The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) formerly Ghana Standards Board (GSB) is a Government of Ghana agency responsible for the maintenance of acceptable standards for products and services and sound management practices in industries and public institutions in Ghana.
Among its numerous functions, the Ghana Standards Authority is enshrined to carry out Conformity Assessment.
The question that has been ringing in my ears is whether it is vital for a buyer to search for the Ghana Standards Authority’s Conformity Mark while purchasing a locally manufactured product, especially in an era when the Ghanaian market is flooded with inferior made in Ghana products or not.
That is the question I want to ask every well-intentioned Ghanaian who is concerned about the quality and safety of a product he wants to buy. If I am asked a similar question, I will respond affirmatively.
A Ghanaian consumer, it is claimed, is unconcerned about what he eats or uses for other purposes, whether certified or uncertified, approved or unapproved, correct or incorrect, yet a Ghanaian will wish to live to a ripe old age before going back to the grave or have a value for money. Isn’t it ironic?
A made-in Ghana product that has gone through an industrial process, such as water, an alcoholic beverage or non-alcoholic beverage, electricals, fabrics, food, and so on, must be certified by the Ghana Standards Authority before being displayed in the market for sale, under LI 662 & 664. Before a product can be certified, the facility is inspected by the GSA, and a sample of it is randomly picked and sent to the Ghana Standards Authority’s ISO-accredited laboratory facilities to be tested against the specifications or parameters of the product standard. If the product can meet the standard’s specifications or parameters, it is permitted to use the conformity mark to indicate that it complies with standards. This is the only sure-fire way for consumers to tell the difference between a certified product and one that isn’t certified.
Nevertheless, what has come to my notice is that many producers have ignored these legislative instruments and continue to produce without the consent of the authority that is supposed to approve them. As a result, many uncertified products have entered our markets.
It is consequently essential for a Ghanaian who prioritizes his or her health or wants value for money to look out for the Conformity Mark before purchasing a product for consumption or other purposes.