The 2nd annual West African Ports Evolution 2017 forum has been held in Accra.
The forum was to give coastal and hinterland stakeholders proven, future-proofed solutions and alternatives for demand driven port expansion and enabling better planning for infrastructure development.
The key driver for this forum is to enable and facilitate African solutions for African challenges and present and encourage the business case for a single window system.
In a speech read on behalf of the Director General of GPHA, the General Manager, Business Development, Samuel Ntow-Kumi said the expansion of both Tema and Takoradi Ports will improve the fortunes of the country through the maritime industry.
“These projects are part of a grand national strategy to position the ports of Ghana as the leading trade and logistics hub of West Africa. The vision of GPHA is to develop and position the port of Tema as the leading container hub of the ECOWAS region and Takoradi, as the dominant oil and gas services hub,” he explained.
He said government has enrolled some initiatives to improve the performance and efficiency at the ports of Ghana.
“The key component of this program is the paperless cargo clearance project which took off on 1st September this year. This project is expected to stimulate cargo clearance procedures and reduce interference in the clearance system. The project is leveraging IT to build efficiencies in the clearance system and this is expected to result in the reduction in cargo dual-time, port user’s cost and also boost improvement in trade compliance and the collection of government tax revenues,” he said.
The Acting Director General of infrastructure concession regulatory commission in Nigeria, Chidi Izuwah SNR underscored the need for West African countries to linkages in terms of transportation across to the ports.
“We need to focus on integrated intermodal infrastructure to move our continent forward. Transforming Africa is doable. I believe it. We can transform Africa to the best continent on earth,” he stated.
The Product Development Manager at GCNet, Carl Sackey spoke on using technology to reduce bottlenecks and enhance customer experience.
“Some of the benefits we expect, we are looking at increased turnover at the port. We also want to, and we know, that, once with all the efficiencies we expect to gain, the planning operations would be more effective. We will not have those haphazard type of things- where people would go about saying I can’t find my container. It’s actually not going to happen now because the Ghana Ports and Harbours is implementing a calendar. And so if you apply and they don’t have space they’d push it to the next day so that they can effectively manage the port,” he said.
The forum was attended by players in the port and maritime industry.