International Partnerships
December 20, 2021

UL Standards & Engagement and the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) Conclude Joint Virtual Workshop Series for 2021

Participants in a virtual meeting

Throughout 2021, UL Standards & Engagement and the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) held a joint virtual workshop series to promote the sharing of standardization and safety information, furthering a partnership the organizations formalized through signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2019. 

In line with the MOU’s objectives, the workshop series was designed to promote communication and collaboration between the two organizations, while also helping increase knowledge of each other’s standards development activities. 

The workshop series consisted of five sessions throughout the year – each focusing on UL standards for a different technology: photovoltaic systems, lithium-ion batteries, energy storage systems, cybersecurity and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The series was designed in consultation and close collaboration with ARSO. UL Standards & Engagement proposed potential topics for the series and ARSO members voted to determine which topics were of highest priority and interest to the region. Each session provided an overview of the technology and explained how UL standards help to address its associated safety and security challenges. The sessions also included information on how ARSO member countries can adopt or adapt related standards for use in Africa. 

UL Standards & Engagement and ARSO held a similar workshop series in 2020, with topics including the standards development process in the U.S. and Canada, the World Trade Organization’s Principles for the Development of International Standards, and specific UL Standards on circular economy and fire prevention.

As an official Standardization body formed by the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), ARSO works to facilitate standardization and conformity assessment that helps advance intra-African and global trade. The collaboration efforts between ARSO and UL Standards & Engagement help fulfil the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which the African Union enacted in 2012 to help African countries develop and promote the adoption and/or adaption of international standards, and to also apply harmonized rules and procedures for the development and publication of national standards in accordance with international requirements and best practices. 

“We are proud to conclude another year of successful workshops with our partners at ARSO,” said Phil Piqueira, vice president of global standards at UL Standards & Engagement. “We look forward to continued collaboration, to help in advancing safety standards throughout Africa, as part of our mission of working for a safer world.”