Standards Authority To Champion Intra-African Trade
The African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) at its 57th Council Meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan, in November, discussed effective ways to mobilise and position the organisation for it to benefit from the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Promoting trade among African countries by taking advantage of the CFTA is one of our ultimate goals, says Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
'Within the next 24-months Ghana will be trading significantly in Tuna fish with Morocco'.
The purpose of CFTA is to 'Create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African Customs Union, expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general'.
'Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes and enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources'.
At the Meeting, the Ghanaian delegation made up of Prof. Dodoo, and Mr Frank Anagattey, GSA's Deputy-Director Operations, assured ARSO of GSA's preparedness to champion the intra-African mission.
The meeting started with the adoption of Minutes of the 56th ARSO Council Meeting held in Ougadogou, Burkina Faso earlier this year.
Participants went on to discuss the 'Involvement of the African Union, UNECA and the ARSO Goodwill Ambassadors to explore opportunities available for funding within the CFTA, create for the adoption and implementation of African standards, make use of the CFTA TBTS/SPS policy documents to draw ARSO Programmes and activities'.
As part of the meeting, the final draft of African Standards for 34 products in the Textiles and Leather category were approved.
Officials who made interventions at the Meeting included Dr Awad Mohamed Ahmed, Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organization (SSMO) Director General, Dr Hermogene Nsengimana, ARSO Secretary General and Dr. Eve Gadzikwa, ARSO President.
Dr Nsengimana delivered a lecture on 'Role of Quality Infrastructure and Standardisation in facilitating Trade and Sustainable Development within the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)'.
On the sidelines, the Ghanaian delegation and SSMO Director-General discussed ways of collaborating in the area of Gold Hallmarking.
SSMO is a member of ISO, ARSO, the Arab Standards and Metrology Organization (ASMO), Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Arab Industrial and Mining Organization (AIDMO).
The 57th Council Meeting was hosted by the Government of the Republic of Sudan, through the Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organisation.