The Standards Partnership Pilot project between Ghana and the United Kingdom has been launched.
The project which aims at boosting trade between the two countries would also focus on strengthening national quality infrastructure organisations and systems in complying with international recommended practices.
Furthermore, it will help deliver secondary benefits by helping businesses build resilient, diversified supply chains with high quality products and services.
Launching the project in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Yaw Okyere Baafi, said the British Standards Institution and the Ghana Standards Authority (BSI-GSA) partnership would enable the standards body develop the technical capacity to contribute to the government’s industrialisation efforts as well as provide the local industries with the tools to produce goods to meet international standards.
This, he noted would in turn open them up to a larger market audience for their products and services.
“The national quality infrastructure is critical in promoting and sustaining economic development as well as environmental and social well-being.
As such, it relies heavily on the GSA’s core functions, which were Metrology, Standardisation, and Conformity Assessment,” he emphasised.
The deputy minister said in view of that, cabinet earlier this year, approved a National Quality Policy to guide institutions like the GSA, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and many others, to ensure that goods and services emanating from or traded in Ghana were designed, manufactured and supplied in a manner that matched the needs, expectations and requirements of the increasingly competitive local and export markets.
He said the policy would also raise the quality consciousness among suppliers and consumers as well as maintain a quality culture in public life throughout the country.
Furthermore, he noted that the partnership would not only enhance the capacity of the institutions involved, but would also strengthen the long-standing relationship between the United Kingdom and Ghana.
“This partnership also ties in with the government’s flagship programme, 1 District 1 Factory, where products and services from these factories need to meet the right standards,” he said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo said to create jobs, Ghana and Africa needed to add value to its natural and mineral resources using the human resources available to it.
This he said must be backed with world class technology, stressing, “When that is done, we will be able to produce good quality goods and services that are already in demand globally and that meet international standards.”
Prof. Dodoo said standards represented an extremely powerful and unavoidable means to transform lives and livelihoods in the country and the continent as a whole.
“To put it simply– No standards – No trade. And No trade – No economy. And no economy, no jobs,” he stated.
The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms Harriet Thompson, said the collaboration was key and noted that Ghana remained a key trading partner for the UK, and improving standards would help further boost trade between the two countries.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL