Stakeholders Discuss Challenges Associated With Cross Border Trade And Its Way Forward (VIDEO)
A legal advocacy group, POS Foundation in collaboration with Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC), Giz, GUTA, Ghana Enterprise Agency among other stakeholders have met in Accra to discuss the need to address all forms of challenges associated with Cross Border Trade, the Rule of the Law among others to help grow the industry in the West African Sub-region.
At a meeting, the various speakers each outlined measures to ensure that traders, drivers, and products are transported safely in and out of the country.
On his part, Executive Secretary, Ghana International Trade Commission, Frank Agyekum said “It is about time we look into why people can transport things to Ghana and have no problems but when it is from here and it gets to other countries, it is stopped at the border”
He charged traders to be abreast with the laws of other countries adding that it will help them cross and transact their businesses.
“The research we are trying to do is also very good. It is going to inform the AFCTA Secretariat of the real things that are happening on the ground of which they need to capture into their policies.
“He also stressed that it is important that the traders understand the new trend of technology in order to avoid being left behind or cheated.
“With this technology, they will be able to go to a website and engage in volumes of things. You may be a good business person but if you do not understand, you will be left out.
President of the Ghana Tomato Traders and Transporters Association, Osei Tuffuor on his path said “You cannot be talking about cross-border trade without mentioning the Tomato Traders and Transporters Association. We normally trade in Ghana. We cross the border with our vehicles ranging from 50 to 70”
Highlighting the challenges faced by the Traders and Transporters, he said “The extortion of money from the traders is so high and such actions must be condemned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
He told the gathering that a Ghanaian transporter was arrested by the Police in Burkina Faso 2 years ago and chained under a tree for 4 days.
Osei Tuffuor described the action as unacceptable and one which needs to be curbed.
He appealed to the Deputy Commissioner of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to instruct his men to allow transporters to sail through whenever they reach the board adding that since the products are perishable goods, it ought not to be detained or ceased.
Sharing his thoughts, the Director of Economic, Trade, and Investment Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Bonaventure Adjavor lauded POS Foundation and its partners for coming up with the stakeholder’s engagement.
“The right treaty of ECOWAS includes among its objectives, the establishment of a common market and the removal of obstacles likewise free movement of persons and goods”
He hinted that small-scale cross-border trade plays a fundamental role which leads to the reduction of poverty and food security across the sub-region and Africa in general.
Mr. Adjavor told the gathering that cross border trader mostly deals in Agriculture making it an essential part of the food security.
“Research indicates that corruption and gender-based harassment most on the part of women features on cross-border activities.”
Below is a video:
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith