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Wean yourselves off govt support- Michael Baafi urges GSA staff

BY: Kester Aburam Korankye
Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, addressing the participants in the durbar to mark World Standards Day
Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, addressing the participants in the durbar to mark World Standards Day

A deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, has urged staff of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to work towards making the authority profitable and independent of government’s financial support.

He said the GSA was well positioned to make enough money from fees and charges to pay itself and also contribute to the growth of businesses, but said that could only be achieved if there was unity and support for the leadership of the authority.

Mr Baafi made the call at an event to commemorate this year’s World Standards Day in Accra last Friday, on the theme: “Shared vision for a better world”.

The day, which is commemorated on October 14 every year, was celebrated throughout last week by the GSA in collaboration with the private sector.

Sustainable activities

Mr Baafi said the need to provide a better and fair world with more sustainable activities was vital because people kept degrading the environment in diverse ways, including pollution of air from the emission of cars and manufacturing industries.


“In a bid to create a better world for the present and future generations, implementation of standards is critical to making this shared vision a possibility.

“The practical solutions provided by standards in all aspects of an economy have become more relevant as we seek to achieve SDGs to build a better world,” he added.

According to him, a world without standards would be full of chaos, social imbalances, collapsed businesses and failed communities where individuals would only look out for personal gains and profit.

However, he said standards provided a fair playing field for all businesses and for consumers to get value for money.

Attaining SDGs

Touching on the attainment of the SDGs, the deputy minister said the country could only achieve the goals through public and private partnerships and the use of international standards for conformity assessment.

“A typical case is how citizens managed to live through the peak periods of the COVID-19 pandemic when there was the closure of land and sea borders.

“It pushed the people to manufacture handwashing and fast-moving consumer goods, thus, reducing the importation of such items into the country,” he said.

Mr Baafi further said that “the GSA helped many industries with standards for free or at discounted costs for testing and certification, and that brought out the innovative skills of the youth”.

Regulation

The Deputy Director-General of the GSA in charge of Conformity Assessment, Clifford Frimpong, called on stakeholders to use standards for regulatory and policy activities as they were made in collaboration with the authority.

Mr Frimpong, who represented the Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, said the authority’s standards contained elements that could help the country to become an important global player in the protection of the climate.

He entreated every individual, the government, regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders, to work together and ensure the application of standards in industry and commerce to make the country a better place for future generations.

“Standards can provide much of the technical detail and safety requirements needed to make a good policy work.

“This includes everything from test methods to good management practices and the removal of barriers to international trade,” Mr Frimpong added.