Corporate executive Eddy Njoroge has made history as Africa’s first president of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
“I am fully prepared to champion use of standards in our everyday lives,” affirmed Mr Njoroge when he took over the baton from Canadian John Walker during the inauguration ceremony held yesterday at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, South Africa.
The 66-year-old who once worked as chief executive of listed power generator Kengen and as board of chairman for Nairobi Securities Exchange, was elected as president during ISO’s General Assembly in October last year, held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Njoroge, a board member at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and who sits in several corporate boards, replaces Canadian John Walter. He has promised to spearhead participation of developing economies in global trade by championing standards formulation.
“Standards formulation should no longer be a preserve of the developed countries that are later forced on developing countries, denying them global market access. We will adopt a participatory approach that ensures developing nations are involved in standards formulation activities.
“I will be reiterating the commitment I made during my election last October in Geneva, Switzerland, that I will enhance adoption of International Standards in governance, besides working with SMEs to improve their conformity to global standards,” says Mr Njoroge.
The appointment will also see ISO’s global office established in Nairobi during Njoroge’s January 2020-December 2022 tenure.
Saying he has since set aside private duties to concentrate on the global job, Mr Njoroge said Kenya now has a role to travel across the world to help their 162 country members come up with an agreeable standard practice for all.
Local products have in the past been barred from accessing western markets over failure to conform to European standards.
Founded on February 23 1947, the organisation promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.