Increased liberalization of international trade that resulted from negotiations at the Uruguay Roundtable of 1995 has brought pressure to bear on Sub‐Saharan African (SSA) industries to be more competitive both in price and quality to succeed even in their domestic markets. In addition, most African countries have adopted export promotion as a development strategy. Yet, Africa’s export performance has remained very poor. This paper argues that obtaining ISO certification and implementing total quality management (TQM) in private and state‐owned organizations in SSA would strengthen their export capability, enhance their competitiveness and boost domestic demand for their products, thereby stimulating economic growth and development in the region. Further, it suggests that, for these quality improvement methods to be successfully implemented and sustained, the implementation process should be grounded on the unique social, cultural and economic conditions prevailing in SSA.
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