Building and construction experts from W/A brainstorm on standards

     The Commission on Standards for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the African Organisation for Standardization (ARSO) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) organized a three-day workshop for experts from 15 West African countries.

    This event which started on Monday 22nd May, 2017 and ended on Wednesday 24th May 2017, at Accra was aimed at improving the capacity on setting standards for operators in the building and construction sector in the sub-region.

    Mr. Rockson Dogbegah ,sector chair of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector and Vice-chair of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB-Africa), speaking at the meeting on the final day, indicated that, industry and for that matter the construction industry players are willing and ever ready to support the public sector to set the necessary standards that will inure to the sustainable development of the construction industry in the ECOWAS sub region.

    Mr Dogbegah who is a Chartered Construction Manager indicated that it was very necessary to engage the major stakeholders in the building and construction industry directly in such critical seminars.

    Mr. Dogbegah, had observed that from experience in most strategic planning and policy development fronts in both the public and private sector space that, most policies are developed without the input of the critical mass of users and thus the critical actors and stakeholders are left in the dark resulting in serious implementation challenges. He therefore commended the ECOWAS commission, ARSO and GSA for this important workshop but urged them to engage the private sector and industry more effectively in the setting of standards for the building and construction sector.

    Speaking at the ceremony, the Technical Director of ARSO, Reuben Gisore also said that, since building and construction has become a basic necessity of our lives, setting appropriate standards for the materials and the facilities themselves are necessary so as not to jeopardize the life of its occupants.

    Participants were also enlightened that the ultimate aim of the ECOWAS commission on standards and ARSO is to help deepen the brainstorming, harmonization and the application of standards used by its member countries. To use knowledge and technology to adopt appropriate policies that would make the sub region improve on its bargaining rights at all international trade and industry outings. The move is therefore to uplift the region and speed up the common market agenda through the provision of quality infrastructure that conforms to international standards and to offer the private sector the needed boost to increase investment in the sub region.

    Representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the GSA also took turns to re-emphasize government’s commitment to support initiatives on standardization for the construction sector.

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