Ethiopia’s National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) Development Project has received an International Development Association (IDA) loan of $50 million from the World Bank.
The loan will support the development of Ethiopia’s standardization practice, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment services including inspection, testing and certification.
The NQI, which is tasked with improving the competitiveness of the country’s industries, will achieve its mandate by offering firms the proof that their products and services meet the necessary quality requirements.
Ethiopian manufacturers are currently facing challenges in meeting quality standards required to access developed markets such as the US, Europe and Asia whose requirements are stricter compared to domestic ones.
Supporting the development project will involve expanding the capacity of the four NQI institutions under the Ministry of Science and Technology by expanding the range of service they provide; offering technical skills and training to experts; modernizing select laboratories; and providing technical assistance to industries to meet quality requirements.
The project support activities will also involve promoting more private sector engagement for the development of quality infrastructure in Ethiopia.
It will focus on the value chains of leather and leather products; textile and garments; and agro-processed products in line with the government’s industrial policy to increase its export base.
According to World Bank Ethiopia’s Country Director, Carolyn Turk the project is designed in the context of the Bank’s support to the Ethiopian government’s industrialization agenda expected to be buoyed by export-led manufacturing.
“Lack of quality checks has been identified as a bottle-neck for the sector to grow to its full potential,” Turk added.
The NQI Development Project is expected to increase the demand for Ethiopian products, increase investments, expand production and create employment.