The Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Board, has called for the need for a strong stakeholder support to ensure the success of national and international standards activities in the country.
Mr Adu Gyamfi Darkwa said “with a strong stakeholder support, the implementation and application of standards will be enhanced”, adding that the support could be in the form of funding, recognition and the commitment of resources and expertise.
Mr Darkwa, who made the call at the opening of an international workshop on “Consumer Participation in International Standardisation” in Accra yesterday, stated that a strong stakeholder support would also ensure market relevance and acceptance of standards produced.
The five-day Train-the-Trainers workshop is being organised by the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) and supported by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) and the British Standards Institution.
It brought together participants from Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Sri Lanka, St Lucia and Thailand.
Mr Darkwa said that while standardisation was the cornerstone of every country's development, that reality was yet to be well appreciated in most developing countries including Ghana.
The GSB executive director said in order to address the numerous challenges of standardisation the Ghana Standards Board had developed a five-year strategic plan, the main goals of which is to ensure stakeholder participation and support for standardisation at the regional and international levels and improve the involvement in regional and international standardisation activities.
A Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development (PSD) and President's Special Initiative (PSI), Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, stated that the country's trade policy, which was being implemented through a Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP), had identified specific areas as having direct bearing on standards.
The areas included technical barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary measures applicable to imports and exports, management and training, health and safety of consumers and economic interest of consumers.
“Standards are necessary for the functioning of anonymous exchanges and therefore for the facilitation of trade,” she said.
The deputy minister expressed the hope that the workshop would further spread the knowledge of how standards were developed and set at the national, regional and international levels.
“I further hope that their (foreigner) participation in this workshop will enable them to spread the knowledge of how consumers can express their needs and have them reflected on the standards we use,” Ms Botchway stated.
Story by Boahene Asamoah