Gambia Ports Authority is in the process of undergoing reform for its ports.
To this effect, a Gambian delegation comprising representatives from the Gambia Ports Authority, the Ministries of Trade, Transport, Finance, and other key state actors have visited Ghana.
The visits which included one to the Port of Tema, was to help the Gambian delegation learn from Ghana’s success story when it comes to its public-private partnerships in port development.
At the Amaris Terminal, a dedicated export terminal at the Port of Tema, the Managing Director of Amaris, Alex Atakorah briefed the delegation on operations at the terminal as well as the concessionary arrangement that gave birth to the company.
He said the establishment of a one stop shop for export services has saved economic operators in the country lots of time and money.
Mr. Atakorah said “currently we have an office dedicated to customs that helps support our operations. In the past, exporters will have to go into the port to look for a customs officer to come and inspect and release their containers. That is not happening anymore.”
“When you calculate the savings that the customer makes by not moving cargo on trucks from one terminal to the other, it is quite huge. This one stop shop idea assists trade facilitation and that is what we have done” he added.
Team Lead of the Gambian delegation, and Administrative Head at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure at Gambia, Ibrahim Sisiawo said key lessons have been learnt that will help Gambia in its concessionary arrangements with the private sector.
“Our key takeaway is that when you are going for a concession you must be well prepared and have adequate knowledge pertaining to what you want to achieve so far as the concession is concerned. You also have to build the capacity of your team because of the level of negotiation involved with the private sector who are international firms well-grounded in their area,” he said.