The Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) and the University of Namibia (UNAM) entered into a cooperation agreement to strengthen participation of academia in the area of standards development and coordination, certification, testing and metrology. The agreement was signed by Ms Chie Wasserfall, Chief Executive Officer: Namibian Standards Institution and Professor Lazarus Hangula, UNAM Vice Chancellor, at the University of Namibia Main Campus, on 07 June 2017.
The agreement seeks to encourage the participation of activities under the National Quality Policy. It is worth mentioning that UNAM and NSI are currently working together in the development of standards for its Yoghurt and other dairy products from the Neudamm and Ogongo Campuses respectively. Other products in the pipeline ready for standards development include food and beverages from indigenous plants and fruits, products from medicinal plants and software from IT.
The agreement will also provide an opportunity for the NSI to utilise UNAM’s testing facilities where available for the demonstration of product conformance to applicable product standard as part of its (NSI) conformity assessment procedures, exhibit at UNAM research and innovation days as well as at other career fairs. Hence the MoU will serve as a vehicle for harnessing cooperation between the two institutions in accreditation and certification.
Professor Hangula: “this MoU is of importance to UNAM as it comes at a time when the institution seeks to attain accreditation of its laboratory in conformity with international best practice through the NSI, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Standards (SADCAS), the South African National Accreditation Standards (SANAS).”
During her address at the MoU signing ceremony, Ms Wasserfall highlighted that the cabinet approved National Quality Policy ensures Namibians produce quality products and services and educational institutions can play an important role through the introduction of quality related courses in the curricula. “Therefore, through this cooperation agreement, the NSI aims to ensure UNAM will be able to fulfil government’s directive through its active participation in the establishment of the Quality Association of Namibia as well as the Laboratory Association of Namibia.”
The cooperation agreement is valid from the 7 June 2017 for a period of three (3) years.