The split of the Quality and Standards Authority
(QSA) into four independent bodies coming into
effect on February 1, 2011.
The bodies have been established as the Ethiopian
Standards Agency (ESA), the Ethiopian Conformity
Assessment Enterprise (ECAE), the National Metrology
Institute (NMI), and the National Accreditation
Established during the Derg regime, in 1987, as the
Ethiopian Authority for Standardisation (EAS), the
former QSA was re-established in 1998, and amended
The functions related to standards, quality control,
inspection, testing, certification, and metrology
activities used to all be provided by the QSA.
Research into the strategy for implementing national
quality infrastructure (NQI) had been conducted by
the Engineering Capacity Building Programme (ECBP).
The QSA has endeavoured to provide many services
over the decades since its inception in a totally
This system has come under severe pressure in the
world market, which leads to unacceptable conflict
of interest, a serious impediment to trade,
according to the research. A lack of international
recognition of the QSA, was another reason cited in
the findings of the research for amending the
As a result, splitting the QSA was approved by the
Council of Ministers, with some business process
reengineering (BPR) amendments, in February 2009.
“The QSA has been serving us for 20 years,” Sabir
Argaw, major shareholder of Al-sam Plc, told
Fortune. “We cannot say anything about the split
until we have seen the implementation.”
The ESA is a national standards body responsible for
the development and publication of Ethiopian
standards. It is also to provide trainings and
technical assistance to factories while using
The ECAE is to make inspections as well as perform
laboratory testing and certification services.
Unlike the others, this body was established as a
public enterprise with an authorised capital of 543
million Br. It is to be supervised by the Ministry
of Science and Technology (MoST).
The NMI is responsible for establishing and
maintaining Ethiopian measurement standards and
ensuring that the national calibration service is
used by the manufacturing industry. It is also
responsible for providing independent evidence that
testing and calibration laboratories, inspection
agencies, and certification bodies are technically
Other institutions that were providing almost the
same services as the QSA have merged with the
correlating newly established authorities. They are
the Ethiopian Cleaner Production (ECP), the
Ethiopian Radiation Protection Authority (ERPA), and
the Ethiopian Scientific Instruments Center (ESIC).
The ECP was established, in April 2000, to
facilitate the transfer of technical information and
knowledge about cleaner production technology. It
has merged with the ESA.
The ERPA was established in 1993, for regulating the
use, import, storage, and disposal of ionising
radiation emitting devices, including X-ray
generators. It has merged with is merged with the
Since last year, the QSA has internally and
unofficially been operating as the new
There are around 360 employees in the authority who
have been assigned to the different institutions,
depending on the need of each for manpower;
accordingly, 210 of the employees have been assigned
to the ECAE.
However, there was no major reshuffling because
employees working in the different testing,
certification, and inspection departments will join
the ECAE; however, different employees were selected
from every department for the NMI, according to
Tekiye Berehane, former public relations officer for
the QSA who is now at the ECAE.
The former QSA building is to be used by the ESA
while another building will be constructed for the
other institutions in the compound of the authority,
with the exception of the NMI, which is to move to
the headquarters of ESIC, located behind the Civil
Service College at CMC.
The former logo of the QSA will be changed and the
ECAE is to come up with a different one.
It floated a tender for these three weeks ago, but
nobody has shown interest, Tekiye told Fortune.