At the end of a successful 3-day Business-to-Business engagement with government agencies and private businesses including importers and exporters in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority held a commercial forum for the Business Community in Ouagadougou
The forum which brought together importers and exporters, Transport operators, truck owners and drivers, freight forwarders, Burkina Faso Shippers Council, Burkina Chambers of Commerce wholesalers and retailers and so on, aimed to obtain concerns of the business community and also assure them of measures put in place by Ghana’s Port Authority to address them.
The Director General of GPHA, who himself was the Port Authority’s Trade representative in Burkina Faso at some point said it had always been his passion to step-up the Trade relations between Ghana and the Sahelian countries particularly Burkina Faso and as Director General of Ghana’s Port Authority he will ensure that all is done to see such vision realised.
“We are here in our numbers to strengthen the relationship and the partnership we have shared for so many years to move the economic aspirations of our countries forward beyond where we have come to meet it,” the Director General of GPHA stated.
Paul Asare Ansah assured the Burkinabe Business community that he has been in talks with all relevant agencies in Ghana including Customs, Police, Shippers Authority, and Ghana Maritime Authority and has secured their support to boost the Transit Business.
“We want to conduct our business with your interest as a paramount concern to us. And also be sure that doing business through the Ghanaian corridor becomes a very pleasurable experience,” he said.
He disclosed that, within the Sub-region, Ghana’s Port is considered the most efficient and safest which is widely attested by stakeholders. However, the recent port reforms that has been embarked upon in Ghana including the paperless system, the joint agency inspection and the removal of customs barriers have elevated Ghana’s Ports above its competitors.
“Some developments have taken place in Ghana to make sure we position ourselves to meet your needs which include what we call the paperless transactions. In the past people were complaining about extortion in the port processes and delays in the port processes. Today, the Customs, Port Authority, and other actors have adopted a system that ensures paperless transactions,” he averred.
Highlighting the current state of Ghana’s Ports, the General Manger in charge of Corporate Affairs and Marketing of GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor said Ghana’s Ports have received significant facelift to improve its clearance procedures and the transit trade.
“Our transit terminal used to be a transit truck park and we were handling the transit deliveries in the port but now we have refurbished it into a full terminal and we have all the stakeholders at the place ensuring that we are able to clear the cargo for you in good time,” she assured.
The Business Community called for GPHA to intervene in removing the $ 200 tax that Ghana charges on Transit goods among other challenges
The Burkinabe business community also complained about Police harassment on the Transit Corridor and called for GPHA to streamline the international Driver licences and the right Truck load worthy License required by Ghana for Transit Transportation of goods.
The Participants at the forum also called for GPHA to engage customs to eliminate the goro boys at the paga border who charged illegal fee of 10,000 CFA to facilitate the inspection and stamping of their documents by Customs.
The Business community also requested that the stakeholders review the 7 days ultimatum by Customs that a truck has to stay in the Ghanaian corridor or pay a 1,000 CFA penalty when overstays.
The leaders of the delegation addressed the challenges and affirmed their commitment to resolving those that can be fixed to create a business friendly environment for the transit trade to thrive.