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Prof. Dodoo Heads Africa Standardization Body


The African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), has unanimously elected the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo as president of the continental standards body for the term 2022-2025.


Prof. Dodoo won the bid to lead the organization after an election yesterday, (Wednesday, June 16) at the 26th ARSO Hybrid General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, and online as well for non-Council members.


He becomes the second Ghanaian to lead the prestigious continental association following in the footsteps of Dr. Emmanuel K. Marfo who was ARSO president from 1992-1994.


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Appropriate time   

In his first speech as President-elect of ARSO, Prof. Dodoo said the agenda for his presidency, was to leverage the image and position of ARSO to change the narrative by expanding intra-Africa trade within the purview of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) with a focus on improving trade in ‘Made in Africa’ goods locally, regionally and globally.


“Having been appointed as the ARSO Goodwill Ambassador to the AfCFTA Secretariat, I must admit the appropriateness of the time that Ghana takes up the mantle for the next President to guide this great Organisation through its 4th decade. This is especially so since the AfCFTA Secretariat is based in Accra and thus there is opportunity to use proximity to the Secretariat to further the aims of ARSO now that the AfCFTA is in its early stages,” he noted.


Agenda

Prof. Dodoo explained that each and every action and activity under his leadership of the organization would be in line with four broad strategies including the sustainability of ARSO, its financial stability, development, and expansion.


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He said it would also include boosting intra-Africa trade through industrialization, use of standards, mutual recognition arrangements, and any other means that will allow Africans to trade with one another within our continent.


“Boosting intra-Africa trade within the AFCFTA: one continent, one standard, one test, one certificate, accepted everywhere,” he said.


He said his focus, would also be on deepening regional self-sufficiency by supporting governments to invest in and maintain a solid sustainable quality infrastructure for standards, measurement, testing all based on a ‘Regional Quality Infrastructure Policy’.


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“Highlighting African leadership in the post-Covid-19 trading economy, especially in areas of competitive advantage like the use of digital platforms for payment services and health delivery, M-PESA and Zipline come to mind, Africa can lead in digitization,” he added.


Tribute

He paid glowing tributes to the outgoing president of ARSO, Mr. Charles Booto a Ngon, who steered the organization through the challenging pandemic period.


“Your distinct progressive agenda has made significant long-lasting contributions to this organization and my determination is to consult widely on how to build upon your legacy and uphold the highest aspirations of this notable organization,” he said.


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Background

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration presented the candidature of Prof. Dodoo as the country’s nominee for the position of ARSO president in April this year to the ARSO headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.


Prof. Dodoo’s candidature was also endorsed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in a letter to ARSO in which the ministry said, Prof. Dodoo had provided strong and remarkable leadership in the transformation of the GSA, culminating in its high visibility.


“He played a critical role in the National Standardisation and Accreditation Programmes which underpin Ghana’s quality infrastructure and has helped in building trust in the quality of products and services in the country,” the letter stated.


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Credit: Kester Aburam Korankye, Journalist