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23.02.2005 General News

African countries urged to embrace standardisation

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Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Alan Kyerematen on Wednesday urged African countries to embrace the culture of standardization, saying the ability of the continent to participate fully in world trade depended on it.

"The culture of standardization should permeate our everyday lives. I am looking forward to a situation where standards could be taught as a discipline right from our basic schools," he said. Mr Kyeremanten was speaking at the inaugural workshop of the African Standardization Forum in Accra as part of the 13th African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) General Assembly and Council meeting, which began on Monday.

ARSO is a Regional Federation of National Standards Bodies in Africa with a membership of 25.

Mr Kyerematen said ensuring that goods and services met international requirements through standardization would enable countries on the continent to become relevant in world trade and generate resources to support the development and growth of their economies.

It would also promote competitiveness and enhance quality of products coming from Africa.

"The more we understand standardization, the better we shall internalise the concept and derive greater benefits from it," he said. Mr. Damian Agbanelo, Secretary General ARSO, said Africa needed to evolve a standardization roadmap to ensure that it became a dynamic player in the global market.

He said the workshop stemmed from the collective desire of ARSO to improve beyond-the-border trade among African countries as well as participate in the global marketplace and alleviate poverty. The Forum, which is targeted at standards producers, users of standards, facilitators of standardisation programmes and consumers, is to review standardization programme on the continent.

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