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Business News of Sunday, 23 May 2021

Source: GNA

Boost to local content as Ghana Chamber of Mines and GSA launch electric cable standards

The standards were developed by a National Technical Committee The standards were developed by a National Technical Committee

The Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) have launched the electric cable standards for the mining industry to boost local demand for the product.

The standards were developed by a National Technical Committee, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the GCM and GSA to develop and improve the standards of products used in the mining industry.

Launching the standards, in a speech read on his behalf, Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, said standardisation was a critical cornerstone of every nation’s development.

He said the locally manufactured electric cables could be competitive in terms of quality and price in the African market and urged the manufacturing companies to take advantage of the opportunity created by the AfCFTA to boost their exports to the African Market.

The Minister said there were many advantages of developing these electric cables standards for the local manufacturing companies, including cost-saving and improvement in productivity, increase customer satisfaction with high-quality products and services and sets minimum standards of quality for processes, products and services.

He said the successful implementation of the Electric Cable Standards required collaboration among the Ghana Standards Authority, mining companies and local electric cables manufacturers.

He appealed to the mining companies to heavily patronise the locally manufactured electric cables and only import similar products as a last resort with the development of Electric Cables Standards.

“The patronage of these local electric cables will enable the companies to enhance their operations, support the on-going industrial transformation by creating jobs and conserving more foreign exchange for the country,” he said.

Mr Kyerematen lauded the Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Chamber of Mines and the National Technical Committee on Electric Cables Standards for developing the local standards and signing the Memorandum of Understanding to further collaborate.

Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Suleman Koney, said the development of standards for electric cables for the mining industry was part of a supplier development programme.

“Appropriate and acceptable standards are a prerequisite to trade and business facilitation. It provides assurance that the product is fit for purpose and will perform as expected. For an industry, like mining for whom unplanned downtimes are costly, conformity with standards is not negotiable,” he said.

He said it was in this direction that the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Standards Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide the two organizations in developing standards and align existing standards of mining inputs to meet the requirements of the mining industry.

Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the GSA, said standards were key to industrialization and creation of jobs, adding that ‘with standards we can trade together, we can talk together and we can do business together.’

“We are industrializing deliberately to create jobs. When we do that Ghana becomes rich, our folks become happy and we are better for it and the country can move forward,” he said.

Prof. Dodoo said the development of the standards constituted phase one and that in phase two of the project, the partners would work with local power distribution companies and the personnel to ensure the selection and the appropriate installation of the mining power cables.

He expressed the hope that with the standards and in partnership with the cable companies, the 99 cables in the development place would move up.

He reiterated the commitment of the GSA to work with the partners to ensure that phase two quickly get on board and “I am hoping that when we meet quickly all the 90 standards would be given the visibility.”

Prof. Dodoo said the GSA would ensure that the cable standards were established and recognized as the de facto African standards to ensure consistency on the continent.

“By buying the local products we give meaning to local content and preserve foreign exchange,” he said and urged mining companies to make an advance commitment to companies so they could invest in production.

Mr Collins Anim-Sackey, Director of Policy, Planning and Minerals Titles at the Minerals Commission, said the Commission would continue to work with its stakeholders to ensure that local content and local participation in the mining industry was deepened to reduce overdependence on imported manufactured products.