Graphic/GSA Breakfast Summit on standards today
The Secretary General of the International Standards Organisation (ISO), Sergio Mujica, has said the government’s vision of making the country a hub of global manufacturing was viable.
He said the approval of the National Quality Policy (NQP) and passage of the Standards Authority Act, 2022 (Act 1076) were major interventions that would send the right signals to the rest of the world that the country was open for large-scale investment in the production sector.
Mr Mujica, who is on a working visit to Ghana with the Secretary General of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), Dr Hermogène Nsengimana, made this known to the Daily Graphic in an interview ahead of the Graphic/GSA Breakfast Summit on standards and industrialisation at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra today.
The summit, themed: Standardisation and Industrialisation: “Could Ghana be the new hub for global manufacturing?” is expected to bring together members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), academia, regulators and policymakers to discuss Ghana’s potential of becoming a global manufacturing hub.
The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Rev. Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, will chair the summit.
The Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Prof. Alex Dodoo; Mr Mujica, Dr Nsengimana and the CEO of the AGI, Seth Twum Akwaboah will also hold a panel discussion.
Mr Mujica said with the right laws on standards in place and with enforcement, it would be easier for global manufacturing giants to knock on the doors of the country to set up production plants which would essentially make Ghana a hub of manufacturing.
Mr Mujica said standardisation was key in driving competitiveness of local industries and critical in protecting the environment and consumers from harmful products.
He called on the GSA and other stakeholders to work towards improving compliance.
Dr Nsengimana said it was important for African countries to harmonise standards and ensure uniformity of the continent's standards regime to help deepen trade and make the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) successful.
He reiterated the need for the adoption of one standard, one test and one certificate to address conflicting standards.
Leading a continental organisation, Dr Nsengimana said countries must adopt and enforce the right standards to reduce rejection of products from Africa on the international market as majority of the rejections were as a result of poor standards.
He urged the GSA to empower small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to adopt the harmonised standards to promote quality.
Prof. Dodoo said the GSA would ensure the strict enforcement of laws on standards to serve as a guide for other African countries to build robust standard regimes to facilitate smooth trading under the AfCFTA.
He said enforcement would also bring order to the public space, create jobs, generate revenue for the state and ensure discipline in society.
He, however, added that the GSA would open a window of assistance to manufacturers, service providers, exporters and importers to comply with the laws and the new quality culture on standards.