The Leadership of Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) has paid a courtesy call on the Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), and discussed issues bothering on conformity standards.
The delegation, led by the National President of TAGG, Mr David Kwadwo Amoateng, in the discussions indicated that the visit was also to show appreciation for the support traders in the country had been receiving from the GSA, under the leadership of Prof. Dodoo.
He also mentioned improvement in testing facilities that had reduced the time spent on securing product certification by the GSA and lauded Prof. Dodoo for his vision, which had ensured that the GSA embark on strategic missions that had improved the trading situation in the country.
Mr David Kwadwo Amoateng averred that the enforcement of standards and ridding the market of inferior goods that were normally imported into the country by rogue importers are some major milestones GSA has chalked which are commendable.
Mr Amoateng also mentioned that the GSA, under the leadership of Prof. Dodoo, had seen a rise in the promotion of and education on the country’s standards and the creation of new ones, such as the Ghana Building Code, saying that: “I believe one of your legacies, Prof. Dodoo, has been ensuring that elevators or lifts in the country are properly certified for safety.”
He commended GSA on how swift it moved its equipment to test cables in the market.
He averred that it has become cumbersome for traders to bring their goods to the GSA for testing and that for GSA to go to the traders themselves is a major thing which will ease the burden on traders whenever they want their items tested.
“A lot of people do not know the kind of standards they need to bring into the country and in as much as a lot of people are complaining of foreign infiltration, most do not meet the standards and quality. Consumers also find it difficult to see which product is of quality when it comes to standard,” he said, urging the GSA to continue with its market sensitization for traders to conform to the laws and standards.
On his part, the Director General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, gave the assurance that GSA would provide the springboard for the attainment of the government’s economic transformation agenda.
He said, the GSA is committed to improving the ease of doing business for the private sector and providing a level playing field for all enterprises to grow.
To meet that commitment, the authority has given an assurance that it will support the various trade organisations to improve the standards of locally produced goods and ensure that all imported products meet the required national standards.
He said: “Businesses want fair trade; they want the standards to be the same, whether the goods are manufactured in Ghana or imported, so the GSA will make the private sector aware of the standards in the country. We want closer collaboration because the GSA sees the success of every trader as its success.”
Prof. Dodoo said under the direction of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the GSA would introduce new regulatory requirements to address health, safety and environmental issues in accordance with international agreements, adding that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted how we trade, but consumers will continue to demand safety and quality assurance, while private and public authorities will continue to scrutinise imported and exported goods for compliance.
He noted that producers would need reputable evidence that the products and services met regulatory, technical and other requirements, hence the need for certification.
The TAGG Delegation included the General Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Nana Opoku Acheampong; the Deputy General Secretary, Ms Juliet Kusi, and the Protocol Officer, Mr Abraham Fianu.
Others were the Kumasi Chairman of the group, Mr George Aggrey; the Treasurer, Ms Irene Victoria Odoom; the Deputy Protocol Officer, Mr Daniel Fosu, and the Deputy Secretary for Kumasi, Mr Silas Osei.
They congratulated GSA boss on his reappointment as the Director General of the Authority.
TAGG is a trade advocacy group established to facilitate trade and support the government in developing new areas of policy in order to tackle unmet trade needs and deal with emerging trade issues in the country.
The group’s objectives include mobilising the informal sector to assist the government to achieve its economic transformation agenda and help trade associations to achieve their set objectives.
The group has registered over 6,000 traders and about 54 trade associations across the 16 regions of the country.
by Prosper Agbenyega