Ghana successfully hosted the 6th International Single Window Conference in Accra last week on the theme: “Trade facilitation agreement and e-commerce development: the role of single window as a catalyst.”
Ghana was selected to host the event due to the numerous successes chalked in the automation of its port systems in Africa.
At the end of the three-day conference, stakeholders came to the conclusion thata single-window platform ensures an efficient and productive use of resources, enhances collection of fees, duties, and penalties, ensures enhanced risk analysis, reduces corruption, and ensures more comprehensive, streamlined and an automated compliance process.
Special guest at the conference, Ghana's Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia pointed out that for importersthe single window platform reduces cost through minimal clerical effort, facilitates faster goods clearance, fosters predictability and reliability in consignment clearance, and reduces time-consuming face-to-face interactions.
“Logistics operators also benefit from faster movement of goods, reliable information on timing of goods movement, more productive and flexible use of human resources, and better end-to-end operations,” he added.
Dr Bawumia said government’s goal was to build the most business friendly economy in Africa through fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability, to provide a stable and predictable environment for businesses to invest and to grow.
“Recent economic and financial data show that, these interventions are yielding the desired results and we will continue in that direction,” he said.
Government is also embarking on reforms aimed at improving the business environment through various initiatives including the implementation of the Paperless Port Project, not only to remove the human element and help reduce revenue leakages, but more importantly, ensure faster turnaround in customs processing and clearance of goods at the ports.
The Vice President noted that the introduction of the paperless port programme in September, after its announcement in May, has been achieved without spending a pesewa. It was achieved through collaboration with the relevant stakeholders
The Conference served as an opportunity to highlight Ghana’s success in the single window implementation process.
Head of Communications at GCNet, AbaLokko said her outfit was happy to collaborate with the African Alliance and other stakeholders to organize the conference.
She said it creates an opportunity for Ghanaians to have more information about the concept to enable them appreciate the value it holds for national development.
"We took the initiative to organize this workshop to ensure that Journalists who will be assigned to cover the event will have a better understanding of the conference,” she stated.
The International Single Window Conference is an African initiative held once a year.
This year’s event will be under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and GCNet - the pioneer single window and e-solutions provider for trade facilitation and revenue mobilization.