The Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo, has underscored the need for countries in the sub-region to adopt trade-enhancing measures among the countries to help eradicate poverty among its people.
“The time has come to use metrology and measurement to improve poverty level, without these signs we will fail, this is something that the sub-region cannot afford to do,” he added.
He charged the experts to focus on the measuring instruments in their respective countries towards harmonising trade among member countries and also ensure that they interrogated policy makers to understand the effectiveness of measuring instruments.
Forty-seven verification experts from 16 West African countries have converged in Accra to brainstorm on the use of a common calibration and measuring instrument for the sub-region.
The group which formed the core technical staff of the National Metrology Organisation (NMO) of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) quality system programme would serve as the training of experts for member countries.
The event was organised by the ECOWAS for metrology (ECOMET) in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority. It was funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission.
Topics to be treated for the four-day meeting include – guide on measurement uncertainty, harmonised procedure for measurement, calibration of thermoses, pressure gauges and volumes, procedure for checking the net contents of pre-packages and the harmonised procedure for verification of fuel dispensers.
The participants are from Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cape Verde, Niger, and Guinea Conakry.
The rest are from Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Patrick Nimo on behalf of the sector Minister, urged the participants to ensure that member states have accurate measuring instruments to generate enough revenue for their various countries.
He said continental free trade policy pursued by the member states called for aggressive business standards to regulate the sector.
A representative of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Ajoku Kemjika, said building the capacity of the NMOs would subsequently develop calibration and verification services in the member states for the benefit of industry, conformity assessment bodies and consumer protection.
He said ECOWAS and its member states have the responsibility to develop metrology under its three components, namely, legal, industrial and scientific to ensure traceability in measuring results in order to penetrate the international market.