African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the commencement of construction of the Africa Quality Assurance Centre (AQAC) in Ogun State.
The Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to offer testing, certification, inspection and training services covering the agriculture value chain. It is the first in a series of quality assurance centres Afreximbank intends to establish across Africa to support industrialisation.
First-class quality infrastructure is considered critical in facilitating trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Construction of the Ogun State AQAC is billed to commence on February 25. The Centre, which is expected to commence operations by the second quarter of 2022, will provide more than 400 jobs, including over 180 in the highly-skilled areas of quality assurance, testing, inspection and certification.
An on-site training academy will provide the public and private sector with training in standards and quality assurance as well as the skills necessary for businesses to compete in regional and international markets.
The AQAC is strategically located on a five-hectare plot of land allocated along the Lagos-Ibadan and 75km from Ibadan, Oyo State. It is also at the centre of a region known for export agriculture.
President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said: “African businesses are set for a major step-change as AfCFTA opens up new markets across the continent and the globe. To make their mark in countries around the world, African products must meet international standards. The AQAC in Ogun 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.”