President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) African Export–Import Bank, Afrixembank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, has said that about 76 percent of exports from Africa are rejected annually due to poor quality.
According to Oramah, Nigeria alone has suffered an estimated loss of $700 million over rejected agro-produce. He stated that the rejection is due to the poor quality of the agro-produce, and the inability to meet the standards in the receiving countries.
Speaking at the official commissioning of the Africa Quality Assurance Centre (AQAC) in Sagamu, Ogun State, Oramah said Afrixembank is now working to address the problem by creating a framework for harmonization of standards.
“Due to poor quality over $700 million worth of agro-produce are rejected from Europe alone. “About 76 per cent of exports from Africa are rejected annually. We are working with a lot of organisations to create the framework for the harmonisation of standards across the continent”.
Oramah added that African businesses are set for a major transformation as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) opens up new markets across the continent.
He noted that African products must meet international standards to make their mark in countries around the world.
In this connection, he said, “The AQAC in Ogun State will help deliver the highest quality African goods, strengthening their competitiveness and providing confidence to buyers.
“This is an important step, not only in underpinning the ‘Made-in-Africa’ brand but as a driver for greater exports, increased manufacturing and more resilient economies across the continent.”
The AQAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Afreximbank’s Fund for African Export Development (FEDA).
Mr. Marc Roussel, Senior Vice President Africa of Bureau Veritas, the technical company that will operate the center, said quality agro-produce is the foundation for ensuring food security in the continent. “Bureau Veritas will operate the facility, which will provide testing, certification, and inspection services for food and agri-products for export as well as domestic consumption.”