The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through its public-private partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - the Standards Alliance - organized a five-day training on international petroleum standards and management systems in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on November 18 - 23. This event was organized in coordination with the Ivoirian Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy and the national standards bodies of Cote d'Ivoire (CODINORM), Ghana (GSA), Nigeria (SON), and Senegal (ASN).
The training provided an opportunity for 25 participants to discuss international best practices for petroleum, as well as environmental and economic challenges for the region. Among the participants were representatives from the U.S., Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.
The program featured presentations by U.S. experts from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and ASTM International. The four U.S. representatives highlighted quality management systems for the petroleum industry, as well as international standards and certification schemes for engine oil, gasoline, and diesel. The presentations emphasized the importance of participation in international standards development and the use of internationally accepted best practices to bolster two-way trade and investment between the U.S. and West Africa.
The training highlighted the need for regional harmonization of petroleum standards to maximize economies of scale and ensure high quality petroleum products across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Closing discussions set the stage for future activities to further increase understanding, adherence to, and usage of international standards for petroleum products across the region.
About the Standards Alliance and Trade Africa
The Standards Alliance was announced by USAID in November 2012 as a new funding facility designed to provide capacity-building assistance to developing countries, specifically related to implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. The main objectives of the program include: increased understanding of WTO TBT principles; implementation of the Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards; improved transparency in the development and/or modification of technical regulations; and more robust and transparent engagement with the private sector in standards development and use.
Trade Africa was an initiative between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa that was initiated in 2013 with countries of the East African Community to increase continental and regional trade within Africa, and to expand trade and economic ties among the Unites States, Africa, and other global markets. In 2014, the Trade Africa Initiative expanded to involve new partners, including Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia. In support of Trade Africa, the Standards Alliance partnered with Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia to improve compliance with the WTO rules on trade facilitation and technical barriers to trade.
For more information on the Standards Alliance and for information on how to get involved in Standards Alliance activities with West Africa, visit the Standards Alliance web page.