U.S. – Ghana Business Forum | Customs Modernization and Supply Chain Solutions

Ghana has positioned itself as the gateway to West Africa-a region comprising 16 countries, with a population about 372 million people. The country has therefore set priorities to be the trade and aviation hub for the sub-region.

It is already expanding its largest port-Tema, located about 20km to the East of Accra. The Tema expansion project will triple Tema Port’s current traffic of about one million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUS) to about 3.5m TEUs. At the same time, expansion works are almost finished at its airport expected to handle up to five million passengers a year, with an expansion potential up to 6.5 million passengers.

A number of policy initiatives are supporting these efforts: in 2015, the country put in place a national single window program for port operations and in September 2017, all port transactions were made paperless. In February 2017, Ghana ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, all in a bid to take advantage of global trading opportunities.

In spite of these efforts, there are significant bottlenecks. Delays and high transaction costs due to multiplicity and duplication of activities by port agencies, lack of coordination and lack of associated logistics infrastructure.

The U.S. Border Customs is supporting Ghana and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the areas of border security and management, customs coordination, management across institutional legal strengthening, and information-sharing on security matters.

This panel will discuss modernization of customs processes and systems with the goal of reducing trading cost and time through trade facilitation measures being implemented, as well as private sector strategies at streamlining supply chain and implementation of modern technologies such as block chain in their supply chain.