Accra will host the 65th Council Meeting of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) between November 26-26, 2021.
The meeting is expected to gather heads of standards institutions from across ARSO member nations in Ghana’s capital to deliberate on harmonizing Africa’s quality infrastructure.
The Government of Ghana through the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is hosting the meeting, amid growing concerns over the lack of a harmonized standards regime in the region.
Analysts fear this may undermine the realization of benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Council members from across ARSO member states will gather at the three-day event as they seek to facilitate seamless intra-trading through harmonized quality infrastructure.
It is the first Council meeting since the General Assembly unanimously elected the Director General of GSA, Prof Alex Dodoo as the president of ARSO. He is scheduled to lead the organization from June 2022 up until 2025.
The Council meeting has been themed: The Beginning of Trade among African countries under the AfCFTA Agreement: Boosting Intra-African trade within the African Single Market through “One Standard - One Test - One Certificate - Accepted Everywhere.”
Prof Alex Dodoo said the gathering will help ARSO to further discussions on ensuring local businesses can access the 1.2 billion population market without technical barriers.
This he said will enable them to expand their operations and create more decent jobs to help tackle Africa’s unemployment challenge.
“AfCFTA will remain a slogan if we fail to address the technical barriers to intra-Africa trade. So this meeting will build up on the work done so far and find innovative ways to accelerate the standards harmonization process for businesses to take off,” President-elect of ARSO, Prof Dodoo said.
The meeting will be attended by Council members, government officials and development partners in Accra and globally through virtual platforms.