Tanzania’s international bar code printing costs skyrocket
- Published on 05 July 2012
Tanzania is losing more than Sh125 million annually as a result of printing bar codes in other countries such as Kenya and South Africa, says an official.
Bar codes help to trace fake products, simplify the collection of data, payments, determine price accuracy and save time at the point of sale.
And one year ago, Tanzania adopted the ‘Global Standard One’ (GS1) bar code system, resulting in the East African nation registering 2,800 products from 190 companies on the system.
GSI Tanzania was created to reduce the country's dependence on other countries for bar codes, in a bid to help cut costs of doing business and assist small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to enter global markets.
But an official has lamented what he says is the low take-up of the GS1 bar code system among that country’s businesses.
“Unawareness of many entrepreneurs in Tanzania on the use of bar codes in their products has caused hardships in doing cross-border businesses, causing the country to lose more than Sh125 million annually from businesses using bar codes from foreign countries,” Mabamba Maregesi, a GS1 Tanzania official, told The Citizen newspaper in that country.
The organisation says it has also faced challenges such as the illegal computer generation of untrustworthy bar codes.
“Bar codes is still a new gospel in Tanzania, which needs extra efforts to change the mind-sets of people to start registering their products with bar codes,” said Maregesi.