GHANA – The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the British Standard Institute (BSI) have initiated the pilot phase of a standard cooperation program to increase trade opportunities between the two nations.
The project, which is now being piloted in Ghana and Rwanda, will emphasize bolstering the country’s quality organizations and systems infrastructure in accordance with best practices that are internationally recognized.
The Director-General of the GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo, said standards represented extremely powerful and unavoidable means of transforming lives and livelihoods for the country and the continent as a whole, adding that it was the language of trade.
“We’re delighted to be launching the pilot today in Ghana and be spearheading the Standards Partnership, partnering with FCDO and BSI. It’s an exciting and pivotal time – using and adopting international standards will help transform our country and continent, and improve trade locally, regionally, and also globally.
“The Standards Partnership Programme is one of the critical tools that will make our vision of Ghana Beyond Aid a reality. To put it simply, no standards, no trade; no trade, no economy, and no economy, no jobs,” he said.
The programme, which is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), will also assist in delivering secondary benefits by allowing businesses to increase their resilience and diversify their supply chains with high-quality goods and services, which will give consumers more options and lower prices for goods.
The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms. Harriet Thompson, said the programme was important because it would deepen the UK’s already existing special economic relations with Ghana while boosting trade between the two nations.
“As we work towards this goal, we are focused on Ghana’s economic priorities and looking at where the British government can help make the most difference,” she said.
Ms. Thompson added that the programme was a direct response to calls made by the government of Ghana through the UK-Ghana Business Council, saying it demonstrated that honest and open discussions among partners did generate results.
Dignitaries from all three nations were present, including Dr. Fared Arthur, AfCFTA Coordinator for Ghana, Paul Wittingham, Deputy Director of Trade for Development at the FCDO, and David Bell, Director of Standards Policy at the BSI.
The agreement, according to Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, will allow the standardization body to grow its technical expertise and support the government’s industrialization agenda.
He added that it will give local businesses the tools they need to make goods that adhere to international standards and best practices and expand their market reach.
Mr. Baafi revealed that earlier this year, the Cabinet approved a National Quality Policy to direct organizations like the GSA and Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to ensure that goods and services coming from or traded in Ghana were designed, manufactured, and supplied in a manner that matched the needs, expectations, and requirements of the increasing global population.
The project unveiled during the Africa Debate 2022 in July by Vicky Ford, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister, is expected to end in March 2023.
Launched under the theme “Supporting Business and Sustainable Trade in Ghana,” it will also test ideas and pave the path for a potential extended project including more nations in the years to come.