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Standards Alliance Organizes Three-Part Consumer Protection Workshop Roadshow in West Africa


07/13/2018

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 a three-part workshop series, or roadshow, in West Africa. The series covered best practices and risk-based approaches for consumer protection in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal on June 25, 27, and 29. Six U.S. speakers attended the workshops from both the government and private sectors.

The three-part workshop roadshow provided an opportunity to share perspectives and experiences from the U.S. consumer protection system with participating West African economies and to support trade-friendly consumer protection laws and policies. More than 150 participants attended the events, which featured presentations by U.S. speakers from ASTM International, DeyTec, Personal Care Product Council (PCPC), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the International Trade Administration (ITA). Additionally, each participating country provided an overview of their national consumer protection strategies and hurdles.

This series was a follow up to a previous Standards Alliance event that took place in October 2017, when the Standards Alliance hosted a group of West African delegates in Washington, DC, for a four-day training. This visit allowed the delegates to gain an understanding of the U.S. consumer protection system and how the U.S. utilizes risked-based approaches to inform regulatory decisions. Following the delegation visit, participants from Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Senegal requested that the Standards Alliance replicate this activity for government officials in their home countries.

During the workshop series, the Senegalese Ministry of Commerce confirmed its commitment to reactivate the National Commission for the Control of Food Products (CNCPA), which was established on May 27, 1966, with the overarching goal to protect Senegalese consumers from dangerous or low-quality food products. The commission brings together a mix of public- and private-sector organizations and will be reactivated in July 2018.

The roadshow began on June 25 in Accra, Ghana, and was co-hosted by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA). The day-one workshop was attended by 42 participants and featured presentations by ASTM International, DeyTec, PCPC, UL, NIST, ITA, and the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI).

Next, the Standards Alliance participants traveled to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, for a workshop co-hosted by CODINORM on June 27. This event was attended by 65 participants and included presentations by ASTM International, DeyTec, PCPC, UL, NIST, ITA, and the Ivorian Ministry of Commerce.

The roadshow concluded in Dakar, Senegal, on June 29, with a workshop co-hosted by the Senegalese Ministry of Commerce and the Association Senegalaise de Normalisation (ASN). This third workshop was attended by 49 participants and included presentations by ASTM International, DeyTec, PCPC, UL, NIST, ITA, the Senegalese Direction du Commerce Interieur (DCI), and ASN.

The agenda, consumer protection handouts, and presentations from the workshop are available online. For more information on the Standards Alliance and standards activities in West Africa visit standardsalliance.ansi.org.

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