In order to make the country's goods more competitive in the global marketplace, officials in the sub-Saharan nation of Tanzania are now pushing all companies - including small and medium-sized businesses - to use a Tanzania-specific barcode.
The use of barcode software in Tanzania is not a unique phenomenon, as organizations operating in the nation have been leveraging the tracking technique for years. According to a March Tanzania Daily News article, the country has followed Global Standard One - a Belgian-based barcode software standard - since August 2011.
What Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda proposed last month is for the country to adopt its own barcode tracking software standard. The goal of this shift, Tanzania Daily News reported in February, is to make it significantly easier for officials and companies in other countries to track a product's nation of origin back to Tanzania. While the previous international barcode standard made this information more difficult to track, now barcode reading software will be able to more readily extract a product's national origin at any point in the global supply chain.
"Let us be patriotic and use the local barcodes," Pinda said, according to The Citizen Reporter. "It is a shame for a local entrepreneur to use a foreign barcode to sell their products even in their own country."
Benefits of the New Barcode Tracking System
According to country officials who have been instrumental in implementing this new Tanzania-specific barcode tracking software system, the benefits of the new paradigm are two-fold. For one, it will now be easier for others to precisely determine that a part, finished good or food item came from Tanzania. According to what Tanzania Daily News said earlier this month, the new system will enable global supply chain partners to more easily stay compliant of guidelines established by international bodies in Africa, Europe and other parts of the world.
Another major benefit of the barcode tracking software system is that it is now easier for local stores to stock Tanzanian-made goods and for consumers to purchase local products. Under the old system, stores - and therefore customers - had a significantly more difficult time determining if an item came from around the corner or around the globe. Now, businesses will be able to almost instantaneously determine if an item is from the nation, Tanzania Daily News reported last month. As consumers in Tanzania and from around the world increasingly clamor for local goods and locally grown food, being able to easily determine country of origin via barcode reading software will become more important.
"This is one of the efforts of the fourth phase government to make sure that Tanzania products have required standards and also help improve small and medium enterprises welfare in the country," Pinda said.