The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through its public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) called the Standards Alliance, organized three targeted training sessions across West Africa during the week of October 15, 2018. The trainings, titled "Improving the World Trade Organization (WTO) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Points and Notification Authority," were carried out in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal in coordination with CODINORM, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), and the Senegalese Standards Association (ASN), respectively. The trainings focused on providing practical training for National Enquiry Point (NEP) and National Notification Authority (NNA) staff.
The training included 52 total participants from the Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal, and were led by Thompson Consulting, LLC. Sessions built upon previous work under the Standards Alliance to support effective procedures and notification practices in line with the WTO TBT and SPS agreements. Trainings provided guidance on procedural components of NEP/NNA operations to support Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal in fulfilling their WTO obligations and to improve the efficacy of each nation's NEP and NNA. Topics covered included responding to enquiries, issuing notifications, handling and responding to comments, and written operating procedures, among other items.
STANDARDS ALLIANCE ENQUIRY POINT TRAININGS
Beginning in March 2014, the Standards Alliance commissioned Thompson Consulting, LLC, to serve as the Principle Standards Advisor for NEP and NNA capacity-building projects. Since March 2014, Thompson Consulting has worked with a variety of Standards Alliance members to improve the effectiveness of the NEPs and NNAs as required under the WTO Agreement on TBT Agreement. Focused technical assistance has engaged the following 12 African nations: Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, and Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
In 2016, the Standards Alliance provided support for the expansion of the Trade Africa initiative to include TBT-related capacity building for Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal in West Africa, and Mozambique and Zambia in Southern Africa. This expansion provided an opportunity for Thompson Consulting to provide technical assistance to aid in the improvement of NEP and NNA operations under the TBT Agreement for the newly added Trade Africa countries.
When the Standards Alliance began in 2013, the average number of WTO TBT notifications for participating African nations was 13.3 per year. Today, after targeted trainings, the average number of notifications per year is 54.6 for each trained nation.
The agenda, presentations, and photos from the workshop are available online. For more information on the Standards Alliance and standards activities in West Africa, visit standardsalliance.ansi.org.