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20.01.2005 Business & Finance

African industries urged to conform to international standards

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Accra, Jan. 20, GNA - Participants at a West Africa Regional Workshop on NEPAD, Science and Technology Project, on Thursday urged small-scale industries to improve on the standards of their products to conform to international levels.

They also proposed the setting up of specific targets for stakeholders in the West Africa sub-region to help small-scale industries to progress from their humble beginnings into big giants on the international market.

In an interview with the GNA in Accra at the end of the workshop, Dr Joseph Gogo, West Africa Coordinator of the Project said the workshop had been successful in identifying the flagship areas that West Africa should deal with.

The four-day workshop was aimed at developing programmes for science and technology application and development in West Africa within the framework of NEPAD.

The flagship areas include biodiversity, science and technology, material science, energy technology, post harvest food technologies, and laser technology.

Dr Gogo said the workshop was the outcome of the first ministerial conference on science and technology held in Johannesburg, South Africa in November last year.

He said a plan of action for science and Technology was adopted at the conference from which the flagship areas were indicated for implementation at the national levels.

Dr Gogo explained that material science, if well developed could help the building industry come out with quality and affordable building materials, which conform to international standards adding, "the other technologies could also excel".

He said scientific experts in West Africa had already made a good start through the effort of the ECOWAS Secretariat, which organized similar meeting to establish a framework for developing science in West Africa.

It was the hope of the participant that proposals made would be implemented to help Africa use its knowledge to address its problems in a unique but competitive way in the present global economy, he added.

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