ARSO Technical Committee Meetings on agricultural products opens in Accra

President of ARSO and Director-General of the GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo,

The African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, through the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), is hosting a series of Technical Committee (TC) meetings on the harmonisation of African Standards for cocoa, coffee, tea, cassava value chain products and ecolabelling, sustainability and resilient systems.

The meetings are being held from March 25- 28, 2024, at the Aqua Safari Resort in Ada.

Food and agriculture experts from various African standardisation fields have converged on Ghana to deliberate and harmonise these standards to improve on the products and enhance intra-African trade.

The President of ARSO, Prof. Alex Dodoo, who is also the Director-General of the GSA, recognising the efforts of the experts, noted that their work has enabled ARSO to become powerful in championing the cause of standardisation on the continent.

“The 22 countries gathered here today are ambassadors of trade and are game changers in the world. Africa will soon not be takers of standards but will be makers of global standards and will change the world,” he said.

Pro. Dodoo, who was addressing stakeholders at the meeting, further encouraged the participants to uphold the very essence of standardisation and have fruitful deliberations during the meetings.

Dr. Hermogène Nsengimana, the Secretary-General for ARSO, expressed his gratitude towards the experts for their work.

He also shared that ARSO, in collaboration with GSA, recently contested the international standards on cocoa, which were unfavorable for the farmers. This led to the formation of African Standards on Cocoa, which is now benefiting the industry.

“It’s time Africa stands up and start pushing for change. We can dictate the market where Africa is leading in the production of certain products. This will lead to the development of our industry and promote growth and trade on the continent,” he noted.

ARSO, in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), is currently carrying out a project aimed at harmonizing and certifying African standards for dairy, horticulture, fisheries, and aquaculture products.

The project seeks to enhance the capacity of standardization institutions and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the implementation of harmonized standards on the mentioned products. This will ultimately support increased market access under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The experts attending the TC meetings are from Egypt, Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Liberia, Gabon, Ghana, DR Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Togo, Kenya, Rwanda, among others.

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