The Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) demonstrated its pioneering leadership position in the trade facilitation space when it won the two top awards at the maiden Ghana Shippers Awards (GSA) held in Accra recently.
The company was adjudged the Trade Facilitation Company of the Year while its Executive Chairman, Dr. Nortey Omaboe, took the flagship award for the night – CEO of the Year, capping 15 years of excellence in the deployment of e-applications for the efficient and paperless processing of trade and Customs transactions in the country.
Among others, GCNet has distinguished itself as a key partner whose efforts in the trade facilitation and revenue mobilisation space remain unrivalled.
The GCNet/GCMS (Ghana Customs Management Systems) currently connects over 7,200 players in the trade facilitation ecosystem in a day, including Freight Forwarders, Shippers, Courier Companies, over 34 Ministries, Departments and Agencies, regulatory bodies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ghana Standards Authority, and Oil Marketing Companies, among others.
Mrs. Aba Lokko, Corporate Communications Manager, noted that GCNet continues to play a critical role collaborating with the Ministry of Trade & Industry and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to continuously deploy new services built on a culture of excellence in service delivery, innovation, integrity and professionalism. Mrs. Lokko expressed the company’s gratitude to stakeholders for their partnership and support over the past 15 years which has culminated in the numerous recognitions and awards over the years.
“The GCNet / GCMS single window platform has undergone significant improvements all in a bid to facilitate trade business competitiveness, and enhance revenue mobilisation. In addition to the GCMS platform, a back-end application deployed by the GCNet is the Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance System (GICCS). For instance, in 2015 the total validated declarations was 508,554 and further increased to 549,393 in 2016”, Mrs. Lokko said.
She added that GCNet will continue to deploy a robust e-solutions infrastructure to support a paperless regime in the country, adding, “One of such e-solutions deployed in July 2016 at no cost to the Bank of Ghana is the Letter of Commitment (LOC) module, which has raked in a total of US$4.2bn within a year of deployment”.
The GCNet LOC tracks exports proceeds into the country and also boosts the availability of forex in the economy. According to the Bank of Ghana, it was losing close to US$3bn annually through non-repatriation of export proceeds before the LOC.
The GSA, organised by the Ghana Shippers Authority, will be an annual flagship event of the authority to recognise individuals and companies that have distinguished themselves in the growth and development of the shipping industry while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability.
Delivering his keynote address, Minister of Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said government will continue with the expansion of sea and air ports to facilitate the creation of a competitive business environment.
He reiterated government’s commitment to deepen trade facilitation efforts to make Ghana the preferred trading hub in Africa.
He announced that government was considering the adoption of a regulatory framework that provides a mechanism to address challenges in the space of trade facilitation and urged players in the industry to continue to leverage on technology while upgrading their systems regularly.
Mr. Ofori Asiamah praised the Ghana Shippers Authority and Globe Productions for creating a platform that celebrates the contribution of the shipping industry in Ghana.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck assured that the authority will continue to work towards building robust and enduring infrastructure and systems that enhance the maritime environment.
Mrs. Lokko (2nd from right) in a group photo with other members of the GCNet team at the maiden Ghana Shippers Awards held in Accra.
GCNet is a Public-Private Partnership that was incorporated on November 13, 2000. Its shareholders are Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Ecobank Ghana Limited (EBG), Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) and Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) of Switzerland.
GCNet, an Innovator and Leader in the Provision of e-Solutions to Governments, has developed and deployed Ghana’s Single Window Platform for Processing Trade Transactions and Customs Clearances. The System is made up of a front-end Electronic Messaging Platform (the TradeNet) and a back-end System (the Ghana Customs Management System). The System allows for a 24/7 processing of declarations and is currently deployed at Customs Headquarters and all the key Customs Stations. Ninety-eight (98) percent of Customs revenue is collected through the System.
In addition to GCMS, linkage of other back-end applications (e.g. Automated Registration of Vehicles, Income Tax Declarations, Social Security Declarations etc.) is possible.
Close to Forty (40) Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Ghana Standards Authority, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Investment Protection Centre (GIPC), Ministries of Trade and Finance etc.., access the TradeNet for various operational purposes.