through the standardization strategy of the National Standards Body and participation in international standards development and adoption of international standards.

The CSN is a collaborative network open to Commonwealth States and regional associations, and seeks to promote the use and awareness of international standards, and improve technical and institutional capacity to use and develop international standards amongst its members. It is a platform for Commonwealth countries to exchange ideas, share best practice and impart knowledge. Its key aim is to facilitate trade and foster innovation across the Commonwealth through the increased use of international standards.

Speaking when he officially opened the workshop, the MBS Director General, Mr Symon O Mandala, emphasized the importance of CSN for standardization activities in Malawi in that it will strengthen the participation of the country in international standards development, it will assist in making the country aware of the existence of international standards of importance and for consideration to be adopted as Malawi standards, and it will assist in the development of the national standardization strategy, a three year plan that outlines a prioritized list of proposed standards to be developed for the country.He further said the CSN will also enable the MBS to network with other National Standards Bodies in the Commonwealth. These, among others, were enough justification for the MBS to join the network.

The Director General, Mr Symon O Mandala, therefore encouraged the participants to take advantage of the workshop and to actively participate with keen interest, and to understand the benefits that standards can bring to support development and export potential. 

The establishment of the CSN is being facilitated by the British Standards Institution (BSI Group) through funding by the United Kingdom Government. Mr Mandala therefore thanked the Commonwealth Standards Network for the initiative, and the United Kingdom Government for funding the initiative. He also thankedthe Consultant, Mr Glenn Bosmans for coming to facilitate the two sessions.

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