The Minister of Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen has inaugurated a six-member Board of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) with a call on management and staff to adopt a more commercial orientation to operations to be able to improve the condition of service.
“So, all of you must start working with an entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurial mind. Don’t consider yourselves as public servants but consider yourselves as entrepreneurs working for a commercial organisation. GSA you are supposed to be a commercial organisation apart from the regulatory functions,” he said.
Mr Kyerematen underscored the importance of GSA to the government’s aggressive industrialization transformation agenda through the support for the private sector in producing quality goods in line with global standards.
“You are taken over the mantle of leadership of this institution at a critical point in time in the country’s economic development. First, as you are all aware, the government has embarked on a very aggressive programme of industrial transformation. One of the flagship components of the industrial transformation agenda is the IDIF but it goes beyond this,” he said.
The government, he said, had also embarked on the development of a number of strategic anchor industries designed to diversify the economy beyond cocoa and gold, including the development of the auto industry, the development of the pharmaceutical industry and the development of the petrochemical industry, among many others.
“I make these remarks to establish clearly that the goal of this institution is to ensure the success of the industrial transformation agenda. The institution and the role you played is inextricably linked to the industrial transformation agenda,” he said.
He said the pandemic had disrupted global supply chains and taught countries a useful lesson to develop the productive capacity in various sectors to be able to survive in the post-Covid-19 economic era.
“So, it goes without saying that this institution beyond the transformation agenda has to play a major role in our post-Covid-19 economic recovery agenda,” he said.
The Minister said Ghana had signed a number of international trade agreements, including AfCFTA and started implementing the new Ghana-EU economic partnership agreement, which has opened the EU market to Ghanaian products duty-free and quota-free.
On October 1, Ghana will also start implementing the Ghana-UK partnership investment agreement.
He said these were new entry points for the country to be able to produce and take advantage of these new markets opportunities and “if that is going to be a reality then GSA must be at the centre of the implementation agenda.”
“I know that the GSA has done an excellent job over the years but if there was ever a time the mandate of this institution is going to be paramount in driving the prosperity of the country it is now. That is why I believe that as a Board your role in providing strategic direction for the institution to be able to play the role I have just outlined is very important,” he added.
Professor Felix Charles Mills Robertson, Board Chairman GSA, expressed the hope that the board would bring positive developments to the national standards institution.
“We shall ensure that strategies and policies agreed by the board are effectively implemented by management. We shall also establish good corporate governance practices and procedures and promote the highest standards of integrity, probity and corporate governance,” he said.
Prof Robertson assured the Minister that the board would play a full and constructive role in the development of strategies and ensure that board decisions taking were in the GSA’s best interest.
He called for support for the Ministry of Trade and Industry to enable the GSA to play its role effectively as the standards body.
He urged the management and staff to work together with the Board to create opportunities to enhance the growth of the organization.
Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of the GSA, said much progress had been made in the past four years as the GSA acquired various equipment to enhance its work.
He said the GSA had the potential to drive the government’s transformation agenda and called for support to build fully functional laboratories in at least the regional capitals.