20th May 2018 is World Metrology Day. The SADC joins the International Community in commemorating this day under the theme, Constant evolution of the International System of Units. This theme is in anticipation of the change that will happen to the International System of Units (SI Units) later this year.
The day is commemorated every year on 20th May, when the international community remembers, appreciates and celebrates the signature of the Metre Convention on 20th May 1875 albeit by just seventeen nations. In commemorating this day, the SADC region adds its voice to the continued call for endorsement of the Metre Convention by more nations in order to realize its full benefits. Metrology, which is defined as the science of measurement may be a remote concept for many but important in its application. On a daily basis, we do interact with units of measurement, and we cannot just imagine a world without units of measurement.
As we commemorate this day, the SADC region pays special tribute to the scientists that have done intensive research into new measurement methods, using quantum phenomena as the basis for standards that are fundamental. This research has given the world a new way of leveraging the laws of physics that are able to embrace further improvements in measurement science and technology to meet the needs of the future generation of users.
The achievement of the original aim of the Metre Convention, the worldwide uniformity of measurement, remains as important today as it was in 1875. The SADC region is forever appreciative of the convention as it set the framework for global collaboration in metrology in sectors such as in industrial development, commercial endevours and in society at large.
The inclusion of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Unit within the directorate of Industrial Development and Trade at the SADC Secretariat, confirms the important role of STI in driving the SADC Industrialisation Agenda following the endorsement of the SADC Industrialization Action Plan in March 2017.
Under the Standardisation, Quality Assurance and Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) programme, SADC recognizes that, Metrology as a science of measurement plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, leading to the improvement in the quality of life and the protection of the global environment. The region’s value chain approach to industrialization will benefit immensely from changes that are happening in metrology through the harmonization of measurements, which is at the core of SADC Trade.
As a region, SADC is proud to be part of this global transformation and commits itself to ensuring the active application of harmonized measurements across the SADC region to facilitate trade. I, therefore, wish to implore all the SADC Member States to use this year’s commemoration of the World Metrology Day to reflect on the importance of metrology, particularly in the development of value chains, industrial manufacturing and international trade.
Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax,
SADC Executive Secretary
20th May, 2018 Gaborone, Botswana,