Holding of the annual International Single Window Conference, from 3rd -5th 2017 at hotel Kempinski, Accra, Ghana

Organized by the Africa Alliance for Electronic Commerce (AACE), in partnership with the Ghana Community Services Network (GCNet), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the official Opening Ceremony opened in Kempisky Hotel, Accra. The programme line up had important dignitaries and was graced by His Excellency the Vice President of Ghana, Alhaji (Dr.) Mahamadu Bawumia.

Attended by more than 200 participants from various entities including public as well as privatepartners (WTO, WCO, AU, UNECA, COMESA, WAEMU, UPU, WEF, UNCEFACT, UNESCAP), the conference raised certain points related to the development of ecommerce, Single Window and TFA’s implementation, such as:

  • The need for a clear definition of community systems in order to address issues involved in all clearing services advocated;
  • Modules of SW Concept explained but there are different challenges in different countries which ought to be defined;
  • Governments must be fully committed with a sanctions regime instituted for users in order to move from SW to e-Commerce; the AACE to serve as relay to disseminate all these principles to member states
  • Technology becomes a key enabler and a key differentiator in the success of any supply chain system. Its improvement is therefore a very important component in the global development of e-Commerce;
  • The need for an efficient address system if e-Commerce is to succeed;
  • A greater challenge on internet connectivity is that data generated by Africa is given away freely; member states should begin to think about how the data generated can be equitably shared; data has become a lubricant on the global economy;
  • To consider holding a stakeholder Business Processes Conference to weed out the frustrations; a lot of Business Processes Engineers to come on board
  • The need for the integration of SW Concepts among member states emphasized;
  • Border operation standards to be harmonized; the need for one stop border post though complex but necessary;
  • A legal framework that will compel members to register and implement SW; only 22 of AU members have registered;
  • Integrity of platforms depend on integrity of data; punitive regimes must be instituted to deter declarants from inputting wrong data;
  •  Easy to use and secure payment systems (Banks, mobile phones) an important component of efficient e-Commerce;
  • There should be an adoption of a regulation for e-Commerce both at the national and global levels;
  • Change management is essential if operators are to survive in the dynamic world of e-Commerce; attitudinal change imperative;
  • Efficient infrastructure a fundamental requirement in order to harness e-Commerce;
  •  It is important to invite government agencies responsible for postal services to be a part of discussions;
  • Industry players have no choice but to adopt to global e-Commerce solutions
  • A recommendation for the establishment of one global hub where all the participating countries would sign on for e-Commerce;
  • The need for the institution of a risk management strategies to curb the incidence of the transport of illicit goods;
  • To consider instituting regulatory prohibitive policies to prevent the dumping of e-waste in Africa;
  • Initiate programmes to connect Customs on to the relevant portals to make their work more efficient;
  • To improve transport infrastructure in order to facilitate trade;
  • Regional Integrations Communities (RECs) to dialogue to ensure unity; AACE to approach member states individually to dialogue for unity;

The AUC has agreed in principle that a framework for co-operation on e-Commerce will be introduced as a subject in the second phase of the CFTA negotiations. So AACE is called upon to work with the AUC, ECOWAS, member states and RECS to contribute to the design of the e-Commerce framework for co-operation.

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