Ghana Shippers Authority introduces e-platform to address shipping challenges

Benonita Bismarck, CEO, Ghana Shippers Authority

The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) has joined hands with the Borderless Alliance to set up electronic platform (e-platform) which seeks to address challenges faced by traders who ship goods along the country’s transit corridors.

Benonita Bismarck, the CEO of the Ghana Shippers Authority, announced that the new West African e-platform is going to help improve trade activities for Ghana and other West African Countries.

The new shipping e-platform will make the GSA a central point along with a network of key stakeholders to help smoothen the challenges of Ghana’s trade and transport value chain.

Miss Bismarck said the shipping e-platform “will help address in real-time challenges faced by shippers, haulers and truck drivers using Ghana’s transit corridors”.

At the summit themed: “Unlocking African Private Sector Growth Through Addressing Trade Barriers: The Role of Advocacy”, the GSA boss said the platform was monitored on a 24-hour basis by a focal officer of the Authority.

Not the GSA alone will be monitoring the platform. The Authority will get support from identified focal persons from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Highway Authority, Road Safety Commission, and State Insurance Corporation.

The Ghana Revenue Authority, Immigration Services, Ghana Community Network, and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority are also going to be in the loop to address road and trade-related concerns.

The e-platform has a reporting mechanism which utilises phone calls and text messages. According to the GSA CEO, this method has proven to be 95 per-cent successful.

Ziad Hamoui, the president of the Borderless Alliance is optimistic that though there are challenges, the future is still promising for Ghana. This, he based on the ports and road networks being repaired, the current paperless system reforms, and the reduction in time and cost of clearance.

He said, “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 also advised that 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. Adding to the joint responsibility for an effective transit corridor, he said roads and borders should be free from harassment and easy to cross.

Also, the participation of private enterprises was also a significant thing needed to ensure that drivers and representatives were familiar with their obligations and that they complied with the various laws and regulations. The vigilance of citizens was instrumental in the fight against corrupt practices that existed within the value chain.

The president of the Borderless Alliance finally 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.

The multi-stakeholder meeting was attended by the Borderless Alliance Ghana, the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). It took place in Accra.

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