There can be no talk of food, where there is no mention of standards. As Ghana strives to become a trading hub in West Africa, the importance in defining standards, not only locally, but the process of harmonizing standards across the sub-region is growing in importance.
There is a legislative framework and various policies related to agriculture and the extractive industries, which is well developed and clearly articulated. There are Select Parliamentary Sub-Committees on Agriculture, mining and oil and gas and in the case of agriculture, there is also a Parliamentary Caucus against Hunger and Malnutrition.
Ghana has been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member since January 1995. Ghana issues its standards for most products under the auspices of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA). The GSA has promulgated more than 500 Ghanaian standards and adopted more than 2,000 international standards for certification purposes. The Ghanaian Food and Drugs Authority is responsible for enforcing standards for food, drugs, cosmetics, and health items. Ghana notifies all draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
With the acceleration of efforts to deepen intra-African trade, the Government of Ghana’s (GoG)’s policies on trade liberalization and investment promotion are guiding its efforts to create a clear and transparent regulatory system. The government launched a three-year Business Regulatory Reform program in 2017, which aims to improve the ease of doing business, review all rules and regulations to identify and reduce unnecessary costs and requirements, establish an e-registry of all laws, establish a centralized public consultation web portal, provide regulatory relief for entrepreneurs, and eventually implement a regulatory impact analysis system. The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) secretariat in Ghana in 2020 has provided a focal point for a rapid pooling of efforts across the continent towards the harmonization of trade policies.