Establishing Binding Nationwide Standards for Measurement and the Quality of Industrial Products

Project description

Title: National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) Reform
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)
Overall term: 2012 to 2015


Ethiopia’s economy is expanding rapidly and is increasingly geared to international markets. The country aims to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2015. To do so, stricter product quality requirements must be met.

Ethiopia has, until now, lacked the well-functioning infrastructure necessary to enforce international quality and industry standards. The Ethiopian Government is now carrying out reforms in this area with the help of German development cooperation partners. To meet the WTO requirements, the Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia has been split into four separate organisations, thus ensuring a clear division of responsibilities and the efficient handling of tasks. The new organisations therefore meet the pre-conditions for international recognition, but have yet to satisfy industry and consumer needs.


International quality and industry standards have been introduced in Ethiopia and are helping boost growth in the country.


German development cooperation partners advise the four newly founded organisations on how to adapt to international standards. In addition, staff at the Ministry of Science and Technology receive advice and training. To inform consumers about quality standards and give them the opportunity to report deficiencies, GIZ is supporting the Ethiopian Consumer Protection Authority, among other organisations.

Results achieved so far

The reform of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) has been adopted by parliament and is in the process of implementation. The new structure meets the WTO requirements.

In 2011, 60 per cent of private-sector companies which took part in a survey in Ethiopia said they were satisfied with the services provided by the four newly founded organisations. Just 46 percent were satisfied with the predecessor organisation in 2008.

Two mobile calibration trucks are currently travelling around the country to ensure the quality and comparability of units of measurement nationwide. Around 2,000 calibrations have been carried out at 74 companies. 34 companies have received training in the introduction of a quality management system in line with an established international standard (ISO 9000). A selection of other companies have been certified to various international standards. For example, two textile factories have been awarded Ökotex certification and 20 agricultural businesses have been given food safety training.