The reconstituted National Technical Committee for Textiles and Garments was on Friday inaugurated to work and ensure that Ghana meets the requirements for the production of textiles and garment for local and international markets.
The Committee, which had been expanded in size from about 12 members to 22 experts would be responsible for the development and promulgation of standards for the Textiles and Garment Industry.
The Committee is determined to consider standards for slit and kaba, Kente, smock and many other Ghanaian sewn clothes that are mostly preferred by many Ghanaians and foreigners alike.
It has Madam Eunice Antiaye, Head of Textiles and Garment Department, Accra Technical University, as its Chairperson, with other members drawn from different backgrounds, being industry, professional, educational and research institutions, certification bodies, consumer groups and Government departments.
The committee would utilise their expertise to encourage producers and manufacturers in Ghana to come out with quality products through applicable standards for the market.
Mr Nyame Berfi, Director in-charge of Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, who inaugurated the Committee in Accra on behalf of Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyeremarten, the Sector Minister, said Ghana could not take full advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) due to sub-standard goods.
“Even though AGOA presents a significant opportunity for Ghana to increase its manufacturing capacity and diversify its exports, the country has not been able to exploit to the full, the trading opportunities under the programme”, Mr Kyeremarten said in the speech read on his behalf.
He emphasised the importance of rigidly keeping to applicable standards as far as the Textiles and Garment industry was concerned and tasked the Committee to pay attention to the variety of fabrics, material and finishes in the production of textile articles and for modifications in the description of care processes.
Mr Kyeremanten also tasked the members of the Committee to use their expertise to come out with standards and requirements needed to ensure safety and quality of products from the industry.
Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General of the GSA said the Committee members represented capable men and women in the country who set standards for the nation in line with international standards.
He said quite often, most of the standards that were operational in the country were not known while other standards faced the challenges of enforcement and the GSA was determined to ensure that whatever standards were set, “to the extent permissible in law” were implemented.
Prof Dodoo mentioned challenges confronting the textile and garment industry as; sub-standard buttons, zips, tread, under-sized measuring tapes as well as the inability to penetrate the job markets.
“The task we have thrown to the Technical Committee is that Ghanaian clothes have sizes, please let’s know the standards for our sizes-for Fugu, for Kaftan and so on. That’s the only way we can trade online.
He said the textile industry was a critical area creating jobs for the people and so the need to put in place the quality infrastructure in terms of the quality of tread, fabric, dyes and the sizes available in tune with the best standards for higher patronage.
He announced that GSA was sourcing for funds to build a textile lab in Ghana like that of Ivory Coast, to support the Ghanaian industry.
Madam Antiaye, said the Committee would hit the ground running by holding meetings to deliberate on adoption, review or development of relevant standards.
“The work items that had been proposed include; size-designation for men and boys’ garments, women and girls’ garments, then size-designation for men and boys’ underwear, night wear and shirts. Size designation for women and girls underwear, foundation garment and shirts.”
Garment construction, Professional care in terms of cleaning and finishing, assessment, care labelling codes as well as the code of practice for garment producers, and review some of the standards for the industry, she said.