Ghana Standards Authority holds Open Day

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), yesterday held an open day in a bid to expose its activities and programmes to the public.

It was attended by students from the UPSA, Accra Polytechnic, Radford University College, Consumer Sciences and School of Engineering of the University of Ghana, manufacturers, small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and a cross section of the public.

The students were briefed on the mandate and operations of the GSA and, also taken round some of the laboratories such as, Metrology, Pesticide, Food and Drinks and the forensic.

The programme formed part of activities to mark the World Standards Day, which falls on Wednesday, October 14, and under the theme, “Standards, the world’s common language”.

In his opening remarks, the Head of Public Relations of the GSA, Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, explained that the open day programme was instituted three years ago to promote interaction between the Authority and the general public.

He said GSA was a technical organisation and a lot of the citizens did not understand the scientific language the Authority used in its operations.

The Head of Public Relations said, it was to reverse that, the   open-day programme was initiated to enable the public appreciate issues about standards and the processes the GSA goes through in certifying products.

He said the open day programme was raising the consciousness of consumers and manufacturers about standards and the need for products to meet GSA standards.

Mr Amponsah-Bediako explained that standards were critical and the basis of standards was to protect the health and safety of consumers as well as preserving the environment, saying ‘without standards, there would be chaos in the society”.

He said the GSA did not only develop standards for food products but also processes and management systems as well as conducts conformity assessment to ensure that products meet specified standards, stressing conformity assessment   involves inspection, testing, accreditation, and certification.

For instance, he said the GSA has developed standards for the poultry products and it stipulates that a poultry should not contain more than fifteen per cent of fat.

“By way of standards we are able to communicate on a common platform and ensure that goods move across the region to promote trade,” he said.

The Marketing Manager of GSA, Emmanuel Okyere Asante in his remarks said GSA is a national standards body and the only institution that has the mandate to develop and implement standards.

He explained that that GSA develops standards in the areas of food, drug, energy and petroleum for the regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drugs Authority, Energy Commission and National Petroleum Authority to enforce.

Emmanuel Tetteh George, the President of Engineering Student of the University of Ghana in an interview with The Ghanaian Times said the visit provided him the opportunity to learn about the mandate of GSA.

Rabbi Ebenezer,   student of Accra Polytechnic for his part said, he was excited about the visit, because it gave him the avenue to visit the industrial laboratory of GSA.

“Today is my first time of seeing an industrial laboratory, though I have had practical attachments at hospital laboratories,” he said.

Ebenezer lauded the GSA for initiating the open day programme to open the doors of the Authority to the general public.

By Kingsley Asare & Emelia Enyonam Kuleke

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