Top-quality East African businesses snag awards

15 diciembre 2022
ITC News

The first Quality Awards honoured eight businesses that exceed compliance rules to offer superior goods and services

Top companies work hard to meet their customers' expectations. When they’re exporting, especially foods, they have to meet minimum compliance standards. But to win over customers, they have to go beyond compliance to make quality a priority in every detail of their production, from packaging to customer care and delivery.

The first East Africa Quality Awards honoured eight businesses that exemplify that commitment to exceeding customer expectations. By creating food products with a consistently high quality, these businesses from Burundi, Rwanda, and the United Republic of Tanzania can set their sights on greater success through exports.

A motivation that counts

The awards, held on 20 October 2022 in Dar es Salaam, are meant to spur competition among companies to produce higher quality foods, while attracting new buyers to these brands.

One category of awards honoured companies that specialize in food services, while the other recognized companies that focus on food products.

A winner and runner-up were named to a large enterprise and a small or medium enterprise (SME) in each category. The winners were:

Ali Masoud from Bakhresa said the award proved success of investments in improving its flour, foods, juices and drinking water. He said the award would motivate their management and the staff across East Africa.

“We are happy to win this award. It reminds us that we need to provide quality service all the time,” he said. “We promise to proceed from where we have left of today next year.”

Water Access Rwanda’s operations manager Vanessa Hatagekimana said the award placed her company in a great position. Water Access locates groundwater, drills boreholes, and installs solar pumps to provide safe drinking water.

“Every day we as Water Access Rwanda wake up with a single goal – ensuring people have access to water,” she said. “This award adds to our motivation.”

Making quality integral to company culture

The awards were organized by the MARKUP programme, which works with the six-nation East African Community to grow their trade with the European Union. Part of that mission is coordinating efforts to improve the quality of products so they’re better able to compete.

Rashid Kibowa, director of trade for the East Africa Community, said the awards will open more doors for trade within Africa and with the rest of the world.

“It does not end with acknowledging their proper practice alone,” Kibowa said. “It goes further to motivate more companies and SMEs to be champions of quality.”

The awards were organized with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ).

 “The winners crowned today have set a bar that other companies and SMEs will have to surpass to get the tittle on the following awards,” said ITC’s learning systems officer, Margareta von Kirchbach. “This will enable producers and service deliverers do the right thing every time.”

In future editions, the awards will reach more participants from all East African countries. The process for identifying national nominees has already begun.

“We look forward to MARKUP II,” said Jocelin Cornet, team leader for regional integration at the EU delegation to Tanzania. “The project will focus on building up the success that MARKUP I has achieved and even go further.”

Group photo of panelists at the EAC Quality Awards
EAC Quality Award panelists discuss how to promote quality compliance: From left: Charles Gachahi (African Organisation for Standardisation), Frank Dafa (East African Business Council), Mark Bagabe (ITC, moderator), Beatrice Opiyo (Kenya Bureau of Standards), and David Ndibalema (Tanzania Bureau of Standards).
Photo by ITC


The European Union (EU) - East African Community (EAC) Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a regional trade development initiative, which aims to address both the supply side and market access constraints of selected key export-oriented sectors.

MARKUP aims to increase exports of agribusiness and horticultural products and promote regional integration and access to the European market by addressing specific challenges that small and medium enterprises, trade and investment support institutions and policymakers face in accessing regional and EU export markets.

Funded by the EU, the programme is implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and other national partners.