The government will put in place the needed structures that will equip the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to enforce standards in the country, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has said.
At a ceremony to inaugurate a modern ‘Fit-for-Purpose’ National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Accra last Friday, Mr Kyerematen said conformity to standards was a major requirement for the achievement of the country’s industrialisation agenda.
The establishment of the NMI, he said, was one of the critical structures that would strengthen the capacity of the GSA to provide relevant services to meet the ever-increasing demand of industry and facilitate trade.
It is funded by the German government through the German Metrology Institute (PTB).
The project includes an upgrade in the country’s legal framework to bring it in line with modern trends as well as the development of services needed by industry that will also satisfy the needs of consumers.
“Manufacturers and Ghanaian exporters, for instance, will be able to send their goods to Europe under a duty-free and quota-free agreement by June, this year, if they are able to meet global standards or measurement,” Mr Kyerematen said.
Mr Kyerematen said the COVID-19 pandemic had proven globally that industrialisation was the cornerstone for the sustainability of economies, hence the need to critically put in place the necessary framework to spur industrial growth.
“When the system shuts down and imports are halted, you need to have the capacity to produce critical items locally,” he said.
Mr Kyerematen noted that accurate measurements improve the productivity and competitiveness of local industries and ultimately propel growth.
“The country is, therefore, seeking to establish an efficient and effective institutional framework for metrology to support industrialisation,” he said.
That, he said, would provide a basis for attracting investments in the manufacturing sector, strengthen productivity and enhance consumer protection.
He said the uniformity of measurements including weights and other units of measurements were critical to the successful implementation of the Trade in Goods and Trade in Services Protocols of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
He lauded the German government’s support for the country’s industrialisation agenda and, particularly, the objectives of job creation and skills development in the manufacturing sector.
The German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Christoph Retzlaf, said the establishment of the Metrology Institute was another example of the close relationship between Germany and Ghana.
He said Germany had decided to enhance its cooperation with Ghana through investment and the creation of jobs because they were important for development.
The Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, said metrology was at the heart of Ghana’s quest to industrialise and create jobs for the young people who entered the market each year.
“To create jobs, we must industrialise. To industrialise we must modernise. A key part of modernisation and industrialisation is metrology and its sub-disciplines including mensuration or the mathematics of measurement,” he said.
Prof. Dodoo said Ghana had all it needed to build a stronger NMI to build upon progress and achieve more for the country’s economic growth.