DRAFT NATIONAL QUALITY POLICY FOR GHANA READY – HON CARLOS AHENKORAH
A two-day workshop to corroborate a National Quality Policy for Ghana has ended, with a call on Ghanaian industries to adhere to greater quality standards that would help overcome challenges in accessing the markets of developed economies.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Carlos Ahenkorah, who made the call, noted that developing countries had to demonstrate product or service quality compliance as demanded by their markets and regulatory authorities.
The Minister minced no words in stressing that it was only with strict adherence to quality and standards that goods manufactured in the country can compete with other products on the international market. He said there is no way Ghana can rake in more revenue and cut back on importation of foreign goods if the quality of local goods does not conform to international markets.
The overall objective of the Policy is to improve the international competitiveness of Ghana, and lead to enhanced export performance, whilst at the same time protecting Ghana’s consumers and environment from counterfeit and unsafe products.
To ensure that the policy really works to achieve its desired objectives, the deputy minister revealed that Government was working on establishing a National Quality Council. The responsibility of the Council would be to implement the National Quality Policy (NQP) as well as coordinate the activities of institutions that oversee quality related activities to ensure that health and safety of individuals and the environment are protected. It would consist of representatives of key ministries, departments and agencies, as well as the private sector.
The final Policy is expected to drive the establishment/strengthening, operation and maintenance of the make it adequately protect public health and safety, and facilitate intra and inter-regional trade.
The draft policy document had five thematic areas: standardisation, technical regulations, metrology (the science of measurements), conformity assessment and accreditation.
Mr. Ahenkorah assured that government would ensure that objectives related to thematic areas of the NQP, which must be implemented in the short term, between two to five years as mentioned in the implementation plan were executed expeditiously.
The Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo, said the need for a national quality policy is obvious; declaring that “no country in the world has made progress in the modern world without having a national quality policy that is well disseminated and effectively implemented”.
He noted that when well developed and properly implemented, the Policy will help the country cut down on the importation of goods as the current regime is negatively having an impact on the cedi.