Shippers Authority inaugurates Northern Sector Stakeholder Committee

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By Samuel SAM

The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has inaugurated the Northern Sector Stakeholder Committee, aiming to address issues faced by shippers and service providers in Ghana’s northern zone, which includes the Northern, North-East, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

This committee comprises representatives from key ministries, departments, agencies and shipping service providers. Its primary focus is to discuss and resolve challenges that hinder cargo shipment and clearance at seaports, airports and land borders. The committee will also work on enhancing engagement and awareness by exploring innovative ways to promote transparency in cargo shipment processes and ensure compliance by shippers.

The committee’s objectives include reducing the cost of cargo shipping and clearing across the country’s ports, enhancing service standards in the shipping value chain, and analysing the impact of new or updated procedures, policies and laws on shippers and the industry.

At the inaugural ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of GSA, Mr. Kwesi Baffour Sarpong, represented by the Head of Operations, Mrs. Monica Josiah, highlighted the GSA’s efforts over the past five decades in promoting and protecting the interests of shippers in Ghana. She emphasised the need for collaboration and collective efforts to bring positive change and sustainable growth in the shipping and logistics industry.

Mr. Sarpong noted that the next five years are crucial for the development of the shipping and logistics industry in Ghana, given the changing dynamics in the industry. He called for strategic innovations and a renewed focus to enhance the competitiveness of shippers and ports. To address these challenges, GSA is implementing a restructuring programme aimed at streamlining processes, reducing costs, enhancing service quality and tackling issues within the shipping logistics industry.

One key initiative under this restructuring programme is the introduction of zonal stakeholder committees across the organisation’s operational zones. These committees are expected to facilitate seamless shipping and cargo clearance processes, reduce delays and costs, and promote trade in line with global best practices.

Zonal Manager, Mr. Fredrick Atogiyire, stated that the committee will foster greater collaboration with major stakeholders in the sector whose activities impact trade facilitation and businesses within the shipping and logistics industry. He emphasised the importance of supporting medium to small-scale businesses to ensure their survival and growth.

Shipper Service and Trade Facilitation Officer, Mr. Abdul Karim Muhsin, added that the GSA office in the region has been actively sensitising and empowering shippers and stakeholders through seminars and fora. The committee is expected to meet twice a year to collate challenges and concerns of importers and exporters, which will then be forwarded to stakeholders for resolution, explanation and education.

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