The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) have paid a joint courtesy call on Dr. Aisa Kimbo Kacyira, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to Ghana.
The visit was to congratulate Dr. Kacyira on her appointment as Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
Dr. Kacyira will succeed Lisa Filipetto of Australia.
The Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, and the Chief Executive of the FDA, Mrs. Mimi Delese Darko, led their respective delegations as they held discussions with the High Commissioner.
“Not only have you brought the GSA and FDA much closer, but you have also forged a similar relationship between the Rwanda FDA and Rwanda Standards Board,” Prof Dodoo, noted.
Prof. Dodoo recalled previous discussions on enhancing trade between the two countries, “without necessarily calling it a Mutual Recognition Agreement, but based on what our respective laws say.”
This has become the model, so the African Standards Organisation, has stopped calling for a Mutual Recognition Agreement, but rather a Framework.
Prof. Dodoo said countries needed to get their regulators and standards authorities together to enable them to figure out a way to work things out effectively.
A discussion between GSA, FDA, and Rwanda’s High Commissioner mainly propelled this development. So, having a framework within which countries collaborate, bilaterally or multilaterally, has been adopted and has become a guiding principle, thanks to Dr. Kacyira, Prof said.
Mrs. Mimi Darko, Chief Executive of FDA, also expressed her excitement in working hand-in-hand with the Commissioner and thanked her for the continuous support.
Mrs. Mimi Darko took the opportunity to congratulate H.E. Dr. Kacyira on her appointment as Head of United Nations Support Office in Somalia and also acknowledged the fact that it was the first time an African had been given the job.
“From what you have done, you deserve to go higher to do bigger things. So it is by the grace of God that you have got this position and I think for where you’re going, you’re going to do more excellent things.”
Speaking on working with Rwanda, she said, “We collaborated with Rwanda and they were recently Benchmarked and for first timer to had very little to do to attain Maturity Level 3 and that is very impressive.”
“We are looking forward to move within the AfCFTA and we want the Ghana-Rwanda trade to be the strongest and the best in the continent. “
“From the first time we met, your zeal to ensure that collaborations between our countries moved and the passion with which you wanted it to happen was amazing.”
Dr. Kacyira welcomed her guests and expressed joy about the ongoing harmonisation between GSA and FDA, to boost intra-african trade in the wake of AfCFTA.
‘I felt a real sense of belonging when I got to Ghana. The Pan-Africanism which is at play here is real, and that has enabled us to establish ourselves to showcase to the world that Africa, Ghana, and Rwanda don’t have a choice but to lead Africa,” Dr. Kacyira reiterated.
The discussions held during the courtesy call will fuel many future collaborations between Ghana and Rwanda through trade and development.
Among the GSA delegation are Prof Dodoo, Director-General, Jessica Nkansah, the Acting Director, Inspectorate Division, Nina Amoah Buabeng, Programme Development Coordinator and Kofi Yeboah Debrah of the PR Department.
The FDA delegation included Mrs. Mimi Darko, CEO, Rhoda Appiah, Head of Communications, Kwame Dei Asamoah-Okyere, Director Business Development and International Partnership and Mrs. Yvonne Nkrumah DCEO (Deputy CEO) Corporate Services.
According to the United Nations, Ms. Kacyira brings to this position more than 30 years of experience in a multi-faceted career in diplomacy and community and political engagement, as well as in leadership in
development and humanitarian assistance, at local, national and international levels.
Since 2020, Dr. Kacyira has served as the resident High Commissioner to the Government of Ghana and non-resident representative to Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.
Prior to that, she served as Governor of the Eastern Province (2011), Rwanda’s largest province, and as Executive Mayor of Kigali (2006-2011). Between 2003 and 2006, she served as a Member of Parliament and actively participated in Parliament’s legislative and oversight functions, in addition to community mobilization.
In addition to her political and diplomatic roles, Ms. Kacyira has held several positions in development and humanitarian assistance, notably as Deputy Executive Director with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) from 2011 to 2018, and also in programme and project management with the Ministry of Agriculture in Rwanda, as well as various NGOs, including Oxfam and Care International.
The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) has a core mission to provide critical support to AMISOM, UNISOM, and the Somalian Security Forces to make them more effective in supporting Somalia’s peace and stability efforts.