NEWS COMMENTARY ON METROLOGY AND TRADE PROMOTION
Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. It establishes a common understanding of units, crucial in linking human activities.
One important day set aside to mark the significance of accurate measurements which must be observed by all countries is what has become known as World Metrology Day. It is a day set aside to commemorate the importance of measurements in different aspects of our life including transactions in trade. The world has become a global village for which reason demands are promptly made from different parts of the world to suppliers in other parts to get access to fit-for-purpose goods and services. The theme for this year’s occasion is “Measurements for global trade”. It is meant to create awareness of the importance played by measurement to facilitate fair global trade and also ensure that products meet standards and regulations. If these requirements are met, the end result will be the satisfaction of customer quality expectations.
Fit-for-purpose goods and services are meant to satisfy customers in different parts of the world. Such demands are greatly influenced by many considerations at the center of which is accurate measurement. Examples of products that depend on measurements for such transactions include clothing, plots of land, ships and airplanes, medicines and many others. Clothing like shirts, pairs of shoes, trousers and various forms of jackets are manufactured and sold in different parts of the world but may have to be sent to other parts where the sizes of people resident in that area may be smallish. To make such items fit for purpose, accurate measurements are necessary to ensure satisfactory purchases. This explains why we see different goods or clothes produced in one part of the world and sent to different areas.
Some countries in the world including Ghana are oil producers while others are not. To ensure harmony and peaceful coexistence, both oil producing and non-producing countries engage in trade so that each one of them can supply goods to other countries while importing those they do not have locally. When it comes to the health sector, the importance of measurement cannot be overlooked. Here, we will be in need of accurate measurements to ensure that drugs produced or manufactured are of the exact weight or volumes indicated on them so as to avoid needless overdose that can be disastrous to the health of people as well as animals and plants.
Again, the use of fertilizer, if it is to be effectively useful for the growth of crops, ought to be accurately measured so as to perform the function for which it is intended in order to boost agriculture in any part of the world. Thus, accurate measurements are needed to encourage manufacturing, production and trading transactions among countries. In other words, it is metrology or measurements which determine and encourage trading activities among different countries of the world. If this is the case, then world metrology day ought to be marked or commemorated in a significant way and also in a manner that will make it practically and effectively meaningful to everyone including consumers, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, business men and women as well as governments.
KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY