The European Union (EU) is to support Ghana in the establishment of a national accreditation body to provide standards to laboratories.
The existence of a proper accreditation scheme and infrastructure in the country would provide Ghanaians and West-African laboratories with local and affordable alternatives to obtain accreditation of ISO standards.
William Hanna, Head of the European Union in Ghana, disclosed this at the fourth steering committee meeting of the Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling Programme (TRAQUE) in Accra.
He said the establishment of the accreditation body required a strong commitment from government to address some of the required pre-conditions, which were currently being improved with the support of TRAQUE.
He said the accreditation body would also need appropriate office facilities, staff and a budget, adding that government needed to give financial support in this direction.
Mr. Hanna expressed the hope that government would set up the best conditions for the establishment which would serve as a model in the sub-region, to be successful.
He said the EU under the TRAQUE programme would also support the setting up of a Commodity Exchange, to enable efficient trading of agricultural products from small-scale growers.
The EU Ambassador said the programme would also support in the provision of equipment and certification for up to 15 warehouses, to become part of the new Warehouse Receipt System.
“TRAQUE is part of our wider support to promote prosperity and sustainable development in Ghana,” he added.
Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, said the establishment of the accreditation system, aligned with international best practices and standards, would help eliminate non-tariff barriers that impede the flow of goods and services.
He said a warehouse receipt system that delivers quality grains onto the Ghanaian market, reduce post-harvest losses, as well as helping in alleviating poverty of farmers was being expedited.
The Minister disclosed that a team was drafting quality infrastructure and policies, to facilitate trade, protect the consumer, the environment, and to promote sustainable economic trade development.
“TRAQUE is on track in ensuring that quality goods and services are delivered to consumers in domestic as well as international markets,” he added.