Helping developing countries

IEC Affiliate Programme provides assistance in using International Standards

By Philippa Martin-King

This year, the IEC celebrates the tenth anniversary of its special programme for developing countries. Known as the Affiliate Country Programme, it concentrates on those areas that are of interest to developing countries in the process of setting up their own national energy, construction and engineering infrastructures. It provides countries with a greater awareness of the world of the IEC and electrotechnology. It helps them understand how existing International Standards can be adopted at a national level, then applied and used for greater safety and efficiency in the context of economical and industrial expansion.

Evah Oduor is Affiliate Coordinator for Africa. Evah Oduor is Affiliate Coordinator for Africa.

IEC Affiliate Country Programme growing

During 2011, the IEC Affiliate Country Programme continued to grow in terms of the numbers of participating countries, of new NECs (National Electrotechnical Committees) established, of the IEC International Standards they had adopted at a national level, and of the personnel directly involved in the Affiliate team.

Azerbaijan latest to affiliate

To date, there are 82 Affiliate Countries, with Azerbaijan being the latest to affiliate. Four countries, namely Moldova, Suriname, Burkina Faso and Malawi, established their own NECs, providing them with a basis from which to expand their future national electrotechnical activities.

37 of the countries in the programme, including 4 that are now IEC Members, have between them to date adopted over 3 500 IEC International Standards at a national level. As proof of their active participation in having set up an NEC and in adopting a minimum of 50 IEC International Standards as national standards, 13 countries have been granted Affiliate Plus status; Malawi is the latest. This enables them to adopt a greater number of IEC International Standards for free and provides them with increased mentoring designed to help their future growth.

New Affiliate Leader from Bhutan

During the year, Carlos Rodríguez, Executive Director of INTECO (Instituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica), the Costa Rican standards institution, and Affiliate Leader since 2006, handed over his responsibilities to Phuntsho Wangdi of Bhutan. Wangdi, now Director of the newly-established BSB (Bhutan Standards Bureau), was previously Director of SQCA (Standards & Quality Control Authority), in the Ministry of Works & Human Settlement of Bhutan. As someone closely involved in setting up a new standards organization in a developing country, he brings a new perspective to the Programme, and new ideas.

Affiliate Coordinator for Latin America

Rodríguez is not leaving the Programme but will continue to provide support as Affiliate Coordinator for Latin America. In this task, he joins Evah Oduor of Kenya, Affiliate Coordinator for Africa.

Regional events in Africa

In this capacity, Oduor attended two regional events in Africa, the General Assemblies of UPDEA (Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa) and ARSO (African Organisation for Standardisation). She was one of the organizers of the first capacity building workshop of AFSEC (African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission), held in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2011, with the support of the IEC.

Regional events in Latin America

The IEC-LARC (Latin-America Regional Centre) set up a virtual meeting with the ANDEAN Community of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The IEC-APRC (Asia Pacific Regional Centre), while en route to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ACCSQ (Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality) meeting in Cambodia, organized specific training for representatives from Lao PDR and Cambodia.

International participation

The IEC has continued to participate in international partnerships for developing countries, co-chairing the DCMAS Network 11th annual meeting at the ISO Central Secretariat in April 2011 and attending various WTO (World Trade Organisation) meetings at which it was given comprehensive coverage.

Phuntsho Wangdi of Bhutan is the new Affiiate Leader Phuntsho Wangdi of Bhutan is the new Affiiate Leader
Carlos Rodríguez Carlos Rodríguez
Evah Oduor is Affiliate Coordinator for Africa. Evah Oduor is Affiliate Coordinator for Africa.