Create accessible regional markets for local goods — Borderless Alliance
The National Committee President of the Borderless Alliance Ghana, Ziad Hamoui has challenged countries in Africa to take steps that can fast-track the economic development of the continent with a special focus on the agriculture sector.
He explained that Africa faces several downside risks to its growth prospects if it does not fast-track its drive towards regional economic integration by exploring available instruments of trade facilitation.
Addressing the media ahead of the tenth annual regional conference of Borderless Alliance in Accra, Mr Hamoui stated that there had been a visible disruption in the global supply chains of food, fertilizer, and fuel and that had affected the continent in an amplified way due to its reliance on importation.
Amid global uncertainty and as the region goes through a period of socio-economic instability and rising food insecurity, he said West Africa must accelerate its drive towards regional economic integration.
This, he said could be done by exploring available instruments of trade facilitation (regional and international), to accelerate its economic transformation and to create larger and freely-accessible regional markets for its locally produced goods, especially its food and agriculture value chains.
According to him, the only way for the continent to safeguard this is by building a regional supply chain and to build a regional supply chain.
As a result, he said the three areas which needed to be explored included produce more -agricultural or non-agricultural, identify markets across Africa and logistics space -moving the goods from the production centre to consumption center.
The Borderless Alliance boss explained that these would have to happen concurrently “For us we are located along the logistics aspect of it and somehow the marketing aspect, and we tackle the barriers that are preventing the involvement of the goods from the country of origin to destination.”
He added that there were two aspects to this, infrastructure -roads, airports, connections and this needs significant investment from the authorities and private sector, which will involve partnership.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Benonita Bismarck, in a speech read on his behalf, indicated that through collaboration with Borderless Alliance, the authority had developed an electronic platform that allows shippers to obtain real-time assistance when they encounter challenges.
He said the collaboration had also facilitated the gathering of stakeholders from both organisations to raise awareness and build capacity on issues related to trade within the sub-region.
The conference is expected to be held at Tema in the Greater Accra Region between October 25 and 26, 2023.
It will be hosted by Ghana Shippers Authority under the theme “Strengthening Regional Agricultural Value Chains to Compete in a Global Market”.
The conference is an important opportunity to address the growing unpredictability of global supply chain and the need to create more sustainable and resilient regional agriculture value chains in West Africa.
It would also allow stakeholders to examine the current successes and challenges, to drive economic growth across the region.