Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country must uphold to standards to build confidence in their products, Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, Head of Public Relations of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), has advised.
That, he said, would enable their products to be accepted on the international market and boost their businesses.
Mr Amponsah-Bediako gave the advice in Accra yesterday during the second day of the GSA open-day programme.
Organised for SMEs, the programme formed part of activities to mark the World Standards Day, which falls today and under the theme, “Standards – the world’s common language.”
In attendance were representatives from the Ghana Institute of Engineers, Ghana Traditional Caterers Association, Youth Enterprise Scheme, Accra Polytechnic, Agric and Engineering Department of the University of Ghana and the fishing community.
The participants were briefed about the mandate and operations of the Authority, and taken round some of the laboratories such as Metrology, Pesticide, Food, Drinks and Forensic.
As part of the programme, there was an exhibition for the SMEs to showcase their products. The representatives from the fishing community were taken through a demonstration of decent and hygienic way of smoking fish.
Mr Amponsah-Bediako explained that consumers were becoming conscious of their health and would not patronise products which had not been certified by the GSA.
He said standards were critical and the basis of it was to promote the health and safety of consumers, as well as preserve the environment.
The Head of Public Relations said some products manufactured in Ghana could not enter the African or the European markets because they had not been certified by the GSA.
“It is in the interest of the SMEs to get their products certified by the GSA so that their products can penetrate and compete on the international market,” he said.
Turning his focus on the open day, Mr Amponsah-Bediako said it was instituted three years ago to expose the activities of the GSA to the public, adding that it was meant to educate the public about issues about standards and the processes the Authority goes through in certifying products.
He said GSA was a technical organisation and that was why some of the people do not understand the scientific language the Authority used in its operations.
Mr. Amponsah-Bediako commended the participants for promptly responding to the invitation and coming to know the operations of the Authority at first-hand.
The Marketing Manager of GSA, Emmanuel Okyere Asante in his remark, said the GSA is national standards and the only national institution with the mandate to develop and promote standards in the country.
He said GSA has standards for virtually every product in the country, including food, electricals, building materials, petroleum and drugs.
Some of the exhibitors who spoke to The Ghanaian Times said they were excited about the programme and expressed the hope that more of such exhibitions would be organised in future to enable them to learn more about how they could use standards to produce quality products.
By Kingsley Asare