Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme and Moso Bamboo Standards Development Workshop
In collaboration with Dutch bamboo products manufacturer Moso Bamboo and as part of the Dutch Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme, INBAR organised a workshop to promote the bamboo industry in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The two-day workshop was especially focused on the development of consistent uniform standards for the bamboo industry in the region.
Ethiopia, the site of INBAR’s East Africa’s regional office, boasts the most developed bamboo industry in Africa, with bamboo industries for the production of a wide variety of products, including bamboo parquet flooring and stick based products including ceiling boards, blinds / curtains, tooth picks, barbeque sticks, incense sticks, and bamboo energy products. However, the scale of production is low and contribution of east Africa to international bamboo trade is negligible. Dutch expertise in product design, standard development, and marketing had played a critical role in developing international trade in bamboo products. It was therefore a great opportunity for east African stakeholders to learn from Moso Bamboo, an innovative and cutting edge bamboo technology company.
Key components of the workshop included presentations on the current status of bamboo industry in East Africa, and on the global market potential of bamboo and its products. The importance of technical guidelines, standards and certification to companies, consumers, government were also discussed, as was the EU and Global Market and export perspective. Training sessions on how to adapt and adopt existing standards or technical guidelines to develop a company and a national standard for each component were particularly useful to the delegates as most of the attendees were from local government or the private sector. The participants also took part in workshops teaching them about Moso Bamboo and on how to upgrade the bamboo value chain to create and regulate a wider range of high quality products: For example, an illustration on Bamboo Flooring and bamboo winding composite product standard development and technical guideline development.