A new publication chronicling the growth of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Laboratory Association’s (SRLA) success story was launched during the 13th SRLA virtual meeting on 22 October 2020. Developed under the UNIDO project ‘SADC Sustainable Quality Infrastructure (SQIS)’ funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland, this publication is available in the three languages of the SADC region – English, French and Portuguese.
The publication traces the SRLA’s timeline since its inception and captures key milestones, which have enabled it to reach over 500 laboratories from its 12 Member State National Laboratory Associations (MS-NLAs). The SRLA was established over a decade ago with a vision of supporting and empowering its members by providing them with a regional coordination structure and voice.
The SRLA gained traction in 2016 when the managerial and technical skills of the MS-NLAs at regional and MS level were enhanced. Each MS-NLA developed business and implementation plans for the association, and a training scheme was implemented whereby representatives of MS-NLAs from food and water testing laboratories received training on method validation for microbiology test methods and analytical laboratory method validation. Knowledge has been shared at the member state level in a coordinated way to assist laboratories’ preparation for accreditation. The publication showcases these elements, enriching them with testimonials and success stories of each MS-NLA.
This publication also highlights the SRLA’s cooperation with the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS). UNIDO’s support, in particular, has been pivotal in strengthening the services offered by the members of the SRLA, and contributing both to the sustainability of the MS-NLAs and the SRLA.
For more information contact Juan Pablo Davila (J.Davila [at] unido.org)