EXPERT: GHANA NEEDS TO FOCUS MORE ON PROCESSES, PROCEDURES AT ITS MAIN PORT

Ghana must look more seriously into shipment processes and procedures at the country’s main port at Tema, near here, if it is to become a transhipment hub for the West African sub-region, says a World Bank expert.

Tema port can play a more critical role as an entry and exit point for countries in the sub-region if it focuses more on addressing the issue of processes and procedures for transit and transhipment, says Periklis Saragiotis, a private sector development specialist in trade and facilitation with the World Bank Group.

He was speaking at a public sector workshop on improving transparency and trade facilitation at the port. The workshop was one of two organized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the World Bank Group under the European Union-funded “Improved and Facilitated Trade in West Africa” project.

There was intense competition in the sub-region, with countries improving their infrastructure and processes, and thus it was important for port authorities in Ghana to find ways of being competitive, said Saragiotis, who added that global best practices as found in Singapore showed the benefits of focusing on transhipment.

“There are opportunities for Ghana; it’s out there. It’s just a matter of understanding the seriousness of the issues and trying to do something about them,” he said, adding that the proposed reforms in this area could be transformational in making Tema port a regional hub and recognized global player.

The workshop brought together public sector stakeholders from or having a responsibility at the Tema Port and selected private sector stakeholders to review the port assessment maps and discuss the reform proposals from the private sector workshop held earlier in the week.

The project team, based on diagnostic and analytical assessment of processes and procedures at Tema port, developed Business Process Maps (BPMs) to depict activities at the port and made recommendations for reforms to streamline the processes in a bid to reduce time and cost.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.