FDA establishes two new centres to support AfCFTA

The two new facilities are also expected to monitor and control imports of unregistered products into the country

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has established the Centre for Laboratory Services and Research and the Centre for Import and Export Control as part of strengthening its regulatory function to deliver improved services to support a strong implementation of the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) regime.

The centres, according to the chief executive officer of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, have been accredited and certified by the International Standards Organization (ISO), making its services internationally recognized.

Addressing the media at a press engagement in Accra, the CEO was positive the Laboratory Centre, which she described as having the “largest testing scope under one roof in Africa,” would support the “implementation of the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative and be a key collaborator to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

Darko, in attesting to the efficiency of the facilities, stated: “the probability of any country rejecting products that have come through the FDA laboratory is almost zero.”

The FDA has become a key stakeholder in the implementation of the free trade area agreement through increased regulation and safety assurance as the policy triggers increased influx of goods and services into the country.

The Authority, through the policy’s implementation, has also taken proactive steps through the Centre for Import and Export Control and the launch of the zero tolerance for unregistered imported products, to ensure that all entry points and borders including the Tema and Takoradi sea ports, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), as well as the borders in Western, Volta, Bono, Upper West and Upper East regions are effectively controlled by its officials.

As its contribution to supporting the growth of local small and medium enterprises, the FDA has extended the Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS) from licensing of cottage facilities, to cosmetics, to ensure appropriate standards in the manufacturing of these products.

Darko reiterated that the aims of the PLS is to ensure that 60% of the food and cosmetics sold in the A-rated and other supermarkets in the country, are ‘Made in Ghana’ products.

She indicated that since the inception of the programme in July last year to date, 163 businesses in the cosmetics sector have been registered, while the food sector has 1103 businesses registered.

The FDA, she said, is working with local supermarkets to ensure made in Ghana products have dedicated and well branded shelves to make them more conspicuous to the shopping public.

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