Ghana Standards Boards organises 40th Anniversary lecture on quality standards
Ghana Standards Boards organises 40th Anniversary lecture on quality standards Website
Mr Adu G. Darkwa, Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Board (GSB), has called for the establishment of a holistic, strategic national policy, regarding quality standard systems, to link with other policies such as trade, environment and health to ensure effective national quality infrastructure. He said currently there existed a range of challenges in quality standards due to the wide gap between regulatory authorities and the standardisation environment, leading to lack of transparency and fragmented regulatory systems. Mr Darkwa, speaking at the 40th Anniversary lecture of the GSB under the theme: "Standardisation and Public Policy Decision; Challenges for the Media and Private Sector," on Wednesday, noted that quality requirements were increasingly shaping international commercials prospects for developing and transition economies, and Ghana needed to back up, to be able to attain high quality standards of goods and services. He explained that standardisation involved the development and provision of standards as well as the supply of information on standards to interested parties, which could either be considered as voluntary or technical standard. He said Ghana and other developing countries all over the world faced similar challenges in the standards technical regulations and conformity assessment domain but the capacity to confirm that required standards were being met was a measure of the competitiveness and quality infrastructure of a country. Mr Darkwa said it was unfortunate that quality and confirmation of compliance were the two main weak areas in Ghana, saying " a number of government Departments are responsible for the development and implementation of technical regulations, either by themselves or through delegated regulatory authorities." "There is no common policy for the development, implementation and maintenance of technical regulations. This is detrimental to trade and may well compromise the safety and health of society," he said. Mr Darkwa said government funding had to be secured so that the long-term viability was assured and further called on the media as partners to help ensure optimum national quality infrastructure. According to Mr Edwin P. D Barnes, Chief Director, Office of the Civil Service, standards were part and parcel of ensuring orderliness in society. He said standards provides guidelines for both manufacturers and consumers so that their production took into the health of consumers, safety of the environment as well as protect trade. Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, General Manager, Graphic Communications Group, said the media could either be good or negative advocates for the standardisation process in the country. He said the media must be given inside information into the various processes of the standardisation processes so that they could educate and inform the public. Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh also underscored the importance of media-private sector collaboration to help address issues of proliferation of inferior goods into the market and further pressurise government to make policies, which would impact positively on the private sector and the economy. He called for maximum public support for the passage of the Right to Information Bill, saying, "this will give enough security to the mass media to be able to secure quality information for public scrutiny."