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African Organization for Standardization elections to take place

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African Organization for Standardization elections to take place

Ghana 1
Photo: AFP

Elections for the presidency of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) will take place today in Rwanda.

ARSO is responsible for harmonizing standards and conformity procedures to better facilitate cross-border continental trade. Increased standardization is critical as the African Union continues the rollout of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). AfCTA commenced on June 1, 2021 and is the world’s largest free-trade area by number of participating countries.

Ghana, where AfCTA’s secretariat is based, announced its candidacy for the ARSO presidency in April. Ghana has never occupied the office, and the bid comes as it seeks to make its trade corridor more attractive and competitive to neighboring landlocked countries.

Expect Ghana to win ARSO’s presidency, with a tenure running from 2022 to 2025. Combined with the status as AfCTA’s secretariat, the presidency will make Ghana, and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, a prominent influence in Africa’s post-pandemic recovery. The nascent AfCTA is envisioned as a driver of continent-wide economic growth, and its success partially hinges on ARSO’s ability to standardize quality infrastructure and maximize trade potential across Africa’s market of 1.2 billion consumers. Should ARSO capitalize on AfCTA’s rollout, African trade will become more competitive, including internationally with European markets.

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