The African Continental platform will be coordinated by the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), an Intergovernmental Organisation established by the former Organization of African Unity (OAU, currently African Union (AU)) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1977 whose mandate is to promote standardization in Africa to boost intra Africa and global trade. This includes; develop and/or harmonize African standards for all products of interest to intra- African trade and operate a regional certification marking scheme with a view to certifying the quality of and promoting African products. ARSO is a membership organization of African countries through their National Standards Bodies and or Departments dealing with standards and Trade. It represents Africa in international Bodies like ISO, IEC, ITU, CODEX and supports member states in harmonization of standards. ARSO with the engagement of stakeholders has developed six sustainability standards in agriculture fishery, forestry, tourism and aquaculture (African cat fish and Tilapia).
The Continental platform for Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) will serve as a mechanism to strengthen the capacities of public and private entities in Africa in terms of sustainability, being an initiative that will contribute to the African Strategy for the promotion of sustainable consumption and production of goods and services as well as implementation of the SDGs.
The launch of the African platform will take place in 2021.
Steering Committee is led by ARSO
Multi-Stakeholder Committee comprises of:
National standardization bodies
African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
Representatives from private sector industries
Activities of the ARSO VSS Platform
Networking with multiple stakeholders in the dissemination of VSS
Raise awareness on Africa’s sustainability prospects and their advancement in the light of VSS implementation
Contribute to develop international research about benefits and impacts of VSS in African private sector
Dr Hermogene Nsengimana
African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO)
ARSO Central Secretariat
3rd Floor, International House
Mama Ngina Street
P.O. Box 57363-00200
Tel. +254-20-224561/ 311641/ 311608
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org /
Website of the African National Platform
Case study n°3 Implementation of the Eco Mark Africa Certification System through the Eco Mark Sustainability Standards