Mr Fred Owusu Gyamera, a Senior Scientific Officer and Head of the Standards Department of the Ghana Standards Board (GSB), has said products from Ghana are not easily available on the international market because most producers do not follow laid down standards.
He said whereas Ghanaians could order clothes from other countries based on a number size, with details on how the clothing should be handled in terms of cleaning, the same could not be said about clothing made from Ghana.
"If you see Ghana-made attire in another country, there is nothing indicating how the fabric could be cleaned in terms of being machine washed, dry cleaned or hand washed. As for the size it is just a try and error kind of thing," Mr Gyamera said.
Mr. Gyamera was addressing staff and students of the University of Ghana on "The Relevance and Application of Standards to National Development", as part of activities towards the celebration of World Standards Day, which falls on Saturday, October 14, 2006.
Mr Gyamera said in a constantly evolving world, it was vital that industry, government and all sectors of society took a collaborative role in standardization. He said in all critical areas of manufacturing standards were needed; adding that standardization for businesses facilitated production efficiency and quality as well as opened doors to national and international trade.
"For society, it offers protection, reliability and choice and it also ensures safety, value for money, quality assurance and compatibility while providing freedom from discrimination, and a means for redress," Mr Gyamera said.
He said a standard was, therefore, a tool for market access and should be applied effectively to increase product performance and safety.
Mr Gyamera said trade continued to be the engine of the global economy and national development and its impact on Ghana's economy remained significant adding that since standardization played a fundamental role in manufacturing and trade, it was important for the Government and business entities to address the needs of the nation through effective use and application of standards and technical regulations.
Mrs Charlotte Ohene-Manu, Deputy Executive Director, GSB, said the GSB was considering introducing courses in standardization into the curricula of the tertiary institutions, realizing the benefits that could be derived from stakeholders' collaboration.
She said in the light of this the GSB had started consultation with some tertiary institutions such as the University of Education, Winneba and the University of Ghana, Legon, for the teaching of such a subject.
Professor D.A. Acheampong, a Mathematics Lecturer and a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said it is important that the relevance of quality assurance in education and industry is taken seriously by tertiary institutions in their own assessments.