KENYA – Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Accreditation Service Bill into law that seeks to promote accreditation services in the country.
The new Accreditation Service Act establishes the Kenya National Accreditation Service (KENAS) as the sole national agency charged with the responsibility of managing accreditation services in the country.
The law which repeals the Kenya Accreditation Service Order of 2009, establishes a robust framework for the establishment of an internationally recognized accreditation system aimed at strengthening international recognition of Kenyan products.
The law strengthens the accreditation body’s ambitions of increasing the recognition of accreditation as a valuable tool across a wide range of government policy areas including regulation, good governance, fair markets and public confidence.
In the wake of increased consumer conscience on quality of products and need for global recognition, KENAS has been central in provision ofaccreditation services by assessing bodies that undertake conformance checking.
Since its establishment in 2009, KENAS’ accreditation services have been serving broad spectrum of industries.
KENAS has also been carrying out accreditation services to certification bodies based on internationally accepted standards which include management standards, safety standards and quality management standards.
The national accreditation body recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies to enable certification bodies in Africa using the ARSO Eco Mark Africa scheme seek accreditation from KENAS.
The accreditation body has also partnered other regulators in strengthening its role and allow flexibility in transport, communication, energy, and food industries to bring a synergistic outcome of the service.
“Through the collaboration with regulators we are able to provide more innovation in various sectors more rapidly which subsequently reduces the burden for business,” Martin Chesire, chief executive of KENAS said in a previous interview with Food Business Africa.
Currently the body has seen about 130 institutions and firms accredited and aims at accrediting over 8000 clients on continued consumer proliferation.
“The Food industry is currently the largest domain that we have managed to infiltrate covering sectors such as crop nutrition, food safety certifications such as ISO 9001 and FSSC and certification bodies such as Kenya Bureau of Standards among others,” Mr Chesire affirms.
“Our vison going forward is to be a symbol of trust in quality, assurance and trust, reduction of redundancies and prioritising on key projects the will drive growth in these sectors,” he added.
KENAS is also set to unveil an accreditation council composed of representatives from different sectors that will serve to inform the policy of accreditation in the country in a bid to promote efficiencies.
Despite being headquartered in Kenya, KENAS is among 4 internationally recognized accreditation bodies in Africa providing coherent service in Sudan, Rwanda, Ghana, Somalia, Uganda, Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire.
KENAS is also an associate member of ILAC, member of International Accreditation Forum, Africa Accreditation Cooperation, and East Africa Accreditation Board.