By Cecil MENSAH
The Government of Ghana has commended the management of Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNET) for the promotion of the national and regional Single Window concept on the African continent.
The company, which introduced the single window concept into the country since 2003, has also been patted on the back for aiming at ensuring interoperability with other regions of the world.
The GCNET platform has over the years facilitated customs clearance at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) from the pre-GCNET situation of two days clearance to four hours.
The Takoradi port in the Western Region has 71 per cent of consignment being cleared in a day whilst Tema is clearing within two to five days.
So far, 40 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have their trade information synchronized on the platform. These include Ghana Free Zones Board, Standards Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ministries of Trade and Finance.
The company, wholly Ghanaian-owned, has also introduced an enhanced transit module with seals, satellite tracking devices and cameras to ensure executive monitoring of all transit consignments along the transit corridors.
The government, recognising these strides, commended GCNet at last week’s three-day international single window conference and exhibition in Accra. It was on the theme: ‘trade facilitation agreement and E-commerce development: the role of single window as catalyst held’ in Accra.
The African Alliance for E-Conference (AACE)-led conference was in collaboration with GCNET, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The conference drew participants from Togo, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, India, China, Tunisia and Europe, among others.
For the compliance authorities the world over; 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.
Speaking at the opening session last Tuesday, Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia acknowledged the pioneering role played by GCNet, in the provision of single-window and e-solutions services for trade facilitation and revenue mobilization in the country.
According to him, without a doubt, an effective single-window platform simplifies port operations and transactions and it is not surprising that a number of countries which are implementing this platform have highly efficient port operations and are able to generate significant revenues for national development.
He said single window has been identified to reduce cost and minimize clerical efforts, facilitates faster goods clearance, fosters predictability and reliability in consignment clearance, and reduces time-consuming face-to-face interactions at the ports.
“Logistics operators also have benefited from faster movement of goods, reliable information on timing of goods movement, more productive and flexible use of human resources as well as better end-to-end operations,” Dr Bawumia said, adding that, in sum, a single-window platform is a win-win for all.”
He explained that it is the goal as a government to build the most business-friendly economy in Africa and in pursuing that, “we have taken steps to bring fiscal discipline to the management of our economy since we came into office nine months ago.
“This provides a stable and predictable environment for businesses to invest and to grow,” he noted.
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