Ghana and the United Kingdom have launched the Standards Partnership Pilot aimed to use global standards to boost trade opportunities between Ghanaian and UK businesses.
Under the initiative, the British Standards Institution (BSI) will collaborate and support the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to strengthen the national quality infrastructure and systems in line with international recommended practices.
The pilot will also help deliver secondary benefits by enabling businesses to build resilient, diversified supply chains with high-quality products and services – resulting in greater choice and lower prices of goods for consumers.
Speaking at the launch, Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner to Ghana, said the partnership “is absolutely fundamental to boosting Ghana’s trade, not only with the UK, but with other countries on this continent and with the rest of the world.”
“This programme will help put Ghanaian businesses on the global stage. By adopting and working within international trading standards, this new partnership will build greater capacity in Ghana’s Standard Authority, and better position companies to export Ghanaian products to the UK.
“Our goal is to increase trade between our two countries and importantly, that is in both directions. So yes, we want to see more British goods coming to Ghana to benefit the consumers here. But also, we want to see more products coming from Ghana to the UK. And that’s where this partnership becomes so important. If we can support Ghanaian exporters to meet the standards that the UK market look at, then that removes one of the barriers that’s currently stopping Ghanaian goods coming to the UK,” she said.
Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, said the launch would boost Ghana’s hopes of becoming a major business hub in Africa and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“We’re delighted to be launching the pilot today in Ghana and be spearheading the Standards Partnership, partnering with FCDO and BSI. It’s an exciting and pivotal time – using and adopting international standards will help transform our country and continent, and improve trade locally, regionally and also globally. The Standards Partnership Programme is one of the critical tools that will make our vision of Ghana Beyond Aid a reality.”
David Bell, Director of Standards Policy at BSI, said: “Complying with standards builds trust and confidence. Ghanaian organisations will benefit from that trust and confidence in being able to build resilience, accelerate progress and create prosperity for their country.
“We are immensely proud to be leading this pilot – building on the achievements of The Commonwealth Standards Network programme we delivered from 2018 to 2021. We look forward to continuing to support the FCDO and partnering with the GSA to enable future trade opportunities between the UK and Africa.”
The project is the first step towards the Standards Partnership programme – a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded initiative to unlock sustainable economic development by increasing the capacity of developing countries to use and comply with standards and regulatory measures – enabling them to access new markets and benefit from global supply chains. –GNA