In line with efforts to facilitate trade, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) on Wednesday, 17th February, 2021 paid a courtesy call on the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The visit was to enable the two organizations to explore ways of collaborating to throw more light on the mandate of the AfCFTA and to facilitate trade.
The Chief Executive of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck in explaining the mandate of her outfit, noted that its key objective was to protect and promote the interests of shippers in Ghana with regards to international trade and transport logistics. She said the GSA has been collaborating with private and public organizations in the transport sectors such as the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, GRA-Customs Division, etc, to ensure safe, reliable and cost-effective cargo delivery.
Ms. Bismarck touched on the GSA’s role in promoting the transit along Ghana’s corridor and indicated that it had signed memoranda of understanding with its sister Shippers Councils in the neighboring countries to facilitate trade with those countries. She added that the GSA belonged to a regional body, the Union of African Shippers Councils (UASC) which has also expressed interest in collaborating with the AfCFTA.
The Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Mr. Wamkele Mene said he had interactions with some shippers in Ghana who had complained of difficulties in transporting goods within the West African Sub-region, especially Nigeria. He noted that West Africa had problems with transit and that his priority was to collaborate with organizations such as the GSA to eliminate non-tariff barriers along the trade corridors. He said if the problems of transit can be resolved it would create legitimacy for the AfCFTA.
According to Secretary-General, East Africa is the best in terms of transit, since it has systems of one-stop border posts and a simplified trade regime. He said the Secretariat had a lot to learn from the successes of the East Africa trade facilitation effort and they would soon come up with a program to make it easier to trade across borders.
The Secretary-General said he appreciated the opportunity to work with the GSA but indicated that the Secretariat needs a bit of time to concretize its strategy and revert to the GSA.
Source: Ghana Shippers Authority