GHANA – The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has been urged to forge closer relationships with industry players to ensure that goods manufactured in the country meet international market standards.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Michael Okyere Baafi, said standards were needed for the full realization of the country’s potential for the betterment of society, stressing that without standards, the speed of change and innovation would not be possible.
He aired these remarks at the hoisting of the flag ceremony at the head office of the GSA to mark World Standards Day, which falls on October 14. The day which was on the theme: “Standards for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- Our Shared Vision for a Better World”, aims at raising awareness among regulators, industry and consumers on the importance of standardization to the global economy.
The theme focused on the SDGs adopted as a benchmark to end poverty and for measuring the quality of life and human development by 2030 with the expectation of peace and prosperity throughout the world.
Mr. Baafi stated that the day provided an equitable shield for human security and the minimization of risks in all spheres of existence.
“Without this shield, there will be no means of ensuring standards for the production of goods and services, transfer of knowledge and expertise of communication and technology at little or no cost,” he said.
He said it would be more expensive to run an economy without standards as there would be complete anarchy in the marketplace with consumers at the losing end.
Mr. Baafi noted that in the environment of artificial intelligence and the internet of things, standardized security measures ensure data security and act as a deterrent to hackers while Internationally recognized safety procedures in the field of robotics ensure ease of interactions and human safety around robots at lower costs.
Standards key to rapid industrialization
He said standards required a global and collaborative effort to be developed and accepted as international benchmarks, which conferred on manufactured goods and services, international recognition and marketability.
Standards, he said, were the most drivers in the process of rapid industrialization and technological development and that innovation were driven not only by the markets but also by rewards of recognition and trademarks that were enabled by standardization.
“Innovators rely on standards developed by International Electrotechnical Commission, International Organization for Standardization and International Telecommunications Union, in ensuring seamless compatibility, interoperability and marketability of new technologies,” he said.
He said the celebration was happening at a time that the GSA was re-tooling and repositioning itself in the sub-region and Africa as a customer-focused world-class standards organization with a mission to contribute towards the growth of industry, consumer protection and trade facilitation.
Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General, GSA, said the authority over the years had played a key role in promoting rapid industrialization through the development of relevant standards and conformity assessment activities like inspection, testing and certification.
He said the day allowed customers, partners, stakeholders and the public to interact and familiarize themselves with the activities of the authority.
In addition, he informed that the authority had agreed to use their certification and guidelines regime to ensure that the informal sector was recognized by the state to offer businesses to government agencies in the private entities and get rewarded.