Standardisation plays a key role in national development, Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), has said.
He said the GSA is the national standards body of Ghana responsible for the national quality infrastructure encompassing standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment.
He said standardisation was a critical cornerstone of every nation’s development, adding, “We are, therefore, very much interested in contributing to the strengthening of standardisation to promote national development.”
Prof Dodoo made these remarks in a speech read on his behalf at the opening session of a three-day training programme on Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001:2015).
He noted that with the support of all and sundry, the implementation and application of standards would be enhanced in Ghana and the ECOWAS sub-region.
The training programme, dubbed “National Training Workshop on Requirements for ISO 14001:2015”, is being organised by the GSA, in collaboration with the European Union (EU), ECOWAS, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and the West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP).
The aim of the training programme is to build and develop expertise at the national level on Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
Prof Dodoo said the EMS could provide many benefits from both an environmental and business standpoint. He noted that it would help organisations to improve upon their environmental performance, through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.
He said the EMS also provided a framework that helped a company achieve its environmental goals, through consistent control of its operations.
He said the training programme would go a long way to build the capacity of the participants, and improve the knowledge base in Environmental Management Systems in Ghana.
Prof Dodoo expressed gratitude to the EU for providing the funds to support the promotion of the Quality Infrastructure in the ECOWAS region, declaring that the EU had been playing an active role on quality issues in Ghana over the years.
He also acknowledged UNIDO’s contributions for being the implementing agency for the West Africa Quality Systems Programme, which had supported various quality infrastructure activities in Ghana over the past four years.
Mr Fakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO Representative to Ghana and Liberia, in a speech read on his behalf, said UNIDO believed that by promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development, the member countries would be able to take advantage of their vast human and natural resources and achieve a higher level of socioeconomic progress, which was both inclusive and environmentally-sustainable.
He said UNIDO was committed to assisting Ghana and all partner countries in achieving their development objectives, consistent with UNIOD’s global competencies.
“UNIDO, through its projects in Ghana, is ready, in every way, to cooperate and support the private sector and government institutions in their activities. We want Ghanaian investors to come forward and improve their product and service quality, and actively participate in the local and regional economy,” he said.
Mr Azizi said UNIDO would continue to focus on strategic and country-relevant thematic areas, including rural and agro-industrial development, trade facilitation and support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), sustainable energy, environmental protection and cross-cutting concerns on human rights, job creation, women empowerment and youth development.
He commended the GSA for obtaining an accreditation certificate from DAKKS, the German accreditation body, which gave the authority a seal of approval and endorsement for six of its metrology laboratories last month, adding that “UNIDO is proud to be associated with this achievement.”
Dr Georgios Tsopanakis, Programmes Manager, EU Delegation to Ghana, said standardisation and accreditation were core at the efforts of Ghana to breakthrough. He said there was no future without quality, adding that “there is no future without