By Emmanuel Todd/Priscilla Oye Ofori, GNA
Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and the Borderless Alliance have introduced an electronic platform (e-platform) to address challenges faced by traders along Ghana’s transit corridors.
Madam Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer GSA, who announced this, said the West African e-platform would improve trade activities for Ghanaians and other West African Countries along the transit corridors.
It would provide a central focal point, which is the GSA and a network of key stakeholders critical to Ghana’s trade and transport value chain.
“It will help address in real time challenges faced by shippers, haulers and truck drivers using Ghana’s transit corridors,” she said.
Madam Bismarck said this during a multi-stakeholder dialogue by Borderless Alliance –Ghana and GSA ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in Accra, on the theme “Unlocking African Private Sector Growth Through Addressing Trade Barriers: The Role of Advocacy.”
She said the platform was monitored on a 24-hour basis by a focal officer of the Authority and with the support of identified focal persons from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Highway Authority, Road Safety Commission, and State Insurance Corporation.
Others are the Ghana Revenue Authority, Immigration Services, Ghana Community Network and Ghana Ports and Habours Authority to address road and trade related concerns.
Miss Bismarck noted that the platform adopted a reporting mechanism by the use of phone calls and text messages which had proven to be 95 per-cent successful.
She said that to move goods from Tema to Paga borders required about 42 separate documents and over 70 check points along the corridor, where documents were being reviewed and this had made transit truck drivers impatient with uniformed personnel and policy makers who managed major trade passages.
She called on all stakeholders to join in the dialogue to ensure timely and safe arrival of goods to various destinations along the African sub-regions of trade.
Mr Ziad Hamoui, National President Borderless Alliance, Ghana, said despite the challenges faced by traders the future was still promising for Ghana, since the ports and road networks were being repaired, the paperless system reforms and the joint inspections were beginning to pay off with a reduction in time and cost of clearance.
“This is a reflection of the renewed commitment of Ghana’s highest leadership to the promotion of regional economic integration and the free movement of goods and people not only across Ghana but also West Africa,” he said.
He said an effective corridor was a joint responsibility that required the efforts of all stakeholders involved to ensure that the ports were competitive in terms of time and cost; that the roads and borders were free from harassment and easy to cross.
Mr Hamoui said the participation of private enterprises were needed to ensure that drivers and representatives were familiar with their obligations and that they complied with the various laws and regulations.
He said the vigilance of citizens was instrumental in the fight against corrupt practices that existed within the value chain.
He pledged the support of the Alliance to promote regional economic integration and the free movement of goods and people across the region to make Ghana the true gateway to West Africa.