MINMIDT: Mines, Industry, Technology

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Activities of the Division of Quality Development


This activity is a component of actions designed to promote and develop standards and quality, as part of the promotion and development programme for improving competitiveness in Cameroon’s industrial productive sectors.
On a constantly evolving market where the expectations and demands of customers are ever increasing, it is important for the State, through the relevant authorities, to play a regulatory role at all levels. This will enable her meet her commitments to elaborate and apply the regulations related to standards and quality.

Government’s decisions to reorganise the industrial sector as well as to protect the consumers may be influenced by a certain number of factors such as the unexpected arrival of new actors, the development of the informal sector, forgery, smuggling, innovation as well as the demands and expectations of customers and other stakeholders. Because of such factors of change, the State must put at the disposal of the industrial sector the required standards and the assessment mechanisms for these standards. Hence the need for an inspection guide for standardisation.

Two major objectives are to be retained in this process:
- Purpose of Inspections

Administrative inspections with respect to standardization target offline and online assessment of compliance to standards which are made mandatory to firms producing goods and services in the national territory. These inspections also target the promotion and extension of the quality approach in the industrial sector in Cameroon.

- Objective of the document
This Inspection Manual defines the framework designed to help sworn administrative Inspectors or other state officials with the required qualification to handle issues related to standardization in Cameroon. It equally helps economic operators to be acquainted with inspection procedures.

The expected results are mainly:
- The description of inspection realisation procedures in all production units;
-The identification of responsibilities at each stage of the various specification checks.
- The envisaged sanctions, relating notably to warnings or law enforcement measures which could be taken against a defaulter, in case of duly noted non-compliance.

Planning of pending activities
-The draft document will be under elaboration at the technical service in charge of standardization until July 31, 2013;

This activity is listed in the development action for food standards and the food health security of the programme for the improvement of the competitiveness of the industrial sector in Cameroon

It is a broad programme managed by COLEACP, extending from 2010 to 2014 on a budget of 30 million Euros for all the beneficiaries. The main concern of the programme proponents is to minimise the impact of the regulations with regard to Food Health Security (FHS) as a hindrance to commercial trade and to have a good mastery of the said regulations.

It is financed by the European Union. In Cameroon, it arises from a plea of Cameroon Task Force Horticole, aiming to reinforce Food Health Security for products consumed both locally, regionally and internationally and to make them as competitive as those imported from developed countries on the International market. The programme takes into account the realities and the specific needs of the country concerned. The implementation of the plan of action will depend on Cameroon as it requires a participative approach from all the stakeholders concerned.

The intervention strategy for the implementation of the SSA is based on three major components:
• Risk assessment

• Risk management;

• Communication on risk (governance)

Presently, the programme is concerned only with Coffee, Fruits and Vegetables, but will extend to other foodstuffs.

Stakeholders involved in this project include public services with supervisory and managerial duties, private operators as concerns self-supervision, independent experts for scientific advice and validation and finally service providers for capacity building.

The main objective of this programme is to support Food Health Security Systems in ACP countries (African-Caribbean-Pacific), hence its close links with the CNCOSAC.
Secondary objectives

• Assuring European Authorities on the quality of Health and Phytosanitary inspections (HPS) for products in their countries of origin,
• Helping in the reinforcement of national or regional FHS policies and supporting the setting up of national FHS systems in various countries,

• Encouraging the application of the risk analysis approach in supporting stakeholders’ action in the system: risk assessment, management and information,

• Facilitating the flow of information on transparency, independence (credibility) and continuous improvement in FHS system management.

Expected results include the following:
• Stakeholders in food- processing industries are trained on the importance and issues of FHS in trade and on the relations that exist between the various stakeholders.

• The actual support of the country to restructuring its FHS system and a marked improvement in the various parts of the system taken into account by the programme.

• The production by Cameroon of more reliable products to increase the volume of its exports in the main industrial sectors targeted by this project.

• The actual provision of infrastructure and necessary approach for the initial experience to be extended to other sectors of the agro-food industry.)

The following are the main activities which have been initiated since the beginning of the project
• sensitizing Ministerial departments on the FHS issue;

• Assessment of the body of official supervision services;

• structuring of an independent risk assessment system;

• Training to the ISO 17020 standard (official control services);

• Elaboration of a self-checking industry guide for the coffee sector;

• An operator recording system and database (fruits and vegetables sector);

• Support to test stations and assay offices;

• Setting up of a national information system FHS;

• Support to professional corporations

• Capacity building of consumer associations


This project initiated by Cameroon is part of the FAO/WHO Committee coordinating missions of Codex in Africa (CCAFRICA) and the implementation of the strategic plan of the latter, namely:

• Encouraging the participation of all African countries in Codex Alimentarius activities,

• Encouraging the capacity building of Codex Alimentarius National Committees in member countries of the region,

• Encouraging the use by member states, of Codex Standards and related texts with a view to improving Food Health Security in the African region.

This project covers the entire Central African sub-region, which in itself forms an integral part of the African region. The countries involved in this first phase of the project thus include Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Gabon.

This is justified by the present low involvement of countries of the sub-region in the Codex Alimentarius activities and the non-implementation of Codex standards in national laws and regulations. In fact, in Central Africa, some countries like Cameroon and Gabon which had already benefited from support in terms of the capacity building of Codex stakeholders, participate in Codex activities in terms both of quantity (the number of international meetings attended by the countries ), and quality (quality of presentations and informational inputs during meetings). For other countries which have not yet benefited from such a support, the level of participation is low and inefficient. It is therefore necessary to improve on the participation level of all the countries in the Central African Sub-region in Codex Alimentarius Activities and to encourage the exchange of experience and points of view on issues being discussed within the Codex.

The overall goal is the human and infrastructural capacity building of national committees and Codex contact points in all the countries of the Central African Sub-region.

Specific objectives include:
• Training Codex Alimentarius stakeholders on preparing, participating and monitoring the activities of Codex Alimentarius,

• helping countries to better organise the National Committees and Codex contact points, in terms of organization of activities, modification of regulatory texts and actual operation of the structures involved.

• Encouraging countries to apply Codex Alimentarius standards and related texts in the national laws and regulations, within operational practices in food industries and in food inspection and control procedures.

The outcome or expected results include:
• Greater involvement in Codex Alimentarius activities;

• Better application of Codex Standards and related texts at national level;

• Actual coaching of countries in restructuring and setting up of national committees and Codex contact points, and preparing, participating and effective monitoring of some Codex meetings;

• Effective support to countries in the implementation of Codex standards and related texts;

• Actual availability of necessary infrastructure for Codex activities (computers, internet connection, photocopy machines, websites, video projectors and fax machines)

Main activities include:
• Theoretical and practical training activities;

• Support to countries in restructuring, organizing and setting up national committees and Codex Alimentarius contact points;

• Support activities to countries in the implementation of Codex standards and related texts;

• Activities Including purchasing and installing necessary equipments for the activities (computers, printers, internet connection, photocopy machines, websites, video projectors, fax machines etc…) and the training stakeholders on the use of these equipments.

• Drafting legislative and regulatory texts, manuals and internal working guides.

• Experience exchange activities between countries.

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