Ghana has joined the race for the presidency of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), the intergovernmental body in-charge of harmonizing standards and conformity procedures to facilitate seamless intra-trading on the continent.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration submitted the country’s bid in late April to advance the country’s vision if elected.
ARSO’s 2021 elections are slated for June 15 in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
This year’s congress has become crucial as the African Union Commission seeks to significantly increase intra-trading through its ambitious vehicle – the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In a paper on AfCFTA in 2020, the World Bank said the success of the ambitious trade deal “hinges on a harmonized quality infrastructure which will remove some of the technical barriers to trade.”
Ghana already plays host to the AfCFTA secretariat and winning the elections will boost Ghana’s prominence in the 1.2 billion population market.
If Ghana’s candidature gets endorsed by member-states, it will be the first time a Ghanaian will head the intergovernmental body since its formation.
The furthest Ghana had been in the leadership of ARSO in the organization’s 44-year journey is the treasury portfolio, despite being a member-state since its formation in Accra in 1977.