AfCFTA must encourage adherence to standards  – ISO boss

Sergio Mujica

Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of the International Standards Organisation (ISO), has urged the country to lead the way in encouraging fair trade by adhering to global standards.

He made the remarks during his visit to the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Accra, in the company the Secretary-General of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), Dr. Hermogène Nsengimana, and the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo.

Mr. Mujica and Dr. Nsengimana are on a 3-day official visit to Ghana to meet with industry players and policy-makers on how the country could be better positioned to attract investments and become a hub for manufacturing.

Mr. Mujica observed that with the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA headquartered in Accra, the country was ready for massive industrialisation that has the potential to speed up development.

The visit, according to him, symbolises a lasting partnership between the ISO and GSA, with the potential to unlock trade opportunities under the AfCFTA and uplift lives across the region.

Prof. Dodoo, in his submission, noted that over the last few years, his outfit, with support from the government, has put in place necessary legislations and framework to make industry ride on the back of standards to remain competitive.

As part of efforts to curb the influx of sub-standard commodities, he revealed that about 250 officials of the GSA are currently undergoing law enforcement training at the Ghana Police Service Training School at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

The trainees are expected to receive training in evidence gathering, preparation of dockets and other law enforcement skills to enable them conduct routine checks and investigate complaints on local traders and businesses to ensure that imported and local goods meet acceptable standards.

Known as the Trading Standards Officers (TSOs), they have been drafted for the first time into the country’s standards regulation regime to conduct market surveillance and other activities to weed out fake brands and inject sanity in the trading of goods in the country.

“For example, they will take samples of goods for testing, check the accuracy of weighing scales and measures, such as for beer and spirits in pubs and clubs and make sure labelling is correct and advertising is not misleading,” Prof. Dodoo noted.

The TSOs, he added, is one of the major interventions that would help make the country suitable for fair trade at the global level.

“What we are doing here is getting global recognition, and that is why we have the ISO and ARSO Secretary-Generals in the country visiting to express hope in what we are doing and rally industry along,” he added.


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