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Regional News of Monday, 25 February 2008

Source: GNA

Non-compliance with standards leads to disaster - Ayorkor Botchway

Accra, Feb. 25, GNA - Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, a Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, PSD and President's Special Initiative, on Monday said the failure of individuals to follow established standards had led to disasters such as collapse of buildings, fire outbreaks and carnage on roads.

Speaking at the opening of a five-day training of trainers' workshop on Consumers Participation in International Standardization" in Accra she said these calamities could have been prevented if compliance with standards had been strictly adhered to.

She told the 35 participants that though standards had to meet the needs of users, "users also have to partake in the formulation of standards".

Participants from Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, Argentina, Kenya, Libya, Chile, Thailand, Philippines, Armenia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Oman would be taken through the process of standardization at the national and international levels and identify consumer issues in a standardization project.

The workshop organized by Ghana Standards Board (GSB) in collaboration with International Organisation for Standards also aims at helping participants to design and deliver training on standardization at national and regional levels.

Ms Botchway said standards were rules, which governed all economic activities including trade, health, safety of man and the environment. "It is through sharing of common standards that anonymous partners in the market can communicate, can have common expectations on the performance of each other's products and can trust the compatibility of their joint production."

Ms Botchway expressed the hope that the training would enhance the spread of knowledge on how consumers could express their needs and have them reflected in the standards used. "This will allow standards to be truly based on the needs of consumers, producers and users," she said. Mr Adu Gyamfi Darkwa, Executive Director of GSB, said success of standardization depended on the support of stakeholders in the areas of funds, resources and expertise. "With a strong stakeholder support, the implementation and application of standards will be enhanced. Market relevance and acceptance of standards thus produced is therefore assured," he said.

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