A two-day training workshop for journalists and media practitioners on the West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP) opened in Accra yesterday.
Under the ECOWAS Quality Programme, it is being organised by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) under the auspices of the European Union.
The two-day programme, on the theme, “Supporting ECOWAS Quality Policy in the Sub-region,” is being attended by 20 journalists from both the public and private media, namely the Ghanaian Times, Daily Graphic, Ghana News Agency, TV 3, Net 2 and Peace FM.
Opening the workshop, the Executive Director of the GSA, Dr George B. Crentsil, in a speech read on his behalf, said the programme was aimed at enhancing the understanding of the media on standardisation, conformity assessment and metrology.
That, he said, would help the media to communicate effectively on quality-related issues to help the business community and the entire nation to appreciate the importance of applying standards in their activities.
Dr Crentsil said educating the media and public on standards, would also help promote trade in the country, saying “conforming to standards reassures consumers that products are safe, efficient and good for the environment”.
He entreated the participants to take the course seriously to upgrade their knowledge on quality issues and effectively communicate same to the general public to accelerate national development.
The Director of Standards at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Baffour Tandor in his address said, Ghana is a member of the International Standard Organisation (ISO) and it was incumbent on her, to develop standards to meet the needs of the country and also protect consumers.
He said GSA had standards for all the sectors of the economy, which met ISO standards, saying such standards were developed in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the academia, research institutions and the private sector.
Touching on the WAQSP, which is in its third phase, Mr Tandor said it started in 2001 with the aim to strengthen quality standards in the sub-region to promote the safety of consumers and trade among countries in West Africa in particular and Africa in general, as well as to ensure that products from West Africa are accepted globally.
He said Ghana was placed under the third phase of the WAQSP, and as part of the programme the focus of the country was to develop its laboratory system to ensure that laboratory analysis conducted in the country meet international standards and accepted globally as well as facilitate trade between Ghana and the global community.
The head of the public Relations Department of GSA, Kofi Amponsah-Bediako said GSA is a scientific organisation that uses “specific technical language” in operations, hence the need to build the capacity of the media to effectively explain in simple language to the public.
Topics discussed at the workshop include Standardisation, conformity assessment, metrology (science of measurement and its application) issues regarding the World Trade Organisation.
By Lawrence Vomafa Akpalu and Kingsley Asare