Press Reviews

Ghanaian exporters receive training from experts on quality

Article published on 03 August 2016 at https://www.newsghana.com.gh/

The training aimed at strengthening the Competitiveness of Ghana-Based Exporters through Effective Export Quality Management Systems was organized in collaboration with the European Union, the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the Technical barriers to trade (TBT).

“Being fast and developing new products and services in time and at reasonable costs is key,” Wolfgang Wiegel, EQMS Specialist from the Project Team told the beneficiaries at the Seminar in Accra, late July.

He added: “The secret is to concentrate more on processes rather than production: allying quality, accessible costs and efficient delivery.”

Wiegel stressed that the main priority at hand is increasing competitiveness: adapting to the increasingly complex needs of the clients and concentrating on the reality of more complex supply chain issues

Among the beneficiaries were 35 registered participants including consultants and representatives from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) selected from the logistic service providers; aluminum companies; plastics and rubber companies; garment and textiles; as well as pharmaceutical sectors.

The organizers are hopeful that the capacity building will help improve the ability of Ghana-based exporting companies to overcome barriers to trade in regional and international markets, especially in the non-traditional export sectors.

The beneficiaries are also expected to be able to take maximum advantage of existing opportunities offered by regional economic cooperation (ECOWAS) and international trade agreements, in particular the EPA with the EU.

As part of the capacity building exercises the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence. (CLSCE) with the collaboration of the ACP EU TBT Programme presented the results of the project in terms of support to certification for the companies which have met the criteria for certification.

The team of experts also carried out an on-site monitoring of actually implemented certification schemes among the selected companies.

The project had earlier trained quality specialists on the EQMS and ISO 9001:2015 requirements with many of them sharing their experiences, while the assisted SMEs presented and discussed the improvements in competitiveness they have experienced as a result of the Project assistance on certification, and shared obstacles encountered in the process.
One of the main reported achievements was improved efficiency thanks to a better internal organization – particularly with respect to documentation in line with ISO9001:2015 requirements.
The SMEs identified time constraints and access to funding for a sustainable continuation of activities as some of the main bottlenecks for their growth.

Among such beneficiaries were Emmanuel Turkson, CLSCE (project beneficiary) and Director of CLSCE Ghana who gave a presentation on two important projects to be launched in September, as a result of the TBT project:

These are the GHASMEC 100 PROJECT: to strengthen Ghana’s SME’s Competitiveness in the areas of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 22000 (food safety), Product Certification,Packaging and Traceability; as well as the Q-ALERT PROGRAMME: to involve the national consumers in the quality management process by encouraging them to send quality alert information to the CLSCE so that product & service quality may be enhanced.
Dario Caccamisi, Project Team Leader emphasized that the success of project depends on a sound cooperation between stakeholders, SMEs and the project beneficiary.

“The 15 trainers issued from this project constitute a true asset to the development of QMS systems in Ghana, through their acquired experience capacity and vision of quality development: the necessary change will not just come about through technical tools but more importantly through a shift in vision and approach,” Caccamisi added. END.

Background information on the ACP EU TBT Programme:The ACP EU TBT Programme(www.acp-eu-tbt.org) is a 15 million euro trade related technical assistance programme funded by the 10th European Development Fund and implemented, on behalf of the ACP Secretariat, by the Brussels-based TBT Programme Management Unit. The Programme was launched in March 2013 and will run until July 2017. The ACP EU TBT Programme is DEMAND-DRIVEN and as such ACP countries and ACP Regional Quality and Regulatory Infrastructure
Institutions are encouraged to play an active role in the implementation in order to maximize the programme’s relevance and impact. The Programme will tackle TBT issues in ACP countries and regions by providing training, strengthening Quality and Regulatory Infrastructure, which has a key role to play in the implementation and enforcement of TBT agreements, and also addressing compliance issues of productive sectors.

The Programme will focus its intervention in the following three areas:
1 Upgrading and Strengthening Quality Infrastructure Institutions
2 Empowering Economic Operators in priority export sectors
3 Disseminating Results, Good Practices and Experiences

The “Effective Export Quality Workshop” presented in Metro TV.

Sensitization Seminar on Export Quality Management System, Accra, Ghana

Article published on 05 November 2015 at http://www.acp-eu-tbt.org

A Sensitization Seminar on EQMS and ISO 9001:2015 Certification took place in Accra, Ghana on the 8th of October 2015. The event reached full participation, with 65 registered participants representing Ghana government, public and private organisations in the quality sector, parallel EU funded initiatives (TRAQUE) and SMEs from selected sectors: logistic service providers, aluminium companies, plastics and rubber companies, garment and textiles, and pharmaceuticals.

Discussion took place with the SMEs on their commitment to the ISO 9001 certification, export development in Ghana and export opportunities that the adoption of QMS can provide. A recurring theme all seemed to agree on was that improving trade opportunities means improving competitiveness, which ultimately comes down to improving the Quality Framework. Mr. Wolfgang Wiegel, EQMS Specialist from the Project Team stated that although Ghana is in a good place when it comes to innovation and technological readiness, one of its main obstacles is infrastructure – a problem for export as: “In a world of high degree connectivity and complexity, companies have easier access to clients – but the same applies for clients, who have a wider variety to select from. That calls for competitiveness. Not only that. We have to consider an export framework.” In the same spirit, Dario Caccamisi, Project Team Leader, went on to announce that “Those who can compete better will take the most of the benefit from trade liberalisation” and that the objective of this project is to transfer the necessary confidence and quality improvement to companies through EQMS coaching and the achievement of ISO 9001 certification. Emmanuel Asare of the Ghana Standard Authority made an enlightening presentation on the latter, and Quality Specialists trained by the Project shared some of their experience from the recent September training – including Mr. Anim-Kwapong from the Ministry of Trade and Industry who related that the trainees now have the capacity to drive quality management systems to meet the requirements of ISO 9001 as well as attain the ultimate – customer satisfaction.

Central to the Seminar was a group session with the SME representatives, analyzing main opportunities and problems related to their export. This session laid the ground for the Project’s next steps:

An EQMS training workshop for 30 selected companies’ Quality Managers, scheduled for 23-27 November followed by Coaching and Capacity Building to SMEs (15) in the New Year.

For announcements of upcoming activities and general details on the project, you may visit the project’s website www.eqmsghana.org

Ghanaian SMEs trained to enter international market

Article published by Ghana News Agency on 12 October 2015 at http://www.ghananewsagency.org

The Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence, (CLSCE), has called for the use of the ISO standards to enable SME operators to sell their products on the international market.

CLSCE said the initiative would ensure that SMEs meet the required standards, make a positive contribution to the world, facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices.

Mr Emmanuel Turkson, Managing Director of CLSCE said in a news briefing in collaboration with ACP of the European Union that the ISO standards would provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity.

The sectors include agriculture, construction, mechanical, engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, medical devices among others to develop standards for a clear market.

Mr Turkson said as a result of this the CLSCE and the ACP of the European Union has embarked on a 10 months project to train some companies in the country to enable them sell their products on the international market.

He said it would enable Government to achieve the target of 5 million export initiatives in the country.

The project entitled “Strengthening the Competitiveness of Ghana –Based Exporters through effective Export Quality Management System (EQMS) is to overcome barriers to trade in the regional and international markets.

He said this is also aimed at focusing on promoting the adoption of international standards among exporting companies in the selected sectors of the economy to know the importance of adopting EQMS to improve their export performances.

“This standardisation and certification process will allow companies to meet customers’ expectations at the best.”

He said the project being initiated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry; Export Authority and Trackers would select 30 companies for the certification process, advanced training, which took place in July, quality managers training in November and the coaching exercise in December.

Mr Turkson said after this stage the number of companies would be reduced to 15 and they would be on the field on export quality management.

He said to ensure continues programme development, there is the need for effective sustainability and high commitment of companies.

Mr. Dario Salvatore Caccamisi, the Project Team Leader urged companies to ensure consistency in their production process to meet the ISO standards and markets to achieve enough quality.

Mr Wolfgang Wiegel, an international expert specialising in Market Access and Export Development, expressed the need for the upgrading and strengthening of the quality of infrastructure institutions, empower economic operators in priority export sectors and disseminate results, good practices and experience.

Ghanaian SMEs trained to enter international market

Article published by Ghana News Agency on 11 October 2015 at http://www.ghananewsagency.org

Hundreds of indigenous entrepreneurs are expected to gather at a stakeholder conference on Wednesday at the Accra International Conference Centre to ponder how to help Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) overcome barriers affecting their growth.
The Enhancing Development of Ghanaian Entrepreneurs (EDGE) Stakeholder Conference seeks to improve MSEs competitiveness and address key challenges in the sector by tooling them with the necessary skills and resources to improve their business plans and internal operations.
“It [the conference] looks to also create a thriving community of entrepreneurs through increased access to business development services and financing,” TechnoServe, conference organisers, said in a statement to the Ghana News Agency.
The EDGE Conference is a new initiative of the ENGINE programme, a multiyear entrepreneurship development agenda implemented by TechnoServe, with funding from UK’s Department for International Development.
The conference will culminate in the crafting of a bundle of actionable solutions to boost best practices towards firm, level–specific scalable solutions for promoting and deepening entrepreneurship development in the country, the statement said.
Participants would hold breakout sessions, panel discussions, and interactive dialogues, designed to facilitate awareness of the challenges and opportunities of setting up or expanding existing sustainable entrepreneurial ventures.
The event will end with a networking cocktail to allow entrepreneurs to establish connections with supporting organisations, industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, business development, service providers and seasoned experts.
According to the statement the ENGINE programme has made great strides by training hundreds of entrepreneurs across the country, following a successful launch in April 2014.
A cohort of Ghanaian entrepreneurs have also received seed capital of up to £6,000, through the programme, while many more have been granted a comprehensive aftercare package involving a mix of Business Development Services.
A growing network of 176 ENGINE alumni are already benefitting from essential capital and business development services injected into their operations, the statement said.
ENGINE has also provided its entrepreneurs with valuable product and business development that enabled the creation of market linkages and broadened their customer base through access to export markets in sister African countries, Europe and the United States of America.
Wednesday’s ceremony will conclude with an official opening and brief tour of exhibition booths showcasing products and services of entrepreneurs, as well as other stakeholders.
There will be a day’s conference on the theme: “Enhancing Development of Ghanaian Entrepreneurs,” designed to interactively address pertinent issues facing entrepreneurs in the Ghanaian MSME ecosystem, while designing a roadmap to strengthen entrepreneurship in Ghana.
The Head of DFID Ghana, government officials, representatives of development agencies, investors, personalities from the academia, and leaders of successful business organisations are expected to feature in the launch.

European Union in Ghana

Article posted on 15 October 2014 at “European Union in Ghana” official Facebook page.

The Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence (CLSCE) has collaborated with the ACP EU TBT Programme (www.acp-eu-tbt.org) to improve the capacities of Ghana-based exporting companies to overcome barriers to trade in regional and international markets, especially in the non-traditional export sectors, and take maximum advantage of existing opportunities offered by regional economic cooperation (ECOWAS) and international trade agreements, in particular the EPA with the EU.

As part of the collaboration, a sensitisation seminar was organized by the CLSCE with the collaboration of the ACP-EU TBT Programme in Accra on the 8th of October 2015,

The Workshop was attended by around 50 participants drawn from selected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana aimed at promoting the adoption of quality systems and certification schemes among key SMEs (Sectors: Logistics and Transport, Pharmaceuticals, Plastics and Rubber, Aluminum, Garments and Textiles) and concretely assess their interest in acquiring and maintaining ISO 9001:2015 certification.

For more information:

For more information: http://www.eqmsghana.org/
Twitter updates @HCL_Consultants ‪#‎eqmsghana‬ ‪#‎ghanatrade‬ ‪#‎ISO9001v2015‬

Strengthening Ghana-Based Exporters through Effective EQMS

Article published on 06 October 2015 at http://www.acp-eu-tbt.org

The project titled “Strengthening the Competitiveness of Ghana-Based Exporters through Effective Export Quality Management Systems” has the objective of assisting 15 Ghanaian SMEs operating in the plastics, textile, transport & logistics, aluminium ware, pharmaceutical sectors. Within this scope, the project is currently training 15 quality specialists to become advisors and auditors on the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system standard. The overall 65-hour training started on Tuesday, 22nd of September and is planned to continue for 10 days until Friday, 2nd October.

The main topics covered during the training include use of Export Quality Management Systems, potentialities of export of the considered sectors in term of exports and first assessment of key exports requirements, the international quality standard ISO 9001:2015: structure, implementation, certification and auditing practices, the application of excellence models in Ghana and establishment of National Quality Awards in the Ghana logistics sector.

The first three days of training have achieved excellent results, with an over 95% level of satisfaction of the attendants regarding the contents and the presentations given during the training. The export management cycle and capability review & the marketing-mix are the topics that have provided the attendants with an expert insight in export quality management systems. The training sessions on the ISO 9001:2015 quality management have completed the picture with topics such as the quality principles, the functioning of the quality management system, the customer focus, the improvement approach-The trainees have also learned on how to analyse the export context through an advanced SWOT methodology and a number of charts and marketing tools.

The next training sessions shall continue focusing on export management and increasing the trainees’ knowledge on how to prepare, organise and conduct audits over SMEs seeking for ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Reinforcing the competitiveness of Ghana based exporters

Article published on 04 September 2015 at http://www.acp-eu-tbt.org

The Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence (CLSCE) of Ghana and the TBT Programme are currently working on the reinforcement of the competitiveness of Ghana-based exporters. The team of experts working under this project and specialised in Quality Management Systems and in Export Management, recently launched a dedicated web site to support the initiative: www.eqmsghana.org.

More specifically, the new web site aims at informing the project beneficiaries (SMEs) about the benefits of participating in the project (customized advisory services and training sessions) but also – on a more general level – at diffusing information and raising awareness on the Ghana quality sector to a large public.

Right after its publication, the web site already generated numerous contacts from SMEs, willing to receive more information and participate in the project activities.

We hope to see this website become an active platform for exchange and discussion – the catalyst that will put the proposed project into action.