By Hassan Zaggi
A Nigerian, Celestine O. Okanya, has been elected the chairman of the Pan African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI).
He is currently the Director General, Nigeria National Accreditation System (NiNAS).
Celestine is also the President of ECOWAS Regional Accreditation System. He oversees the implementation of a harmonized system of accreditation of conformity assessment bodies.
PAQI is the African Union Joint Committee on Quality Infrastructure.
The appointment will take effect from March, this year.
A statement by the Head, ICT and Media of NiNAS, recalled that PAQI was officially inaugurated on August 30, 2013, by the Director for Trade and Industry, African Union Commission, where members comprising of the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC), the Intra-Africa Metrology System (AFRIMETS), the African Electro-technical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) formalized their cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The Mission of PAQI is to strengthen the regional and global competitiveness of Africa’s goods and services and contribute towards an improved quality of life for the African people through prudent use of standards, measurements, conformity assessment and accreditation.
PAQI will be very instrumental to defining the conformity assessments, harmonized standards and metrological traceability of traded goods and services in implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
One of the ways PAQI strive to achieve its mission is through the development and implementation of African policies on standards, measurement, conformity assessment and accreditation that supports the realization of Africa’s economic integration and environmental sustainability.
The statement further revealed that Celestine had served in the Nigerian Army, academia, and also led a couple of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Nigeria and United States.
NiNAS, in the statement, therefore, expressed confidence that Celestine will make remarkable impact in his new assignment.