GSA moves to clamp down on counterfeit goods

UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, Baroness Catherine Hoey of Lylehill and Rathlin, extreme left, interacting with DG of GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo, extreme right

The Director-General of Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Prof. Alex Dodoo, is confident that the establishment of Trading Standards Inspectors (TSIs) will fortify consumer confidence by exposing counterfeit products and championing a culture of standardisation in the marketplace.

In an era when counterfeit goods pose a significant threat to both consumers and legitimate businesses, the country’s deployment of TSIs – Africa’s first trading standards inspectors, according to Prof. Dodoo – aims to sanitise markets and boost consumer confidence.

“We expect industry to work according to the best international practices. If all these things come together, the result is that Ghanaian companies will have a bigger share of the market, make more profit and ultimately provide Ghanaian consumers with quality goods and services at affordable prices,” he said.

Prof. Dodoo further noted that the standards inspectors will play a pivotal role in upholding market integrity and ensuring products meet stringent standards, safeguarding consumers from potentially hazardous or substandard items.

The Director-General of GSA, who spoke on the side-lines of a ceremony awarding certificates to the new inspectors, added that: “We expect consumers in Ghana to feel safer”.

The primary focus of these inspectors, he explained, is to crack down on counterfeit products, a menace that not only jeopardises consumer safety but also undermines the credibility of authentic businesses while distorting fair competition.

During his remarks at the ceremony, which was organised by GSA in partnership with the British Standards Institution (BSI) in Accra, he indicated that the new inspectors have undergone training under the Standards Partnership Programme (SPP) by BSI.

So far, he disclosed, some 200 TSIs have been trained while an additional 50 are wrapping-up their training.

BSI Team Leader of Standards Partnership, Graham Holloway, on his part said the introduction of TSIs will go a long way to promote consumer confidence and safety.

“This project wouldn’t have taken place without support from the UK government, particularly the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) which administers the development budget,” he stated.

He noted that there’s a lot of competition for the development budget, but priority is only given to areas with a high rate of success – adding that the TSI initiative is already promising.

Mr. Holloway admonished the new inspectors that every counterfeit product they prevent from entering the market not only saves the public money but also promotes safety.

He added that by helping to ensure standards and quality of products produced in the country through their work, TSIs will ultimately drive patronage and the world’s attention to the goods and services produced in Ghana.

The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, Baroness Catherine Hoey of Lylehill and Rathlin, who was guest of honour at the ceremony, expressed confidence that the initiative impacts global efforts to promote standardisation.

This, she said, will guarantee the confidence of people in getting value for their money wherever they patronise products and services.

She acknowledged the efforts which have been made to ensure standardization, and also recognised the support from various agencies and institutions involved in the project – including BSI.

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