History Of Metrology In Zambia

Metrology infrastructure in Zambia has been developed and strengthened over time in order to meet the country’s needs.

The history of the Zambia Metrology Agency (ZMA) dates back to the early colonial era when the need for standardizing weights and measures became apparent for trade and commerce. Before the establishment of ZMA, the responsibility for regulating and maintaining metrology in Zambia was primarily handled by the Assize department.

During the colonial period, Zambia (then known as Northern Rhodesia) inherited British weights and measures standards. The Assize department was tasked with ensuring the accuracy and fairness of weights and measures used in trade. This department played a crucial role in maintaining a consistent and reliable measurement system across the country.

In 1968, the Weights and Measures Act was enacted, providing a legal framework for regulating weights and measures in Zambia. This legislation aimed to establish uniformity and accuracy in measuring instruments and units used in trade, manufacturing, and other economic activities.

In 1970, the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency was established as an independent body responsible for enforcing the Weights and Measures Act. The board's main objective was to safeguard consumers' interests by ensuring that traders and manufacturers adhered to the prescribed standards of measurement.

In 2018, recognizing the need for modernizing and strengthening metrology practices, the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency underwent a significant transformation and was restructured into the Zambia Metrology Agency (ZMA). The establishment of ZMA marked a pivotal moment in Zambia's metrology history, signifying a shift towards international best practices and standards.

Under the new entity, the ZMA's mandate expanded beyond trade to encompass a broader range of metrology services. Metrology, as defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), encompasses the science of measurement and its application. ZMA now plays a vital role in promoting accuracy, consistency, and reliability in various fields, including scientific research, industrial production, and trade.