African experts meet to discuss auto industry standardisation

Image of Hermogene Nsengimana and Lungelo Ntobongwana

Hermogene Nsengimana and Lungelo Ntobongwana

4th March 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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South Africa is hosting the African Organisation for Standardisation Technical Committee 59 (ARSO/TC 59) this month to discuss technical standardisation within the African automotive industry.

The four-day event includes the participation of technical experts from the automotive industry across continental national standards bodies.

ARSO/TC 59 is being held with the objective of reaching consensus on the adoption of international standards and harmonisation of standards for the region in support of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

ARSO has a membership of 42 countries, representing 77% of the continent, with more than 80 ARSO TCs that cover numerous industrial sectors of standardisation.

ARSO secretary-general Dr Hermogene Nsengimana says the established Strategy for the African Automotive Manufacturing Sector, within the framework of the AfCFTA, highlights the need of harmonised standards in tackling the challenge of imported vehicles, regional value chains, and the long-term goal of establishing a common external tariff for the sector.

As per this strategy, ARSO, the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) and Afreximbank are members of the AfCFTA Automotive Task Force, and will oversee, guide and implement the strategy.

Seventy-three African harmonised standards have been published to date and have been made available for use by the African automotive industry by ARSO and its member States and stakeholders.

These include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe, The Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme, and AAAM.

“The African landscape for automotive requirements is changing rapidly as the demand for fuel efficient and low-carbon emissions grows,” adds South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) acting CEO Lungelo Ntobongwana.

“South Africa is leading the continent with 931 new fully electric vehicles (EVs) sold in South Africa during 2023. Continental growth is expected to increase, [and] the SABS is at an advanced stage of offering a certification scheme for components of EVs.”


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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