The training aimed at strengthening the Competitiveness of Ghana-Based Exporters through Effective Export Quality Management Systems was organized in collaboration with the European Union, the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the Technical barriers to trade (TBT).
“Being fast and developing new products and services in time and at reasonable costs is key,” Wolfgang Wiegel, EQMS Specialist from the Project Team told the beneficiaries at the Seminar in Accra, late July.
He added: “The secret is to concentrate more on processes rather than production: allying quality, accessible costs and efficient delivery.”
Wiegel stressed that the main priority at hand is increasing competitiveness: adapting to the increasingly complex needs of the clients and concentrating on the reality of more complex supply chain issues
Among the beneficiaries were 35 registered participants including consultants and representatives from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) selected from the logistic service providers; aluminum companies; plastics and rubber companies; garment and textiles; as well as pharmaceutical sectors.
The organizers are hopeful that the capacity building will help improve the ability of Ghana-based exporting companies to overcome barriers to trade in regional and international markets, especially in the non-traditional export sectors.
The beneficiaries are also expected to be able to take maximum advantage of existing opportunities offered by regional economic cooperation (ECOWAS) and international trade agreements, in particular the EPA with the EU.
As part of the capacity building exercises the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence. (CLSCE) with the collaboration of the ACP EU TBT Programme presented the results of the project in terms of support to certification for the companies which have met the criteria for certification.
The team of experts also carried out an on-site monitoring of actually implemented certification schemes among the selected companies.
The project had earlier trained quality specialists on the EQMS and ISO 9001:2015 requirements with many of them sharing their experiences, while the assisted SMEs presented and discussed the improvements in competitiveness they have experienced as a result of the Project assistance on certification, and shared obstacles encountered in the process.
One of the main reported achievements was improved efficiency thanks to a better internal organization – particularly with respect to documentation in line with ISO9001:2015 requirements.
The SMEs identified time constraints and access to funding for a sustainable continuation of activities as some of the main bottlenecks for their growth.
Among such beneficiaries were Emmanuel Turkson, CLSCE (project beneficiary) and Director of CLSCE Ghana who gave a presentation on two important projects to be launched in September, as a result of the TBT project:
These are the GHASMEC 100 PROJECT: to strengthen Ghana’s SME’s Competitiveness in the areas of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 22000 (food safety), Product Certification,Packaging and Traceability; as well as the Q-ALERT PROGRAMME: to involve the national consumers in the quality management process by encouraging them to send quality alert information to the CLSCE so that product & service quality may be enhanced.
Dario Caccamisi, Project Team Leader emphasized that the success of project depends on a sound cooperation between stakeholders, SMEs and the project beneficiary.
“The 15 trainers issued from this project constitute a true asset to the development of QMS systems in Ghana, through their acquired experience capacity and vision of quality development: the necessary change will not just come about through technical tools but more importantly through a shift in vision and approach,” Caccamisi added. END.
Background information on the ACP EU TBT Programme:The ACP EU TBT Programme(www.acp-eu-tbt.org) is a 15 million euro trade related technical assistance programme funded by the 10th European Development Fund and implemented, on behalf of the ACP Secretariat, by the Brussels-based TBT Programme Management Unit. The Programme was launched in March 2013 and will run until July 2017. The ACP EU TBT Programme is DEMAND-DRIVEN and as such ACP countries and ACP Regional Quality and Regulatory Infrastructure
Institutions are encouraged to play an active role in the implementation in order to maximize the programme’s relevance and impact. The Programme will tackle TBT issues in ACP countries and regions by providing training, strengthening Quality and Regulatory Infrastructure, which has a key role to play in the implementation and enforcement of TBT agreements, and also addressing compliance issues of productive sectors.
The Programme will focus its intervention in the following three areas:
1 Upgrading and Strengthening Quality Infrastructure Institutions
2 Empowering Economic Operators in priority export sectors
3 Disseminating Results, Good Practices and Experiences