The Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) Prof. Alex Dodoo has been elected as president of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO).
On behalf of the Government of Ghana, he will lead the continent’s body in-charge of standardization in June 2022 when the tenure of BOOTO à NGON Charles comes to an end. Prof. Dodoo, 57, was unanimously elected at the 26th ARSO General Assembly in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
The victory comes days after Ghana was successfully elected to the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term starting on January 1, 2022.
The role of Accra in ensuring the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area has become crucial as she now leads the body mandated to harmonize standards in the region to facilitate seamless infra-trading, as well as playing host to the AfCFTA secretariat.
Prof Dodoo noted that working with member-states to harmonize the continent’s standardization is his immediate priority. “For our free trade deal to succeed, we need to have acceptable way of trading. And that cannot be achieved without a harmonized standardization and conformity procedures,” Prof Dodoo said.
In his address to the General Assembly, the newly elected ARSO president said the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area hinges on removing technical barriers to trade which include standards.
The Head of Standards Organization of Nigeria, Mallam Farouk Salim said ARSO under the stewardship of Prof Dodoo will “accelerate the drive to having acceptable standards that will boost intra-African trade.”
Alex, who trained as a medical scientist, was appointed the DG of GSA in 2017 and has since been working to enhance the efficiency of the institution. As head of standards in Ghana, he has been working to stop the importation of substandard goods while supporting local manufacturers to produce in conformity with international standards, which feeds into President Akufo-Addo’s vision of industrialization.
He championed the development of Ghana’s first building code – a comprehensive code that sets out conditions and approval procedures to regulate the construction industry.
Prof Dodoo told the general assembly: “For us in Ghana, the president has been clear on the crucial role of standards in his drive to make Ghana export-oriented and that has been our focus since 2017. Together with member-states, we will adopt innovative approach to harmonize standards on the continent to make cross-border trading seamless.
However, this cannot be achieved without the support and active participation of all member-countries. So, let’s all join hands and support our respective governments to make AfCFTA beneficial for all.”