The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has successfully completed a 5-day trade mission to the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, to woo economic operators in that landlocked country.
The trade mission forms part of efforts by the Port Authority to increase transit volumes that come through the Ports of Ghana.
The high-powered delegation was led by a Board Member of GPHA, who is the President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Clement Osei Amoako.
The delegation comprised the Director General of GPHA, Mr. Michael Luguje, the Commissioner of Customs, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddissah, Commissioner of Police in charge of General Services, Mr. Enoch Bediako, the Director of the Port of Tema, Mrs. Sandra Opoku, Director of Port of Takoradi Mr. Peter Amo Bediako and the Director in charge of Port of Keta project, Dr. Alexander Adusei.
The team was also made up of representatives from the Ghana Shippers Authority, State Insurance Company, Amaris Terminal, Hass Logistics, Safe Bond Terminal and Joint Association of Port Transport Union (JAPTU).
Speaking at a forum, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Clement Osei Amoako said Ghana’s Ports have seen massive improvement in recent times.
Apart from the excellent relationship both countries enjoy at the macro level, he noted that the Port Authority has also had a very good and fruitful relationship with the business community and economic operators of Burkina Faso over many years.
“As a business entity mindful of the fierce competition we are confronted with, ours is to continue to strategize and upgrade our ports to give you efficient services at competitive rates, because that is the only attraction for any businessman or woman,” he averred.
The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr. Michael Luguje, said transit trade traffic through Ghana’s ports has increased from 500 metric tons in 1994 to 1.1 million metric tons currently.
He said the Port Authority remains committed towards ensuring that an enabling environment is created for transit trade to thrive.
“The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority appreciates Burkina Faso patronizing our ports and our corridor. On our records, Burkina Faso is the leading landlocked country that uses our ports among the three, and we are happy to know that in Burkina Faso’s records, Ghana’s corridor is number 2 among the three corridors, and we are working very hard to ensure that we move to the number 1 position, but we cannot do that without the increased patronage from Burkina exporters and importers,” Mr. Luguje stated.
The Commissioner of Customs Division of GRA, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddissah said his outfit is committed to ensuring that they facilitate trade for compliant traders.
He said Customs has started taking steps to ensure that transit goods are not auctioned unlawfully.
The Commissioner of Ghana Police in charge of General Services, Mr. Enoch Bediako, who represented the Inspector General of Police, said the police administration introduced snap check points on the Ghanaian corridor to curb arm robbery but not to frustrate transitors.
“The snap checkpoints are not there to intimidate any driver or harass any driver, but they are there to protect all of us,” he averred.
The Representative of the Director General of the Burkina Shippers’ Council said Ghana’s corridor is one of the important corridors as it registered a significant number of transit trade to Burkina Faso in 2023.
He called on the Port Authority to work hand in hand with the economic operators to boost the transit trade.
The Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Cabinet, Mamadou Cisse charged the delegation to address all the challenges confronting the economic operators of Burkina Faso in order to attract more businesses in the country.