GHANA – The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is set to ease the accessibility of standards by enabling online purchases, a move aimed at streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency in standards acquisition.

Speaking during the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce’s webinar on “The Role of the Ghana Standards Authority in Promoting Local and International Trade,” Joyce Okoree, Acting Director of the Certification Directorate, revealed that the GSA is nearing completion of the online purchasing platform, with approximately 90% of the process finalized.

While currently, standards can be procured via mobile money and bank transfers with all requisite security features, the imminent introduction of online payment options such as VISA card or Mastercard will further facilitate seamless transactions, ensuring timely service delivery and improved client outcomes.

Established under the GSA Act, 2022 (ACT 1078), the GSA serves as the National Statutory Body responsible for managing the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), with its core pillars comprising Standardization, Metrology, and Conformity Assessment.

Its mandate includes establishing, promulgating, and maintaining standards to ensure high-quality goods and services, whether for local consumption, export, or import.

Through its regulatory oversight and enforcement of standards, the GSA plays a pivotal role in promoting both local and international trade.

By ensuring compliance with standards, the authority enhances the reputation of Ghanaian products, builds consumer trust, and facilitates market access for exporters. Moreover, adherence to standards underscores the commitment of Ghanaian businesses to producing high-quality products, thereby boosting their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Challenges and opportunities

Despite the critical role played by the GSA in enhancing trade and consumer protection, challenges persist, including delays in certification processes and the financial burden of compliance on businesses.

Basil Yaw Ampofo, Global Product Compliance Manager (Africa) at Unilever, highlighted the industry’s significant capital investments to meet GSA standards, which may translate into higher operational costs passed on to consumers.

In response to these challenges, Madam Okoree assured stakeholders of the GSA’s commitment to reviewing its processes to expedite service delivery. Additionally, the authority is enhancing regional capacities and exploring partnerships with competent testing laboratories to address delays and improve efficiency.

Recognizing the pivotal role of SMEs in driving economic growth, the GSA is actively engaged in educating and supporting SMEs in standards compliance. Through simplified technical standards, educational materials, and an open-door policy, the GSA aims to empower SMEs and spur their market growth.

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