An essay on the role of standards in the Kenyan economy is the winning entry in the ISO/DIN contest for young standardizers in developing countries, announced on 19 September at the 35th ISO General Assembly in San Diego, USA.
The winning author is Mr. Amwayi Omukhweso William, Assistant quality assurance officer, at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
The contest, which is organized by ISO and sponsored by DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, aims to challenge and give an opportunity to young standards professionals in developing countries and economies in transition.
Participants in the 2012 edition had to write an essay in English answering the question, “How do ISO International Standards help industry in your country to respond to local and global market demands". Young standardizers were encouraged to present their personal views based on their country’s experience.
Announcing the winner, Dr. Torsten Bahke, DIN Director, declared: "The winner has very nicely linked the development objectives of his country, as contained in the national economic blueprint dubbed 'Vision 2030', to the need to apply International Standards in the sectors that are expected to lead growth, with an emphasis on export markets.
"The need to apply ISO standards for conformity assessment and management systems has also been clearly described. Overall, there has been a very good understanding of the theme by the contestant/winner and he has covered the topic from many angles, showing that he has a clear idea of how ISO standards should be used."
Mr. William will be invited to Berlin, Germany, for one week, all expenses paid, where he will be trained and exposed to a wide range of standards-related management activities carried out by DIN, a highly successful national standards body. The winner will also have the opportunity to visit the ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
In an audio message of thanks to the ISO General Assembly, Mr. William affirmed: "Standards have played, and will play, a critical role in enhancing global trade by improving market access and enhancing the competitive advantage of products. It is important therefore, for countries, especially the developing nations, to leverage this linkage between standards and trade as this is a crucial driving force for any country’s economic growth."