The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with support from the Government of Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) officially commissioned an ultra-modern Wood and Furniture Testing Centre at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Fumesua in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday.
The Centre established with funds from the Government of Switzerland through the Trade Capacity Building (TCB) Programme for Ghana will ensure trade facilitation and support the Government’s effort in promoting industrialisation across all sectors. Wood and furniture products from Ghana and those imported can now be tested to ensure they meet the required trade standards for consumer use and protection.
Entrepreneurs in the wood industry can now conduct tests to determine the strength of the materials used in producing wood products including the bonding quality of plywood to ensure durable wood products in the Ghanaian and global market.
The Centre can also test chairs and tables for their durability, stability and strength.
These tests determine the lifespan of wooden products and their ability to perform the functions for which they are designed for.
The Wood and Furniture Testing Centre (WFTC) is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region and the third in Africa, following Egypt and South Africa.
The UNIDO Country Representative to Ghana, Fakhruddin Azizi, noted, “The UNIDO-SECO partnership has given fruitful results in Ghana and the TCB Programme is truly a flagship example of confidence and trust between strategic partners.”
He encouraged the management of CSIR – FORIG to effectively manage this wood and furniture facility to achieve sustainability and ensure that it creates the positive lasting impact for the wood and furniture sector in Ghana and in the global market space.
“It is my hope that our support to CSIR – FORIG have a much greater impact and leverage existing government strategies such as the One District, One Factory (1D1F) and go a long way to support the wood and furniture industry in Ghana effectively,” Mr. Azizi added.
Representing the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, Mr. Daniel Lauchenauer, emphasised the important contribution the new centre can provide towards higher international competitiveness of Ghana’s wood and furniture sector and with this to a much needed increased diversification of the economy in line with the objectives of the government of Ghana.
He also called the management of CSIR – FORIG to develop a business plan for the centre which will facilitate taking the right decisions to provide sustainably services to the private sector.
The TCB Programme aims at ensuring that goods and services emanating from or traded in Ghana are designed, manufactured and supplied in a sustainable manner that conforms to market requirements as well as those of the regulatory authorities in the local and in the export markets.
The Project is focused on four main value chains – cocoa, fish, fruits and wood.